(Reuters) - American multiple grand slam champion Venus Williams collected the 49th title of her illustrious career by defeating Japan’s Misaki Doi 6-4 6-2 in the final of the inaugural Taiwan Open on Sunday.
The 35-year-old Californian, who was beaten in the first rounds of the Auckland Classic and Australian Open last month, won the $500,000 hard court tournament in Kaohsiung without dropping a set.
“It’s wonderful to have women’s tennis here. It’s been too long, it’s the first time in 22 years,” the top seed and world number 12 said in a courtside interview.
“It’s my first time in Taiwan, so thank you for making me feel so welcome and thank you for making me feel at home,” Williams added after defeating the tournament second seed.
Williams’s 49 career titles, including seven grand slam singles championships, leave her seventh on the all time list as she closes in on Monica Seles (53) and Lindsay Davenport (55).
Martina Navratilova leads the way on 167 titles, while Williams’ younger sister and current world number one Serena, who pulled out of the Dubai Championships this week with flu, has 69.
Writing by Patrick Johnston in Singapore; Editing by John O'Brien