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Venus Williams eyes 44th career title in Luxembourg

LUXEMBOURG -- American veteran Venus Williams targets a 44th career title on Sunday when she faces unheralded Romanian Monica Niculescu in the Luxembourg Open final.

Williams reached the 71st final of her career with a 5-7, 6-4, 6-4 win over Germany's Andrea Petkovic in her semifinal on Saturday.

“She's such a tough opponent — I just had to keep fighting,” Williams said.

“She was playing so well and attacking all the time, and the only thing you can do in a match like that is just try to win more points than your opponent — that's all I tried to do, just keep coming back, coming back, and winning more points.”

While Niculescu has an 0-1 career record in WTA finals, Williams is at 43-27 — sister Serena is the only active player with more WTA titles with 45.

“It's great to be in the final, but I'm more focused on just winning the match, so I can win the tournament,” Venus Williams said. “I don't want to stop.”

Williams and Niculescu will be playing each other for the first time.

Niculescu, who was runner-up in 2011, made the final by seeing off Daniela Hantuchova of Slovakia 6-1, 6-3.

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