West Germany's Claudia Kohde-Kilsch earned a shot at the $40,000 first prize in a Virginia Slims tennis tournament Sunday with a 6-3, 6-4 victory over Kathy Rinaldi.
Kohde-Kilsch, seeded fourth in the $250,000 event, overcame an early deficit and a briefly troublesome shoulder problem for her third victory in seven career meetings with Rinaldi.
The win moved the six-footer into the tonight's final against Martina Navratilova, who whipped her doubles partner, Pam Shriver, 6-1, 6-1, in a later match.
"Today's match was really good, tight in both sets," Rinaldi said. "Claudia is really improved, we haven't played in a year. It was kind of funny because she stayed on the base line more and I came to the net a lot more."
"My only chance to beat her was to hang back because she passes very well," Kohde-Kilsch said. "My approach shots were a little short. I thought she played much better in the second set and I started going to the net more. Maybe I should have done it more.
"I was waiting for her to come to the net because she's not so good there but sometimes she surprised me."
Rinaldi won the first two games and went to deuce three times in the third before losing it on a service break. She had a crucial double fault in the third game, and Kohde-Kilsch came back with a flurry of aces to take charge in the match despite a second-set warning by the umpire for slamming a ball into the stands.