Florianopolis (Brazil): Unseeded Russian Olga Puchkova upset former world No.1 Venus Williams of the US 4-6, 6-4, 7-5 to reach the final of the Brazil Tennis Cup.
The world No.109 will meet Monica Niculescu in the final after the 75th-ranked Romanian swept aside seventh-seed Kristina Mladenovic of France 6-0, 6-2.
Playing in her first tournament since losing to Maria Sharapova in the third round of the Australian Open in January, Williams started strongly against Puchkova before succumbing to a series of unforced errors and double faults.
"I did all I could, I`m sorry," Williams told the crowd in a post-match interview. "But I can honestly say that I had a lot of fun in Brazil."
The hardcourt event in the southern Brazilian city of Florianopolis offers $250,000 in total prize money.