- Associated Press - Saturday, February 13, 2016

KAOHSIUNG, Taiwan (AP) - Top-seeded Venus Williams beat Yulia Putintseva of Kazakhstan 7-5, 6-3 on Saturday to advance to the final of the Taiwan Open.

Williams, who advanced to the final without dropping a set, raced into a 4-1 lead in the first set but her opponent won four out of the next five games to level at 5-5.

They stayed even until a double fault and a mishit forehand from third-seeded Putintseva gave Williams a break to close out the opening set.

“What a tough opponent today,” Williams said. “She has so much energy. It was very difficult to win, but I’m very glad to be in the final tomorrow.”

The seven-time major winner, a surprise first-round loser at the Australian Open last month, will face Japan’s Misaki Doi in Sunday’s final.

Second-seeded Doi beat local favorite Hsieh Su-wei 6-0, 6-2.

Sunday’s final will be the first time Williams and Doi play each other.

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