ROME, May 17 (Xinhua) -- Top seed Serena Williams held off 11th seed Ana Ivanovic 6-1, 3-6, 6-1 on Saturday to face Sara Errani in the final of the Italian Open.
Ivanovic rattled off four straight games in the second set to level up the match that had looked to be heading in only one direction.
However, as on so many occasions in the past, Williams responded by raising her level once again.
She earned a break at the start of the decider with a series of devastating returns, and from that point on it was one-way traffic as the American coasted across the finish line.
Williams praised Ivanovic's performance in the second set.
"She played really well in the second set and at the same time my first serve percentage dropped. She's a great returner, so she put me under a lot of pressure because of that," she said.
"I lost my concentration a little bit, so at the start of the third set I just tried to get really pumped, keep myself focused and pretty much do everything to play my best tennis."
Williams is to face Sara Errani, who beat No. 6 seed Jelena Jankovic 6-3, 7-5 earlier to become the first Italian in 29 years to reach the final.