"I knew she was a very tricky player".
Defending champion Julia Goerges is bidding to become just the third back-to-back ASB Classic victor in tournament history, following Patty Fendick (1988-89) and Eleni Daniilidou (2003-04).
Though Williams, 38, is not the player she used to be, beating her is still an incredible accomplishment for Andreescu.
After being broken in the opening game of the second set against Venus, Andreescu reeled off 11 straight games to take control of the match.
"It feels really good, I'm not going to lie", said Andreescu. But I'm honestly really excited just being here.
"It is disappointing, I was one game away from winning the match, so I'll probably be thinking about this for the next couple of days", said Andreescu, who earned entry into the tournament as a qualifier.
The German, who was also runner-up to Sloane Stephens here in 2016, has also become the first ever player to reach the Auckland final three times. "I want to have it in my hands, I want to play my game and that's it". "Maybe I should just do that every point".
For an 18-year-old that entered the tournament ranked 152nd, her run to the tournament final is nothing short of stunning.
"I will do my best in the season to get to the finals here", Sabalenka said.
Reigning champion Goerges stormed into the decider with a 6-1 7-6 (8-6) victory over Viktoria Kuzmova on Saturday.
Bouchard did win a doubles semifinal on Friday, teaming with American Sofia Kenin to beat No. 4 seeds China's Xinyun Han and Croatia's Darija Jurak 6-7 (5), 6-4, 10-8.
Rain meant no matches were completed at the Shenzhen Open, with Veronika Kudermetova a set up against Vera Zvonareva and Sorana Cirstea 2-0 ahead in the first set of her clash with Alison Riske before play was suspended.
She had a solid summer in 2017, qualifying for her first and only Grand Slam to date (Wimbledon) and reaching the quarterfinals of the Citi Open in Washington with an upset of then-No.13 Kristina Mladenovic.