Capriati hits champions form against Serena

Capriati hits champions form against Serena
By Reuters

01/06/2004 at 16:05Updated

Jennifer Capriati beat Serena Williams for the second time in a month on Tuesday to reach the semi-finals of the French Open with a 6-3 2-6 6-3 win. The 28-year-old, champion here in 2001, clinched victory in a tense and scrappy match played in light driz

The last time Jennifer Capriati beat Serena Williams in the French Open quarter-finals she went on to win the title.

The year was 2001 and she came to Paris as Australian Open champion, world number one and a player having staged one of the most remarkable comebacks in the sport's history.

"I don't want to say anything. But history repeats itself sometimes," she said after her 6-3 2-6 6-3 victory over the player who had gradually become her bete noire.

"The tournament is not over. I have two more matches to play," she said.

The last American left in the tournament, Capriati could have expected to meet Serena's sister Venus in the last four but the former Wimbledon champion was beaten by Russia's Anastasia Myskina.

Capriati, who reached her first semi-final at Roland Garros 14 years ago, said she was not really surprised.

"These days, it's not that shocking to see the Williams lose at that stage and Myskina is a good player, very consistent," she said.


Capriati said that the hard work she had done in recent months with her new fitness trainer had been the key as she was more physically consistent and tenacious than her opponent.

"I knew that the longer the points were, they would be at my advantage," she said, adding that Serena had not been at her best.

"I didn't feel that kind of presence the whole match. I feel we were both pretty stuck," she said.

"I have to give myself credit for not giving up. When you do what we do, you cannot expect only wins. You've got to keep taking the blows and keep coming back," said Capriati, who retired from tennis for two years.

"I tried not to listen to the voices I sometimes have in my head, you know, the negative ones," she said.

And she warned that the best Capriati could be back.

"It's really up there the kind of tennis I'm playing right now," she said.