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post #31 of 31 (permalink) Old Aug 27th, 2003, 11:20 AM
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Capriati Struggles to Edge Out Bovina
Wed August 20, 2003 11:31 PM ET

By Barry Wood
NEW HAVEN, Connecticut (Reuters) -

Jennifer Capriati fought off a gallant challenge from Russia's Elena Bovina to reach the quarter-finals of the Pilot Pen Classic on Wednesday.

While the American's 4-6, 7-5, 6-4, victory took two hours 11-minutes to complete, Daniela Hantuchova spent a lot less time on court as her dismal year continued when she was bounced out by Zimbabwean qualifier Cara Black.

Capriati's match featured tennis of the highest quality as Bovina came out firing on all cylinders and put the third seed under pressure with her fierce groundstokes and willingness to come to the net at every opportunity.

Her adventurous approach had Capriati struggling and the American was forced to dig deep to stay in contention.

Although Capriati recovered an early break when the Russian served at 5-3, Bovina broke for a second time to take the opening set.

In the second set, Capriati forced a backhand error to lead 5-4 and although she failed to serve out, a second break to love allowed her to serve again to level the match.

That seemed to deflate her disappointed opponent and Bovina appeared tired in the final set, making a succession of errors as Capriati continued to pound her groundstrokes.

Despite being seven years older than her 20-year old opponent, the American looked the fitter of the two in the final stages and set up match point with a magnificent pass down the line.

"I think I made up for a lot of the match play I've missed in the last two weeks (because of injury)," Capriati said.

"I'm glad that I did win. If I'd have lost it would have been disappointing going into the U.S. Open."

Sabine Lisicki, Maria Sharapova, Elena Dementieva,

Victoria Azarenka, Dinara Safina, Maria Kirilenko

Nadia Petrova, Samantha Stosur, Ana Ivanovic.

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