Defending champion Venus Williams ended the run of unseeded Israeli Shahar Peer on Friday to reach the final of the Dubai tennis championship.
The third-seeded American won 6-1, 6-4 in a match that began as a one-sided canter for Williams but ended as a battle with Peer threatening to extend the match into a third set.
Playing on a side court because of security concerns which have surrounded Peer all week, Williams quickly stamped her authority on a strangely ineffective opponent, who had beaten three seeds on her way to the semi-finals.
Williams forced the pace and broke first for 2-0 when Peer made a backhand error and then for 4-0 when Peer double-faulted.
An exchange of breaks in the next two games left Williams serving for the set, which she closed out with a beautifully executed forehand winner down the line.
A fourth double-fault gave Williams a break for 1-0 in the second set but Peer broke to level at 2-2 and then dug deep to fend off five break points in a nine-deuce game to hold for 3-2.
Even though her reprieve was short, with Williams breaking again to lead 4-3, Peer held five break points to recover the break before Williams held for 5-3.
Peer continued to battle to the end, denying Williams three match points before a netted backhand on the fourth ended the contest.
Dubai is part of the United Arab Emirates which, like most Arab countries, has no diplomatic ties with Israel.
In Saturday's final, Williams will meet the winner of the second semi-final, being played later on Friday between fourth seed Victoria Azarenka of Belarus and seventh-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland.