The country's top-ranked female player shook off an early serving funk to come back from two sets down and set up a decider against two-time major victor Kerber, who dismantled plucky Italian qualifier Camila Giorgi 6-2 6-3 on Friday evening.
Kerber, a former No. 1 and the 2016 Australian Open champion, was 4-0 in winning the Hopman Cup and has added four in a row in Sydney en route to the final.
Giorgi, belying her ranking of No.100, defeated U.S. Open champion Sloane Stephens in the first round, then ousted twice Wimbledon and former Sydney champion Petra Kvitova, before conquering her eighth WTA semifinal without losing a set over six matches between qualifying and main draw matches. "I made too many unforced errors".
However, Kerber - who will move back into the top 20 as a result of her return to form - is unlikely to have the home crowd on her side, as she will face Australian Ashleigh Barty in the final.
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Former world number one Angelique Kerber maintained her ideal record in 2018 as she saw off Camila Giorgi in straight sets to reach the Sydney International final.
By contrast, in 2017 scored two Top 30 wins all season: No.25 Suárez Navarro (Monterrey) and No.4 Karolina Pliskova (Tokyo [PPO]).
Medvedev is eyeing off his first career title after toppling veteran Italian Paulo Lorenzi 6-3, 6-3. "I was working hard in the last few weeks", Kerber said.
"It's just the beginning of the year, so it's tough to say".
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"So now, I just am trying to playing like I played years before and enjoying it again". "I'm trying to be aggressive and play like I did the year before last".
She becomes the first Australian to reach the final since 2005, when countrywomen Alicia Molik and Samantha Stosur contested the showpiece.
Barty completed a confident 6-3, 6-2 victory over Czech Barbora Strycova, while Gavrilova advanced after her last-eight opponent Garbine Muguruza withdrew due to a leg injury.
"More than anything, I know what I can do and what I am capable of and how I can play".
Daniil Medvedev fights back to beat Alex De Minaur in Sydney final
De Minaur lost the final of the Sydney tournament to Daniil Medvedev 6-1 4-6 5-7, but he didn't make it easy for the Russian. But De Minaur proved too steady, winning 6-4 6-4 to become the youngest male semi-finalist at the event in almost 30 years.
Meanwhile, Juan Martin del Potro kept his Australian Open preparations on track with a 7-6 (4), 6-3 win over Russia's Karen Khachanov in the Auckland Classic on Thursday, setting up a semifinal meeting with David Ferrer.