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Team WTAworld, Administrator, aka Nibbler
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TAMPA, Fla. (AP) -- Jennifer Capriati made her tennis debut in her adopted hometown, but Russian Anna Kournikova spoiled the occasion with a 6-4, 7-5 upset victory in their exhibition match Friday night at the Ice Palace.

Capriati is ranked second in the world behind Lindsay Davenport after a season that included Grand Slam championships in the Australian and French opens.

Capriati, who began the year at No. 14, also won the Family Circle Cup title and reached the finals at Wimbledon and the U.S. Open.

Kournikova, who has yet to win a singles title on the WTA Tour, fell from eighth in the rankings to No. 71 after being sidelined most of the year with a stress fracture in her left foot.

Capriati said her opponent deserves more credit for her court prowess.

``She's a very sound player, and she gives a lot of the top players a lot of trouble,'' Capriati said. ``I think she's probably underestimated in her tennis.''

Kournikova opened the first set with four victories, including two breaks of serve. She dropped the next three games before recovering to win 6-4.

The second set was on serve until Kournikova rallied to win the last three games and close out the match.

``I've beaten her before, but obviously she's playing much better now,'' Kournikova said. ``I'm just real excited that I played well, that I used a lot of things that I've been working on.''
 

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This is Great news! <img src="graemlins/bounce.gif" border="0" alt="[Bounce]" /> <br />I just hope that Anna can do well in 2002 and get back into top20 status, heading towards the top 10 again - but it'll be hard, as theres alot of quality players ahead of her.

<br />C'mon Anna! <img src="biggrin.gif" border="0">
 

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Anna has everything one need to be in the top ten, and I am sure she will break through in 2002 and win that first tourney. That mental stop is something she has to face finally.

Jennifer knows what to do, last winter break she spent to her advantage. I am sure she knows what needs to be done this December. And most important - she still has som much to improve. If she can accomplish improvement to at least 60 - 70 % in 2002, she will hold #1, and put more great victories in her pocket!
 

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Yay!!! Anna!!!!

Win your first title next year!!!! <img src="graemlins/bounce.gif" border="0" alt="[Bounce]" /> <img src="graemlins/angel.gif" border="0" alt="[Angel]" />
 
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