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GrandSlammed
Mar 4th, 2002, 02:36 AM
They Could Not Stop Her!
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Williams beats Capriati in State Farm final


By MEL REISNER
AP Sports Writer
March 3, 2002


SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) -- Serena Williams figures she owes her older sister a bunch of favors.

She paid off a big one Sunday, beating Jennifer Capriati 6-2, 4-6, 6-4 in the final of the State Farm Women's Tennis Classic.

The loss by Capriati means Venus Williams will keep the No. 1 world ranking for at least a second week.

``I owe her a ton,'' said Serena, who will improve from No. 9 to No. 6 when the WTA announces its rankings Monday.

Serena Williams spoke about the guilt she feels because Capriati beat her on the way to the Roland Garros title last year.

``I think at the French Open if I'd been more serious, if I'd got in better shape, that maybe Venus would be in better position right now, because I had a couple of chances to get Jennifer,'' Serena said. ``And she (Venus) does a lot for me. When I'm at home alone I never eat. She gets there, she always cooks for me.''

Serena Williams won in her first appearance in Scottsdale and first competition since she sprained her right ankle in a semifinal in Sydney in early January.

Capriati, displaced by Venus Williams a week ago, came in as the top-seeded player in the $583,000 Scottsdale event and No. 2 in the world.

But she wasn't able to regain the edge she once enjoyed against Serena, beating her four straight times -- the last two in Grand Slam quarterfinals -- after Williams won their first meeting in Berlin in 1999.

Williams ended the streak by winning a three-set final on a hard-court surface in Toronto last August, and overpowered Capriati in the harsh sunlight of the low desert in this meeting.

``I'm not disappointed because I didn't get to No. 1,'' said Capriati, who held the top ranking for nine weeks. ``There's a lot of tournaments coming up and big matches coming up. I'm more disappointed that I didn't win this match, because I think I had my chances.''

Williams, who finished 1999 ranked a career-best fourth after winning the U.S. Open and four other singles titles, made 68 unforced errors to Capriati's 43. But she also served 11 aces, ending the match with her second of the 10th game.

``I would have been able to do it a bit sooner if I could have got my serve in a little more, but a win's a win,'' Williams said. ``I just need to take this home and watch some film, see what I can do better.''

Before the final serve, Williams raced to the net for a smash off a low lob by Capriati, who could not clear the net with her return.

It was a flashback to the power game that Williams displayed in the first set, when she broke Capriati in the first, third and fifth games and held service to go ahead 5-0.

Capriati broke back in the sixth game and held service, but Williams won every point in the eighth game.

Capriati was unbeaten in 11 matches since qualifier Alexandra Stevenson upset her in the second round at Sydney, her first 2002 tournament, and won her second straight Australian Open title last month after becoming the first Grand Slam champion to fight off five match points in the final, a three-set win over Martina Hingis.

She showed the same pluck Sunday in the second set, countering Williams' strength with accurate groundstrokes and lobs.

She broke Williams in the second and fourth games to lead 3-1 and, after failing to hold service in the ninth game, broke Williams in the 10th.

In the final set, Capriati double-faulted three times in the pivotal third game, including on break point to send Williams to a 2-1 lead.

Capriati got the service break she was looking for in the eighth game to tie it 4-4, but Williams broke back in the next.

``I was able to break her serve, but I couldn't hold my serve,'' Capriati said. ``I didn't have a high first-serve percentage (67 percent), and I didn't come in with big serves. Really, that was the difference: I broke and I got broke right back.''

Venus Williams, who has won three titles this year, was upset by Sandrine Testud last week in the semifinals of the Dubai Women's Open after she appeared to hurt her left leg. She skipped the tournament to rest at home in Florida.

GrandSlammed
Mar 4th, 2002, 02:41 AM
Only The Strong Survive!
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GrandSlammed
Mar 4th, 2002, 02:47 AM
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GrandSlammed
Mar 4th, 2002, 02:49 AM
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GrandSlammed
Mar 4th, 2002, 02:53 AM
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Jovon
Mar 4th, 2002, 07:27 AM
Great pics, GrandSlammed!:)

Williams Rulez
Mar 4th, 2002, 08:46 AM
Serena looks amazing in these pictures! :bounce: :D

Love those golden shoes :) ;)

Ntosake
Mar 4th, 2002, 02:30 PM
Thanks! for the grand pictures, GrandSlammed!:)

GogoGirl
Mar 4th, 2002, 03:18 PM
Marvelous shots - GrandSlammed.






Tennis-Serena's Win Denies Capriati World No. 1 Spot

March 04, 2002 12:12 AM ET


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Reuters Photo
SCOTTSDALE, Arizona (Reuters) - Third seed Serena Williams lifted her first title of the year after outplaying top seed Jennifer Capriati 6-2 4-6 6-4 in the final of the $585,000 Scottsdale Classic on Sunday.

It completed a successful return for Williams after she was sidelined for six weeks with an ankle injury, and also kept the world No. 1 ranking in the hands of elder sister Venus for a second straight week.

Capriati, displaced by Venus last Monday after seven straight weeks at No. 1, would have regained top spot in the rankings if she had won the final.

When asked if Venus now owed her, Serena replied: "I still owe her a lot of stuff. It's just one down, 20 to go.

"I'm really happy, but a win is a win," said Williams, who moved up three places in the rankings to No. 6. "I give myself a 5.5 grade (out of 10) today because I was able to focus at the end.

