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By ROY KAMMERER<br />Associated Press Writer

MUNICH, Germany (AP) -- Intent on keeping her No. 1 ranking, Jennifer Capriati regrouped after a rough first set Tuesday and beat Bulgaria's Magdalena Maleeva at the Sanex Championships.

Capriati wasted two match points before winning 2-6, 6-3, 6-3 and taking an important step in holding off Lindsay Davenport for the top spot in women's tennis.

``I think it was a good match for me to have, to have it a little closer and to be out there a longer time,'' Capriati said.

Sandrine Testud upset fifth-seeded Amelie Mauresmo 5-7, 7-5, 6-1 in an all-French match. Seventh-seeded Serena Williams routed Silvia Farina-Elia of Italy 6-0, 6-2.


Nathalie Tauziat played her final singles match, losing to Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario of Spain 6-3, 6-4. The 34-year-old Frenchwoman will play only doubles next season.


The $3 million tournament is the WTA's final major event of the year. It features the top 16 players, not counting those who are injured.

If Capriati had lost, Davenport could have passed her for the top ranking by reaching the final. Davenport has won a title in three straight weeks, drawing within a few computer points of Capriati.

Now Davenport, who faces South Africa's Amanda Coetzer on Wednesday, will have to win the tournament if Capriati wins her second match and reaches the semifinals.

Capriati, winner of the Australian Open and French Open, overtook Martina Hingis for the No. 1 ranking on Oct. 15.

``It would mean everything,'' she said. ``It has sunk in. I had a week off so I really was able to enjoy it and not worry about anyone taking it away from me.''

The Capriati-Maleeva match opened the tournament at Olympiahalle. Since 1978, the tour's world championships had been played in New York.

Capriati needed to fight off two break points when she trailed the 17th-ranked Maleeva 2-1 in the final set. She then whipped a forehand down the line for a 3-2 lead to take control.

Maleeva, who has come back from career-threatening shoulder and arm injuries, had Capriati scrambling early on.

``I think, after the first set, I turned it up,'' Capriati said. ``Even in the third set I was able to keep concentrated and focused out there.''

Mauresmo became the first seeded player to lose. The 1999 Australian Open finalist dropped out of her last two events because of fatigue and injuries.

``You have to be physically fit in order to play your game on this surface,'' Mauresmo said of the indoor courts. ``But I was exhausted, I was down and out.''

Hingis and Venus Williams are not competing because of injuries and Monica Seles will not play in Germany since she was stabbed in Hamburg in 1993.

The WTA set up a panel to investigate the wrist injury that kept Williams from competing. The panel of two doctors and a lawyer will choose the doctor that will examine Williams, the WTA said.

The organization said last week Williams faced a loss of $140,000 in bonus money if it was proved the injury was not legitimate.
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