Puchkova beats Venus Williams, faces Niculescu in Brasil Tennis Cup final

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Top seed Venus Williams has an easy straight sets win in her first round match at the Brasil Tennis Cup tournament being played this week in Florianopolis, followed by a tight three setter against up and coming Garbine Muguruza of Spain and another straight sets win in the quarters to make it through to the semis, where she met 109th ranked Olga Puchkova of Russia. In yet another very tough and highly exciting match, the Russian came out on top, taking out Williams in three sets, 4-6 6-4 7-5, in a match that lasted more than two and a half hours in scorching conditions.

Puchkova will meet Monica Niculescu of Romania in the final. The wily and very unconventional Romanian had a much easier day at the office when she took on the tournament’s 7th seed, Kristina Mladenovic, who is ranked at 58. In a match which lasted three minutes over the hour, Niculescu raced through the first set to love and lost just two games in the second set to earn her place in the final. Both these unseeded players have played in two finals in their careers to date, but neither of them have a title to their name, so whoever wins will lift the winner’s trophy for the first time.

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