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Team WTAworld, Administrator, aka Nibbler
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ZURICH, Switzerland (AP) -- Jennifer Capriati began her reign as the world's No. 1 player Monday with a straight-sets loss in doubles at the $1.2 million Swisscom Challenge.

``The doubles don't count. I've lost many doubles matches,'' Capriati said laughing after she and Megan Shaughnessy fell 7-5, 7-6 (4) to Lindsay Davenport and Lisa Raymond in the opening round.

``But I can still finally breath a sigh of relief,'' she added. ``It's official today. I can't describe the happiness and satisfaction I feel. It's something now no one can take away.''

In singles, Chanda Rubin defeated Spain's Angeles Montolio 6-1, 6-3, and Austria's Barbara Schett downed Spain's Magui Serna 6-1, 6-2. Russia's Nadia Petrova routed Swiss favorite Patty Schnyder 6-2, 6-0.

Capriati supplanted Martina Hingis as the world's top-ranked player earlier in the day. Hingis lost her 73-week hold on the top spot after tearing ligaments in her right ankle Saturday in a semifinal against Davenport at the Porsche Grand Prix.

Capriati's ascent completed a long comeback from personal and legal problems.

``It's been a long road,'' she said. ``It's something a lot of people thought I could never do. Something I wasn't sure of myself.''

The youngest Grand Slam semifinalist ever at the 1990 French Open at 14, the youngest player to win a match at Wimbledon, and the youngest player to crack the Top 10, Capriati's promise soon soured.

Burnt out and struggling to cope with the pressures of success, Capriati dropped out of the tour in 1993. She fell out of the rankings in 1994.

After two years, Capriati clawed her way back into the rankings in 1996, finishing the year at No. 24. However, she dropped to 267 in 1998.

But she persisted and won her first tournament in six years in Strasbourg, France, in May 1999.

At the 2000 Australian Open, she reached her first Grand Slam final in nine years and moved back into the Top 20.

At the Australia Open this year, Capriati became the lowest-seeded woman to win a Grand Slam and she returned to the Top 10 for the first time in seven years. She went on to win the French Open and reached the semifinals at Wimbledon and the U.S. Open.

``This has definitely been unique for me,'' she said. ``It's been a unique story for everyone. It hasn't turned out as expected.

``I wouldn't go back and change anything. Who knows if I would have gotten here if everything had gone the way it was supposed to? I'm happy where I'm at now. I wouldn't want to change anything at this point.''
 
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