Davenport Beats Capriati in Semis
Saturday, October 20th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6
ZURICH, Switzerland (AP) _ Lindsay Davenport dealt Jennifer Capriati her first loss as No. 1, winning 6-1, 5-7, 6-2 Saturday in the semifinals of the Swisscom Challenge.
Davenport, who four times has been ranked No. 1, reached her fourth final in five tournaments.
``I couldn't get a grip at first,'' Capriati said. ``I didn't feel nervous at all but maybe I wasn't playing as confident today.''
Davenport will meet fourth-seeded Jelena Dokic or eighth-seeded Nathalie Tauziat in Sunday's final.
``I didn't feel I was playing so good but that she was so bad,'' Davenport said. ``But it's tough being No. 1 with everyone expecting you to go out there and win. It's a great ride to get there, but then suddenly something mentally changes where you get there and you're playing as No. 1.''
Capriati, playing in her first event since replacing Martina Hingis atop the rankings, has not looked particularly convincing in her new position.
She lost in the opening round in doubles, labored past wild-card entry Nadia Petrova in her first singles match and took some time to get going against 17-year-old Swiss qualifier Marie-Gaiane Mikaelian in the quarterfinals.
The victory improved Davenport's record to 7-2 against Capriati. Davenport is 14-1 in Zurich, her only loss coming to Martina Hingis at last year's final. She won titles in Zurich in 1997 and 1998.
``Whenever you have success somewhere it gives you confidence,'' Davenport said. ``Some places seem to bring out the best in some players and this one does it for me.''
Capriati started off playing like someone who wasn't planning on being on court long. Davenport won the first four games of the match and then broke serve at 5-1 to claim the first set.
Davenport was in complete control to that juncture, losing just two points on her own serve. Capriati managed just eight points in the entire set and repeatedly questioned calls by line judges.
Capriati turned her game around in the middle set, breaking Davenport three times and serving out with a love game.
The third set started much like the first, however, with Davenport reeling off the opening three games. Capriati saved one match point at 5-2, 30-40, but a wildly long shot handed Davenport the victory.
Earlier in the week, Davenport suggested that U.S. Open and Wimbledon champion Venus Williams was the true No. 1 player.
Capriati appeared unhappy about the comment Saturday and questioned Davenport's performance in Grand Slam events. Davenport has won five titles this season but no Grand Slams.
``What's important for me is doing well at the big tournaments and Grand Slams,'' Capriati said. ``What's important for me is that I'm at the championships the week after next.''