Jennifer Capriati looked more like a contender than a player making another comeback when she beat Chanda Rubin at the Sydney International. "It feels like I'm back, that I still have what it takes to beat a player like Chanda," Capriati, 20, said after a 6-3, 4-6, 6-3 victory in an opening-round match.
While Capriati made the most of her first tuneup match for the Australian Open, top-seeded Spanish star Arantxa Sanchez Vicario was far from competitive in a 6-3, 6-3 second-round loss to American Amy Frazier.
Apr 23rd, 2002, 11:01 PM
Capriati Tops Davenport To Reach Final in Sydney
The Washington Post; Washington, D.C.; Jan 10, 1997;
Jennifer Capriati, slowly putting her wayward career back on track, upset Lindsay Davenport 2-6, 6-4, 6-2, today (Friday) to reach the final of the Sydney International.
"It's other people who seem to be hung up on the past," said Capriati, whose last title victory came at Sydney four years ago. "I'm just interested in now.
"It's like I'm starting my career as a different person because I'm older and more mature. I'm just enjoying the moment, and it's great to be in the final and playing well."
Capriati will play the winner of the Martina Hingis-Mary Joe Fernandez match.
Capriati, whose career has been beset by legal troubles and injuries, won on a day in which the men's top seed was eliminated.
Davenport, trying to reach her third straight Sydney final, led by a set and 3-1 before Capriati rallied.
"It's great that she's back and playing well," Davenport said. "Everyone knew how good she is and how talented she can be."
Apr 23rd, 2002, 11:02 PM
Hingis Tops Capriati in Sydney Final
The Washington Post; Washington, D.C.; Jan 11, 1997;
Martina Hingis collected her third career singles title and further boosted her Australian Open prospects by beating Jennifer Capriati, 6-1, 5-7, 6-1, today (Saturday) at the Sydney International.
Hingis, 16, won the women's final in 84 minutes. Earlier, Tim Henman became the first British player since 1902 to win the men's singles title when he beat Spaniard Carlos Moya 6-3, 6-1.
Hingis, the tournament's second seed, overcame a determined second-set comeback by Capriati, 20, who is continuing her second return to the women's tour. Hingis will likely move up to fourth place in the world rankings from the sixth spot she now holds, while Capriati will likely go to 23 from 37.
Hingis seemed to be cruising when she led 6-1, 4-1 before Capriati, committing fewer errors and finding the range on her groundstrokes, fought back.
The American then won five of the next seven games to take the second set. She led 1-0 and 0-40 on Hingis's serve in the final set before the Swiss youngster rallied.
Hingis held off the break points, and then broke Capriati in the third, fifth and seventh games, winning on her fourth match point when Capriati double-faulted.
Capriati had saved one match point at 5-4 in the second set and another two in the last game before presenting her rival with a fourth and handing her the match.
"At 6-1, 4-1 the match just turned around," Hingis said. "She started to play consistently and more controlled and I maybe relaxed at little. I played a little smarter in the third."
Hingis is now looking confidently forward to the Australian Open, the first Grand Slam for 1997, which starts in Melbourne on Monday. "I think I have a pretty good draw. I feel much more confident at the Grand Slams."
Apr 23rd, 2002, 11:04 PM
Capriati Still Travels on the Trail of Tears; Tennis: She is bounced from the Australian Open in the first round just as she was four years ago, losing to Watanabe of Arcadia
The Los Angeles Times Jan 14, 1997;
Jennifer Capriati's comeback at the Australian Open turned into one more sad crash course and a departure in tears reminiscent of her last trip Down Under four years ago.
Amid whipping winds, wild shots and moon balls by Jolene Watanabe of Arcadia, Capriati's return to the Australian Open ended with a 6-2, 3-6, 6-4 loss today in the first round.
Capriati, ranked No. 24 after reaching the final of the Sydney International last week, insisted that this loss won't have the same effect as the one that sent her game and life skidding out of control on her last visit.
Though she lost to a fellow American who was ranked No. 78, a 28-year-old who had never gotten past the second round here in three tries and who had no big shots to threaten her, Capriati said she will learn from this experience.
"I'm not going to let this discourage me at all," said Capriati, 20. "I have enough desire to work to reach my potential, still. I'm going to do everything I can to get that. I think it's more mental with me than just physical. I think one of the most important things is to find a coach right now.
"I'm not going to let this get me down, or let me think I can't play anymore. I will try to think positive still and go for the next one."
Capriati, nervous at the start and tentative most of the match, broke down in tears afterward and again a little later when asked if she was aware of all the hope by her fans that she would succeed after coming back from an arrest, a long layoff and drug and alcohol rehabilitation.
"Yeah," she said, "just being out there, I heard the cries."
Tears welled as she spoke, a forlorn look on her face, and she couldn't go on. Just as she left crying after a quarterfinals loss in 1993, so she departed the same way this time.
Capriati failed to hold service in five consecutive games in the first and second sets, and her serve let her down again in the third set when she was broken twice to fall behind 4-1. Although she saved two match points on Watanabe's serve in the final game, she netted one last backhand to lose.
"It was the perfect opportunity to beat her after her big wins last week," said Watanabe, who lofted endless lobs and topspin shots in the wind and waited for Capriati's inevitable errors. "She may be a little tired physically and mentally. The conditions definitely favored me with the wind."
yah i remember those were the days
really a test of our love to Jennifer
can be upsetting when she loses in early rounds:sad: :sad:
Apr 24th, 2002, 05:49 PM
Oh how I remember those days!
I always hoped Jen would win someday! I knew in my heart that I will never have a favorite player like Jen, and I thought I would not know how it felt to see my favorite win a slam, become number one etc.,
Jen is such a great person! To finally see her succeed (and be happy doing it!) brought tears to my eyes!