Dubai: Second seed Svetlana Kuznetsova made her maiden entry into the final of the Barclays Dubai Tennis Championships with a gruelling 5-7, 6-4, 6-3 win over fourth seed Jelena Jankovic at the Dubai Tennis Stadium on Friday.

She will meet the winner of the second semifinal that was being played between Francesca Schiavone and Elena Dementieva later in the evening.

Kuznetsova looked the more solid of the two and that showed as she did not break into any sort of panic despite losing a close first set 7-5.

In fact, she broke Jankovic in the very second game, but then failed to hold her serve as the Serbian drew level 2-2.

After both players held their serves, Jankovic got a deserving break in the 11th game for a 6-5 lead, on which she capitalised and served out for the set 7-5 in one hour and seven minutes.

"I was feeling better as the match progressed," Kuznetsova said. "This was not the best game I was playing, but it was important for me to stay focused."

In the second set, Kuznetsova raced to an early 3-0 lead, only to see her opponent ride on some fine shots to fight back for 3-3. Jankovic got the break she was looking for in the seventh for a 4-3 lead, but was broken right back in the next for 4-4.

The Russian held serve for 5-4 and once again saw Jankovic bungle as a deft slice struck the net cord and landed into Jankovic's side to hand over the set 6-4 to Kuznetsova.

"I started feeling drained and tired by the end of the second set. My legs were just refusing to carry me through," Jankovic stated.

Things were even in the third set when Kuznetsova came up with a break in the sixth to lead 4-2 and then held serve to stay within victory.

Meanwhile, the Chinese pairing of Zi Yan and Jie Zheng eased into the doubles final at the Barclays Dubai Tennis Championships here.

The Chinese duo will meet the winners of the match between defending champions Cara Black and Liezel Huber and Yung-Jan Chan and Chia-Jung Chuang.

Yan and Zheng were always in control as they powered their way to a 6-3, 7-6 (5) win over Dubai-based Katarina Srebotnik and Ai Sugiyama.