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· Team WTAworld, Administrator, aka Nibbler
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HONG KONG (AP) -- Jennifer Capriati defeated Amanda Coetzer 6-2, 6-3 Friday, advancing to the final of the Hong Kong Ladies Tennis Challenge exhibition tournament

The 25-year-old Floridian, who defends her Australian Open title later this month, dispatched the 30-year-old South African in exactly 1 hour at Victoria Park.

``It's always tough against Amanda,'' Capriati said. ``She hits a lot of balls, and made me run a lot. But I played well and needed a game like this to prepare for the final. Everything is falling into place for the Australian Open.''

``I'm improving all the time and I am confident for tomorrow's final. Why wouldn't I be confident? I am playing well, and there's no reason why I shouldn't be confident,'' said Capriati, who also won last year's French Open title.

Capriati, who won in Hong Kong two years ago, plays Elena Dementieva in the final Saturday. Dementieva defeated Mary Pierce 6-1 in the first set Friday, and Pierce retired because of a leg injury. Pierce, sidelined by injuries for much of last year, played the first set with her left thigh wrapped.

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