'But I shouldn't be too excited because this is just one tournament," added Williams, who had 37 winners -- 21 more than Capriati -- but also 68 unforced errors, 25 more than her opponent.

Capriati, beaten for only the second time in 12 matches in 2002, said: "I'm not disappointed because I'm not going to get No. 1.

"I'm more disappointed of actually just losing the match, because I had my chances and could have won.

"I can't focus on the ranking. I just have to focus on the game, match by match, then it will come. Otherwise, I'm going to feel like I'm always chasing it.

EXTRA STRESS

"It's kinda like extra stress worrying about whether I will be No. 1. It's something I'd rather not worry about."

After the two Americans battled through two sets, the intensity and shot-making picked up in the third set of a thrilling match that lasted one hour and 56 minutes.

"In the end that was the difference," said Williams, who boomed seven of her 11 aces in the final set.

"I didn't serve great and my first percentage was low, but I was able to hit some big serves when I needed them.'

Capriati, who was broken seven times in the match, including twice in the third set, agreed. "It came down to serving,' she said.

"I was able to break her serve but I couldn't hold on my own. I didn't come in with big serves. There was just not enough heat on my serve. I wasn't getting the free points.

"It was putting more pressure on me to break and taking the pressure off her. If I could have held on, it could have been different."

Williams, sporting gold shoes, an orange dress and long, golden braids, made the early service break and built a 2-1 lead when Capriati double-faulted away the last two points of the third game.

Capriati, however, fought back to 4-4 with a break in the eighth game, converting her fourth break point with a cross-court forehand winner.

Williams immediately broke back when she crushed a forehand service return winner off a 70mph first serve.

Serving for the match at 5-4, Williams rifled a 112 mph serve to complete victory.

'I decided I wasn't going to lose," she said after picking up the $93,000 first prize and the 12th title of her career.

Capriati collected a check for $49,500.

GogoGirl
Mar 4th, 2002, 03:22 PM
Serena smashing at State Farm

Michael Chow/The Arizona Republic

"I'm so excited," Serena Williams said after defeating Jennifer Capriati 6-2, 4-6, 6-4 Sunday at the State Farm Classic in Scottsdale for her first title of the season.

Aces up to 112 mph squelch Capriati

Tricia Rongstad
The Arizona Republic
Mar. 4, 2002

Serena Williams decided she wasn't going to lose on Sunday in the final of the State Farm Classic.


Throughout the week in Scottsdale the No. 3 seed graded her performances. Her first match, a 6-3, 6-3 dismissal of qualifier Alina Jidkova, scored only a 2 out of 10. Williams gave herself a 3 after clubbing Nicole Pratt 6-2, 7-5, and her 6-1, 3-6, 6-4 upset of No. 2 seed Martina Hingis in the semifinals rated a 4.

After Williams beat top seed Jennifer Capriati 6-2, 4-6, 6-4 for the $93,000 winner's share of the $585,000 tournament, the self-described "insatiable" perfectionist felt she had earned a 5˝.

"A win is a win," said Williams, who won her first title of the season in her first appearance in Scottsdale. "I just need to take this home, watch some film and see what I can do better."

Against Australian Open champion Capriati, who hadn't lost a set in three State Farm matches, Williams dictated points, breaking Capriati's serve to open the match and jumping to a 5-0 lead.

"I got another slow start today, but I really got my game going," Capriati said. "I don't think it could have been closer in the third set. It was just a matter of points here and there.

"Really it came down to serving."

Capriati had four double faults and one ace. Williams committed two double faults and served 11 aces, including two while serving for the match.

Williams' win protected sister Venus Williams' No. 1 spot. Capriati will stay at No. 2 when the Sanex WTA Tour releases its rankings today. Serena will jump from No. 9 to No. 6.

After splitting the first two sets, the players produced their best tennis in the third, with both going for the lines and using all their shots in front of a record crowd of 5,314 at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess.

Capriati double-faulted twice in the third game to give Williams a break, but she evened the set at 4 with a break in the nine-minute eighth game.

An hour and 36 minutes into the nearly two-hour match, Williams served two aces on her way to a 40-15 lead. Capriati smashed a forehand winner for 40-30, and Williams miss-hit an overhead for deuce.

A long Williams backhand gave Capriati her first break chance, but Williams erased it with a 101 mph ace. After two more chances and several long rallies - including one point with Williams at the net and Capriati running down volleys before taking one out of the air for a backhand, cross-court winner - Capriati earned the break when Williams hit a forehand wide.

"I was able to break her serve, but I couldn't hold on my serve," Capriati said. "I didn't come in with big serves. I broke, and I got broken right back."

Capriati went down 15-40 in the next game and, after battling back to deuce, lost when Williams nailed a forehand return down the line and placed a backhand winner down the line to allow herself to serve for the match.

"I was able to focus in the end," Williams said.

She missed a forehand volley long but came back to 15-15 with a 106 mph ace. Capriati won the next point, powering an inside-out forehand deep, but it was the last point she won.

Williams' next serve was clocked at 108. Capriati blocked it back, but Williams smashed an overhead Capriati could not quite reach.

Williams scorched a 112 mph ace on her first match point.

"I've got to call my friends and tell them I'm going to be on ESPN," she said after her 12th tour singles championship. "I'm so excited."

Becool
Mar 4th, 2002, 04:48 PM
:D Marvelous Pics!! :bounce: :bounce:!!!!!!

Yeah, love those shoes also :D!!!

GOOO SERENA! :hearts: :hearts:

victory1
Mar 4th, 2002, 08:27 PM
Nice pictures, love the article!