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Old Feb 19th, 2003, 07:43 PM   #1
c2
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NYT/Reuters article on momo & Jenn Cap

sorry, the article starts with Jenn, but goes on to Momo at the end.



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February 19, 2003
Contrasting Dubai Wins for Capriati, Mauresmo
By REUTERS


Filed at 2:35 p.m. ET

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (Reuters) - A rejuvenated Jennifer Capriati brushed aside Russian Svetlana Kuznetsova, 6-2, 6-1, to win her first match of the year and reach the quarter-finals of the Dubai Open Wednesday.

Defending champion Amelie Mauresmo flirted with elimination when she allowed Hungarian qualifier Petra Mandula to serve for victory at 5-4 in the third set, but the number two seed from France held off the challenge and edged through, 6-2, 2-6, 7-6.

Top seed Justine Henin-Hardenne was also stretched to the limit by German qualifier Anca Barna before prevailing, 1-6, 6-2, 6-4.

Capriati, who in November underwent eye surgery to remove sunspots, made a fruitless trip to Australia last month, the defending Australian Open champion suffering a shock first round defeat.

The American blamed a lack of preparation then, but she managed to take the break she has missed out on at the end of last season and now the hunger is back.

``Maybe it was a blessing in disguise that I lost early in Australia. I went on vacation after that for a week, just to have time and relax and to get my mind clear,'' said the third seed.

MOTIVATION

``Then I came back and had a lot of motivation to work out and try to get back into the shape.''

Capriati was relieved to get a win under her belt, especially in such a comprehensive manner.

``It's really nice to get a win. It feels really good,'' she said. ``I was just happy to get through. It's a good confidence booster. No matter what the score or whether I won or lost, I can feel my strokes are good out there.''

Henin-Hardenne struggled to shake off a determined challenge from German left-hander Barna, who had the benefit of having already played four matches in Dubai.

She was the more consistent player in the first set, and went up a break in the third before Henin-Hardenne rallied and closed out the match by winning the last eight points.

``When I lost the first set I just tried to stay focused and thought what I had to do,'' said Henin-Hardenne.

``That was to be aggressive and not let her play the way she likes to play, which is to run and play a lot of rallies. I had to wake up and I did.''

MAURESMO ESCAPE

Mauresmo, playing only her second tournament in four months and her first outdoor event since the U.S. Open, breathed a huge sigh of relief after battling past Mandula.

``It was tough for me and I don't know how I got out of that,'' she said.

``I played a very good first set, and then she played better and better and I had some trouble with my serve and that affected the rest of my game.''

Three seeds fell Wednesday. Sixth seed Patty Schnyder retired against Lina Krasnoroutskaya with a back strain after losing the first set 6-1, seventh seed Magdalena Maleeva was beaten, 7-6, 7-5, by Iroda Tulyaganova, and eighth seed Eleni Daniilidou slumped, 6-4, 6-7, 6-2, against Conchita Martinez.
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