Maria Sharapova booked her place in her first French Open final and guaranteed she will overtake Victoria Azarenka as world number one with a hugely impressive 6-3 6-3 victory over Petra Kvitova.
It was a rematch of the Wimbledon final, which Kvitova won, but Sharapova was much the better player today and ensured it was third time lucky after two semi-final defeats at Roland Garros.
The 25-year-old Russian, who last topped the rankings before her shoulder troubles in 2008, will meet surprise finalist Sara Errani on Saturday after the Italian defeated US Open champion Sam Stosur 7-5 1-6 6-3 earlier.
Sharapova had won both meetings with Kvitova since Wimbledon, including a semi-final at the Australian Open, and she looked like she meant business from the start.
Her serve has been her one major weakness since her shoulder problems, and the windy conditions provided a real test, but she was rock solid.
The second seed broke for the first time in the fifth game and then again to win the set, and in the second set she quickly moved 3-1 ahead.
Kvitova fought back to level with some big groundstrokes but Sharapova simply broke again and she clinched victory with an ace - mirroring her opponent's finish at Wimbledon.
The Russian will now have the chance to win the only grand slam title to have so far eluded her and her first since the Australian Open in 2008.
Sharapova said: "It was tough to play a great match because of the conditions. I think most importantly it was about playing a solid match. I think patience was very important today.
"I was also facing a tough opponent who's given me a lot of trouble in the past. So I was really happy that I was able to win in two sets today."
Kvitova, who also lost to Sharapova in the semi-finals of the Australian Open, was able to reflect on a positive tournament despite falling just short again.
The Czech said: "I wasn't playing bad, but she was better on the court. She deserved it and she's number one now. It's good I can be in the semi-final but next I have to be in a different half than Maria."