Russia's Vera Zvonareva produced a storming finish to overcome the spirited Bulgarian outsider Tsvetana Pironkova and reach her first Wimbledon final at the eighth attempt. The 21st seed could not cope with the world No 82 in the opening set of today's first semi-final but weathered the storm and took advantage of a tiring opponent, winning 10 of the last 13 games to secure a 3-6, 6-3, 6-2 victory. Zvonareva, 25, who will be playing in her maiden grand slam final, had never previously been past the fourth round at Wimbledon but has dropped only two sets in producing her best tennis since she was ranked as high as No 5 in February 2009. She becomes only the third Russian Wimbledon finalist of the open era, after Olga Morozova and Maria Sharapova.
"I'm very excited," she said. "It's one of my dreams. "It was very tough out there against a very tough opponent. I'm happy with the way I was able to hang in the match and turn it around." * PA