WATCH: With a three-set semifinal triumph over Veronika Kudermetova, Anhelina Kalinina reached her first WTA 1000 final with her third win over a Top 20 seed in as many rounds.

Anhelina Kalinina made recent history on Friday at the Internazionali BNL d'Italia, as the Ukrainian beat Veronika Kudermetova 7-5, 5-7, 6-2 to become the lowest-ranked woman to reach the final at the tournament in nearly 40 years.

The 26-year-old Kalinina, the world No. 47 and No. 30 seed, is the lowest-ranked woman to reach the final at Italy's storied championships since Raffaella Reggi in 1985, and also is the second Ukrainian to ever get this far at any WTA 1000 event after former world No. 3 Elina Svitolina, who's won four of them in her career.


Kalinina and Kudermetova had split two three-set meetings previously, including a 3 hour, 3-minute win for the Ukrainian in Dubai earlier this year, and it seemed as though the pair were headed for another epic at the Foro Italico after Kudermetova won four straight games, and 16 straight points, to stay alive in the second set, and send the match to a decider after two full hours of play.

But Kalinina, who beat Brazil's Beatriz Haddad Maia in the quarterfinals in 3 hours and 41 minutes—the longest match of the WTA season to date—rebounded with aplomb in the decider to claim her third win over a Top 20 seed in five victories over the last two weeks.

She won the first four games, and served the match out emphatically to 15 as rain drops started to fall, to book a place in the most prestigious final of her career.

"I don't feel my legs, actually, because it's been so much tennis in the last couple of days. I'm happy to be able to go through," Kalinina said after the match.

"Another battle is waiting tomorrow ... It's never easy on these tournaments, but this is an amazing feeling that I am battling, going through, and I'm able to compete at this level. For me, it's new, and I'm really happy with this."


Kalinina also beat former Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin, and American No. 19 seed Madison Keys (from a set down) earlier in the tournament.

The Ukrainian will bid to win her first career WTA singles title—she was runner-up to Yulia Putintseva at the WTA 250 in Budapest two years ago in her only previous final—against another major-winner, as she will play either 2017 Roland Garros champion Jelena Ostapenko or reigning Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina in Saturday's final.

After beating Kudermetova, a Russian playing without a flag on the scoreboard, Kalinina also sent a message back to her war-torn homeland in her on-court interview, and dedicated victory to her compatriots.

"For me, it's also really important for me to win every match because of what Ukraine goes through," she said. "I just want to say that I hope I give a tiny, small light, some positive emotions for my country, and I hope that Ukraine a little bit enjoys [this]."