Capriati Loses, Top Rank in Jeopardy

Friday, November 2nd 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

MUNICH, Germany (AP) _ So sick she lost track of the score, Jennifer Capriati jeopardized her No. 1 ranking Friday with a loss to Sandrine Testud at the Sanex Championships.

Capriati, fighting a throat infection, lost 6-3, 4-6, 6-3 to the Frenchwoman in the quarterfinals of the $3 million year-end tournament.

Lindsay Davenport can finish the year in the top spot by beating Kim Clijsters in the semifinals. Davenport has won titles the last three weeks and is riding a 14-match winning streak.

In the semifinals, Testud faces Serena Williams, who beat Belgium's Justine Henin 6-3, 7-6 (5).

Capriati is taking medication and said she was in bed all day before playing the world's No. 14 player.

``I just felt out of it,'' she said. ``I was delirious. In the first set I didn't even know what the score is. ... It's just bad luck. I feel like I couldn't give 100 percent.''

Capriati appears resigned to losing the No. 1 ranking to took from Martina Hingis on Oct. 15.

``I've gotten there at least,'' Capriati said. ``I guess it's next year start over again.''

Testud had beaten Capriati at Filderstadt, Germany, a month ago. This time, Capriati, the French Open and Australian Open champion, was hurt in particular by one missed volley.

Testud, ranked No. 14, went a break up at 3-1 in the final set as Capriati took her lazy shot at the net and drove it into the cords.

``I just had different times where I would go up a little and fall down again,'' Capriati said. ``I just had a lot of chances, different chances.''

Williams overcame broken racket strings on match point, playing out the rally and ending it with a backhand volley.

``I broke my strings in three places _ it was crazy,'' said Williams, who burst into laughter after the point.

Williams was helped by two double faults from her opponent that came with the Belgian ahead 4-2 in the tiebreaker.

``Maybe it's because she puts me under a lot of pressure,'' Henin said. ``Against this kind of player, maybe I serve a little bit worse than the others.''

This was Williams' second match since losing the U.S. Open final to sister Venus six weeks ago.

``I have to get into a rhythm,'' said Williams, ranked No. 10. ``I hope my next match is better.''

Henin had four double faults in two service games to open the match, taking her out of the first set with an early break.

Still, this has been a breakthrough year for Henin. She soared to No. 6 in the rankings and reached the French Open semifinals.

``I was No. 50 last year so I can be happy that I was in the championships this year,'' she said.

Williams and Henin had played only once before. Williams won at the U.S. Open in straight sets on the way to her showdown with her sister.