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Wednesday, July 30

Capriati out of Acura Classic with injury

Associated Press

CARLSBAD, Calif. -- Jennifer Capriati retired with a strained chest muscle during her second-round match against Elena Likhovtseva at the Acura Classic on Wednesday.

Capriati trailed 4-1 when she walked over to the chair umpire during the changeover and said she couldn't continue.

"I tried,'' Capriati said. "The last two days I didn't practice at all. It still hurt, but you never know what happens when you get out there."

Capriati, ranked No. 7, is the third player to retire from the tournament since it began. Top-ranked Serena Williams pulled out of the event Monday with a thigh muscle strain before she played a match. Marie-Gaianeh Mikaelian retired on Tuesday with a wrist strain while trailing Nadia Petrova 6-1, 3-0.

Venus Williams, the three-time defending champion, did not enter the tournament because of a strained stomach, That allowed her sister, Serena, to enter.

Injuries forced three other players to withdraw from the tournament before it started. The event originally featured seven of the top 10 players.

Seventh-seeded Daniela Hantuchova survived a match point with an ace in the third-set tiebreaker Wednesday, rallying for a 3-6, 7-5, 7-6 (6) second-round victory over Katarina Srebotnik.

"A match like this is worth another 10 matches,'' Hantuchova said. "It makes me believe I can do it.''

Hantuchova was trailing 5-6 in the third-set tiebreaker when she fired the ace that save the match.

In another second-round match, unseeded Mary Pierce continued her impressive play with a 6-1, 6-3 win over No. 11 Conchita Martinez in a battle of Grand Slam champions.

Pierce, ranked 73rd in the world, has dropped just eight games in two matches.

It was obvious from the outset that Capriati was hampered by the injury. She lacked control as she sprayed shots all over court and won only eight points.

"It mostly hurts on contact," said Capriati, who cited her forehand and serve as the most bothersome shots to hit.

She was hurt last week during the Bank of the West Classic title match, which Capriati lost to Kim Clisters 4-6, 6-4, 6-2.

Capriati said the injury probably occurred because she's been overcompensating for a tight right shoulder since Wimbledon.

She extended her winless streak to 29 tournaments, dating back to her win at the 2002 Australian Open.

In other second-round matches, Lisa Raymond upset eighth-seeded Ai Sugiyama 6-0, 2-6, 6-4; Lina Krasnoroutskaya beat No. 15 Silvia Farina Elia 6-2, 6-2; 10th-seeded Magdalena Maleeva was a 6-1, 6-3 winner over Alicia Molik; No. 16 Elena Bovina defeated Nicole Pratt 4-6, 6-3, 6-2, and Svetlana Kuznetsova took Meilen Tu 6-3, 4-6, 7-6 (3).
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