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By Adrianna Outlaw | Thursday, April 7, 2016

Yulia Putintseva

Yulia Putintseva grinded out a 7-6 (5), 2-6, 6-4 victory over third-seeded Venus Williams in three hours to reach the Charleston quarterfinals for the first time.

Photo credit: Christopher Levy

Clay is Yulia Putintseva's preferred surface. The world No. 61 continues to transform the Charleston clay into a burial ground for former champions.

Putintseva withstood a biting breeze and a barrage of 50 winners from Venus Williams grinding through a demanding 7-6 (5), 2-6, 6-4 victory to advance to the Charleston quarterfinals for the first time.

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The three-hour marathon was the longest match of the tournament.

The 21-year-old Putintseva had not won a set against Williams in three prior meetings, but this was their first clay-court clash.

A day after Putintseva surprised 2009 Charleston champion Sabine Lisicki, 7-5, 4-6, 6-3, in the second round, she grew stronger as the match progressed against 2004 Charleston champion Venus.

Absorbing the American's power, Putintseva drew 64 errors from Williams—34 more errors than she committed.

The third-seeded Williams powered through the second set without facing a break point to level. Williams contributed to her own demise, serving just 44 percent and clanking seven of her 11 double faults in the decisive set.

Putintseva, who pushed world No. 1 Serena Williams to a tie break set in Indian Wells last month before bowing 6-0 in the second set, played with patience when she needed it and pulled the trigger on her forehand with some timely strikes.

Putintseva converted six of 17 break points, including four of 11 break points in the final set, raise her three-set record to 3-0 on the season. Putintseva will face a former French Open finalist—either fifth-seeded Sara Errani or 10th-seeded Samantha Stosur—for a semifinal spot.

Top-seeded Angelique Kerber was a 6-2, 6-3 victor over qualifier Kristina Kucova. The Australian Open champion will play either Monica Puig or Irina-Camelia Begu for a spot in the semifinals.

Daria Kasatkina conquered American wild card Louisa Chirico, 6-0, 6-4.  


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