Brazil Tennis Cup: Monica Niculescu beats Olga Puchkova in final

Last Updated: 03/03/13 11:13am

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Monica Niculescu: Took the final set to win her first WTA title

Monica Niculescu: Took the final set to win her first WTA title

Sky Bet

Monica Niculescu landed her first career singles title after a battling victory in the final of the Brazil Cup.

The Romania got off the mark after beating Olga Puchkova of Russia 6-2, 4-6, 6-4 at Florianopolis on Saturday.

Puchkova had produced some excellent tennis to defeat Venus Williams in the semi-finals but couldn't match those standards against world number 75 Niculescu.

She did fight back to level at 1-1 but Niculescu broke Puchkova's serve to go 5-4 up in the final set and then converted on her service game to close out the match in 1 hour, 59 minutes.

Earlier in the tournament, Niculescu had saved three match points against Spaniard Anibel Medina Garrigues when she was 6-3 down in a second set tie-break in her opening round match.

She greeted her first WTA Tour title with a sense of joy and relief after two previous losses in finals.

"I competed in two finals before and lost to (Victoria) Azarenka and Venus, and today I finally managed to win one - I'm so happy," she said.

"I felt so tired on the court but really, really wanted to win, and right now I can't really explain how happy I feel.

"I'll just relax tonight and go to bed, and tomorrow I'll think about what I've done here."

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