Niculescu bests Puchkova for Brazil title

March 2, 2013 at 9:07 PM

FLORIANOPOLIS, Brazil, March 2 (UPI) -- Romania's Monica Niculescu outlasted Russian Olga Puchkova in the final of the WTA Brazil Tennis Cup Saturday, notching her first career championship.

Niculescu overcame Puchkova 6-2, 4-6, 6-4 in just under 2 hours, improving to 1-2 lifetime in finals.

The 75th-ranked Romanian had lost in the finals at Luxembourg in each of the last two years.

Puchkova had advanced to the title match after surprising top-seeded Venus Williams in Friday's semifinals.

She fell to 0-3 career in championship matches.

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