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Clijsters and Capriati reach Rome quarterfinals

By ANDREW DAMPF, Associated Press Writer
May 15, 2003

AP - May 15, 12:54 pm EDT
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ROME (AP) -- Kim Clijsters and Jennifer Capriati won in straight sets Thursday to reach the quarterfinals of the Italian Open.

The second-seeded Clijsters defeated Cara Black of Zimbabwe 6-0, 6-3, and the fifth-seeded Capriati beat Nadia Petrova 7-5, 6-3 in the $1.3 million tuneup for the French Open.

Clijsters dominated an opponent for the second straight match, eliminating Black in 55 minutes. On Wednesday, she beat Spain's Virginia Ruano Pascual 6-1, 6-0 in 39 minutes.

Clijsters has reached the semifinals in her first seven tournaments of the year. On Sunday, she squandered three match points before losing to fellow Belgian Justine Henin-Hardenne in the final of the German Open.

Capriati, who lost to Clijsters in the semifinals in Berlin, had a tougher time against Petrova.

Petrova's powerful first serve forced Capriati to be patient in choosing her moments of attack. After a close first set, Capriati closed out the match with a break of serve when Petrova missed on a forehand.

In other matches, four-time champion Conchita Martinez defeated seventh-seeded Daniela Hantuchova 6-3, 6-3; Amelie Mauresmo beat Israel's Anna Pistolesi 6-0, 6-3; eighth-seeded Anastasia Myskina defeated Svetlana Kuznetsova 6-4, 7-5; and 13th-seeded Ai Sugiyama beat Patty Schnyder 6-2, 6-1.

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Martinez won nine straight points in the second set and rallied from an 0-2 deficit to advance. She will play the winner of the match between defending champion Serena Williams and Nathalie Dechy in the quarterfinals.

Martinez, who won four straight titles at Foro Italico between 1993 and 1996, improved her overall record in Rome to 48-7.

Mauresmo beat Pistolesi for the third time in three weeks. She improved to 4-1 overall against Pistolesi, known as Anna Smashnova before marrying former Italian player Claudio Pistolesi in December.
 
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