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tennisIlove09
Apr 18th, 2003, 11:03 PM
Capriati survives challenge
Suarez can't keep up play of first set
By Michael DiRocco
April 18 2003
The Florida Times Union




Even the most avid Jennifer Capriati fans -- and there were a lot of them in the Stadium court seats yesterday morning -- had to give Paola Suarez credit for unleashing a strategically sound attack against the world-ranked No. 6 player.

Suarez just couldn't keep it going long enough.

Capriati took advantage of a eight-deuce challenge in the second game of the second set to stoke her own competitive fires, finding the right combination of power and placement in a 2-6, 6-2, 7-5 win over Suarez in the round-of-16 match in the Bausch & Lomb Championships at at Amelia Island.

Suarez masterfully mixed the pace, height, depth and spin to control play in the first set. And when the Argentinian easily held serve to open the second set, and jumped out to a 15-40 lead in the second game, a Capriati victory seemed anything but likely.

That's when Capriati showed yet again that having to come-from-behind is a challenge she relishes.

"I think that's always been a part of me and a part of my game," Capriati said. "There's not too many times where I've just thrown in the towel and just given in and said, 'That's it.'"

Capriati rallied to even the score at deuce, then saved four Suarez game points, before holding serve to tie the second set, 1-1. Capriati reeled off wins in the last four games of the second set to even the match at one set apiece.

"I think the definite turning point was that game I was able to pull out, that really close game in the second set," Capriati said. "I think that made her a little bit tired, and gave me a little bit of momentum there."

But that momentum stalled in the opening games of the final set, giving Suarez the chance to stake a 3-0 advantage on one service break.

Then, deja vu.

Capriati rallied back from deuce on her serve to scrape together the beginning of a powerful groundstroke attack that would run Suarez from sideline to sideline and create the opening Capriati would need to finish off the set.

" I was playing better so her game plan wasn't as effective," Capriati said. "I was able to adjust and read the game better and have a little more patience and just get back those balls and not make errors like I was at the beginning. I picked up the pace after 3-0 and just started hitting out. and she ran out of steam a little bit, maybe, and so she just couldn't hit those same kinds of shots."

Today, Capriati will play her third match on clay this season when she faces 12th-seeded Lisa Raymond, a three-set winner over fifth-seeded Jelena Dokic yesterday.

1jackson2001
Apr 18th, 2003, 11:40 PM
Good for Capriati :)