Birmingham, West Midlands, UK, 15 June 2014 | AAP

Casey Dellacqua has missed out on a maiden WTA final appearance after suffering a straight-sets loss to Czech Barbora Zahlavova Strycova in Birmingham.

The Australian squandered a host of chances to take the first set before fading in a 7-6(5) 6-1 loss in Saturday’s semifinal at the WTA grasscourt event.

Dellacqua served for the first set at 5-4 up and led 5-1 in the tiebreak before losing six straight points.

Despite the defeat, Dellacqua is set to secure a new career-high ranking on the back of her run to the last four; she is expected to climb to 36th, surpassing her previous best ranking of world No.39, which she held back in 2008.

The 29-year-old was ranked outside the world’s top 200 only last September.

She ousted higher-ranked compatriot Sam Stosur in the third round in Birmingham and has emerged as arguably Australia’s best female prospect at Wimbledon this year.

Unseeded Czech Zahlavova Strycova will face top seed Ana Ivanovic in Sunday’s final after the Serb beat China’s Zhang Shuai 6-2 6-2 in the other semifinal.

Ivanovic, a Grand Slam winner and seven times a season-end top 20 player, reached the first grasscourt final of her career.

“It would be wonderful to win a grasscourt title now,” Ivanovic said.

“It would be a dream come true. But it’s also good for Wimbledon, having some good wins.”