NEW YORK, NOV. 21 -- Steffi Graf and Gabriela Sabatini advanced to Sunday's final of the $1 million Virginia Slims Championships with victories today. Graf, the top seed, swept the final five games of the first set in a 6-1, 6-4 win over Sylvia Hanika. Sabatini beat No. 8 Manuela Maleeva, 6-3, 4-6, 6-3.
Three times Sabatini, 17, went up a break in the third set, the last at 5-3 when she broke at love as Maleeva sent a smash into the net.
Sabatini, serving for the match, held this time, winning on her second match point when Maleeva's cross-court backhand was just wide.
Graf, ranked No. 1 in the world, is 10-0 over Sabatini, her doubles partner. Seven of the victories have come this year, but seven of the 10 matches have been three sets.
Sunday's final will be best of five sets, with $125,000 for the winner. "It'll be very close; it'll be a tough match," said Sabatini, the sixth seed.
Graf, 18, has yielded 10 games in three victories in this tournament. Against Hanika, she breezed through the first set in 19 minutes and won 10 of the first 12 games. The victory over her fellow West German gave Graf a 74-2 match record this year and 13 straight.
Hanika, an unseeded upset winner over Chris Evert in the first round, offered little resistance until she broke Graf in the sixth and eighth games of the second set.
"I was more into the match. I found my rhythm and I put a little more pressure on her," said Hanika, 27. "I even thought I had a chance."
But Graf held in the 10th game, on her third match point when Hanika's service return was long.
"I was trying to make too many good shots, to do something special instead of closing it out," said Graf, who committed 18 of her 23 unforced errors in the second set. "I really should have won it earlier."
Sabatini, who upset four-time defending champion Martina Navratilova, 6-4, 7-5, Friday, broke serve in the first and seventh games of the first set. Maleeva got one break back in the eighth game, but Sabatini broke again in the ninth at love.
Maleeva took a 5-1 lead in the second set and survived despite being broken in the eighth game.
Navratilova and Pam Shriver won the doubles for the fourth time in five tries, beating Helena Sukova and Claudia Kohde-Kilsch, 6-1, 6-1.