Kerber looks for Key to success in women's Eastbourne final
Germany's Angelique Kerber returns to Denmark's Caroline Wozniacki during their semi-final match at the AEGON International tennis tournament in Eastbourne, southern England, on June 20, 2014 - by Glyn Kirk
Germany's Kerber needed two-and-three-quarter hours while teenager Keys saw off Briton Heather Watson in just 61 minutes to move into the first final of her career.
Kerber beat the 19-year-old at the 2013 Australian Open and in a Sydney semi-final last January.
The German, a 2012 Wimbledon semi-finalist who played the title match here two years ago, beat 2009 champion Wozniacki on a fifth match point in a see-saw battle on the lawns of Devonshire Park.
"It was a very tough match against Caroline, I'm really happy about the way I played," said Kerber "Madison is a dangerous opponent, for sure. She's played some very tough and good matches.
"She's a young, talented player so I need to be ready. She has a great serve and she's playing aggressive. I will try to enjoy the final and I hope we will play good tennis."
Kerber broke Wozniacki, a former world number one, on 12 of 17 chances, going up a double break in the final set.
The Dane got one of the breaks back as Kerber was unable to serve out the victory leading 5-2 in the third.
But the ninth-ranked German ended with a concluding break of her opponent a game later, sending over a cross-court winner to wrap up victory.
Kerber will improve her WTA ranking to seventh after reaching her third final of 2014, finishing runner-up in Sydney and Doha in the first two months of the year.
Wozniacki heads into Wimbledon starting on Monday with confidence after a productive week.
"I had expected it to be a tough match out there, it was a very long one. I actually thought I played very well.
"I probably should have closed it in two sets, being up a break and then being up (2-0) in the tiebreaker. But, it happens. In general, I'm very pleased about the way my game is at the moment. I'm looking forward to Wimbledon now."
Keys was dominant throughout against Watson, the first local to get this far at Eastbourne in more than three decades, winning 6-3, 6-1. Watson had been hoping to become the first British woman to play the final in 38 years, after Virginia Wade last did it in 1976.
Keys made sure she spoiled that scenario, saving all six break points she faced while breaking her opponent's serve four times.
"I'm really excited to be playing my first final," said the teenager. "I like grass a lot, I played really well and returned strong.
"A couple of really good games from me and that was the match. Kerber is a big fighter and I'm looking forward to this final."
The men's semi-final line-up was completed a day late after Spanish third seed Feliciano Lopez, the holder, beat France's Jeremy Chardy 6-3, 6-4 in a quarter-final which was unable to start on Thursday evening due to rain and impending darkness.
Lopez reached the grass final last weekend at Queen's club and has staked his pre-Wimbledon week on hopefully repeating as Eastbourne titleholder.