Ivanovic earned her spot in the finals with a 6-0, 7-6 (7-3) win Friday over No. 3-seeded Kirsten Flipkens. Williams moved on in a walkover when fifth-seeded Jamie Hampton was unable to play due to a hip injury.
Williams won her 44th WETA title in October 2012, which was her most recent appearance in a championship match. She's 44-27 lifetime in finals.
The 44 wins are second-most among active WTA players and seventh-most all-time. Her sister Serena, who is to play for the Brisbane International title Saturday, has 57 championships.
She holds a lopsided 8-1 edge in career meetings versus Ivanovic, who is seeking her 12th WTA title.
Ivanovic didn't face a break point in dispatching Flipkens. She lost a mere 10 points in nine games serving. Flipkens saved the only two break points of the second set but fell in the tiebreaker.