Venus Williams reaches semis in Brazil

Feb. 28, 2013 at 8:55 PM

FLORIANOPOLIS, Brazil, Feb. 28 (UPI) -- No. 1 seed Venus Williams coasted into the semifinals of the Brazil Tennis Cup Thursday, moving within two wins of recording her 45th WTA title.

Williams defeated fifth-seeded Magdalena Rybarikova 6-4, 6-0 to continue a comeback from illness and injury that had threatened her career.

She began 2012 ranked 134th in the world, but she has climbed back to No. 20 thanks in part to a victory late last season in Luxembourg.

Olga Puchkova posted a 6-1, 6-1 victory over Jana Cepelova to set up a semifinal matchup with Williams. It will be their first career meeting.

The other semifinal will send Kristina Mladenovic, the No. 7 seed, against Monica Niculescu.

Mladenovic defeated Melinda Czink 6-4, 6-3 and Niculescu was a 6-3, 6-2 winner over Timea Babos.

Related UPI Stories
Latest Headlines
Trending Stories
Electronics certification company makes hoverboard burst into flames
Eli Manning explains pout after Denver Broncos' Super Bowl score
Duke's Grayson Allen trips Louisville player
Nicola Griffin to appear in Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue at 56
Larry Sanders considering NBA comeback