Fourth-seeded Natalia Zvereva of the Soviet Union upset defending champion and second-seeded Martina Navratilova Saturday to set up a finals with No. 1 Steffi Graf in the $300,000 Family Circle Magazine Cup tournament.
Graf overpowered 17-year-old Arantxa Sanchez of Spain 6-2, 6-4 in the second semifinal at the Sea Pines Racquet Club.Earlier, Zvereva advanced to Sunday's finals with a 6-2, 3-6, 6-1 victory over Navratilova, who double faulted to end the match.
Graf, the world's top-ranked player, dominated the first set. But Sanchez, who is ranked 17th, pressed Graf in the second set, mixing lobs and drop shots.
Trailing 5-1, Sanchez twice broke Graf to make it 5-4. But Graf, who has not lost since Pam Shriver upset her at the Virginia Slims Championships in New York last November, broke Sanchez to close out the match.
Sanchez said her ability to retrieve Graf's shots helped her stay in the match. "She play the great forehand that she has so I know I have to run. I think she don't likes too much my game, you know."
Graf, who won the tournament in 1986 and 1987, agreed.
"She's having a lot of high balls and you'll always have to wait and try to hit it and you always have to be more patient than usual, and I'm not the very good type of person who likes to do that."
Graf said she wasn't worried during Sanchez' second set rally, but admitted she eased up after the first set.
Zvereva, ranked No. 9 in the world, dominated the first set against Navratilova.