Simona Halep was "shaking" after saving two match points to reach the Australian Open final at the expense of Angelique Kerber in a thrilling "rollercoaster" semi-final.
The world number one beat the resurgent 2016 champion 6-3 4-6 9-7 in a classic last-four encounter on Rod Laver Arena on Thursday.
Top seed Halep failed to take two match points before saving as many and eventually came through a topsy-turvy battle to set up a showdown with Caroline Wozniacki on Saturday, when both players will be striving for an elusive first grand slam title.
The gutsy Romanian was full of pride after passing a huge mental and physical test.
"It was very tough, I am shaking now," Halep said. "She's a very tough opponent, moving well and hitting from everywhere.
"It's not easy winning two such long matches in the same tournament.
"I just had confidence in myself, I told myself to fight for every point and then rest afterwards. I tried to stay calm but today I was like a rollercoaster.
"I didn't give up, though and, if you don't give up, you can win matches. I am proud of myself."
The winner of the Daphne Akhurst Memorial Cup this weekend will be on top of the rankings next week.