Eastbourne - Agnieszka Radwanska is returning to the final of the Eastbourne International for the first time since 2008 as the ninth seed defeated Sloane Stephens 6-1, 6-7 (3/7), 6-2 in a windswept Friday showdown.
But her opponent in the final will not be, as expected, second seed Caroline Wozniacki but Swiss teenager Belinda Bencic after Wozniacki abandoned their semi-final with a back injury when trailing 3-0 in the first set.
Radwanska rode wave after wave of momentum shifts in the challenging conditions as Stephens tried to duplicate the final showing of a year ago by American compatriot Madison Keys.
But Radwanska proved to be the more durable of the two, using her strategic and varied game to blunt the raw power of her opponent.
"I'm very happy to be in this final again," said the 26-year-old from Poland. "It's been a long time.
"It was so tough with the wind. it's the worst thing for payers, It was a struggle form start to finish."
Radwanska will be seeking her first title since Canada last August.