Capriati Breezes Into Third Round at U.S. Open

Second seed Jennifer Capriati continued her impressive Grand Slam showing this year, losing just two games Thursday on the way to the third round at the U.S. Open.

Capriati, who won the Australian and French Opens earlier this year and lost in the semifinals at Wimbledon, needed just 51 minutes to beat Australian Evie Dominikovic, 6-2, 6-0. Capriati has never made it past the semifinals at the USTA National Tennis Center and that came in 1991 at her second U.S. Open appearance.

Capriati pushed her Grand Slam record for the season to 21-1.

Next up for Capriati is Spain’s Virginia Ruano Pascual, a 5-7, 6-2, 6-4 winner over Austria’s Evelyn Fauth Thursday.

Fifth seed Kim Clijsters, eighth seed Amelie Mauresmo, ninth seed Nathalie Tauziat and 11th seed Elena Dementieva also won their second-round matches Thursday.

Defending champion and fourth seed Venus Williams plays her second-round match tonight against American Meilen Tu.

Clijsters needed just 45 minutes to pull off a 6-3, 6-2 win over American Allison Bradshaw. She will next face 25th seed Henrieta Nagyova of Slovakia. Nagyova downed Nathalie Dechy of France, 6-2, 6-1.

This year has been a rather successful one for the emerging Clijsters. The 18- year-old Belgian lost to Capriati in the final of the French Open and was ousted by Lindsay Davenport in the quarterfinals at Wimbledon.

It’s the second time Clijsters has reached the third round at the U.S. Open. She made it to round three in 1999 before losing to eventual champion Serena Williams. Clijsters played with her right thigh tightly wrapped following an injury that forced her to withdraw from last week’s Open warmup in New Haven, and shortly after eliminating Bradshaw, she withdrew from doubles because of the injury.

“I use my legs a lot, and I’ve got strong legs,” said Clijsters. “In tennis, you use your arms and your legs. It’s a bit of a stupid injury to have at this stage. When I play as well, I’m very explosive. That’s what makes it tough at the moment. That’s what maybe scares me also at the moment.”

Mauresmo downed Janette Husarova, 7-6 (8-6), 6-2, while Tauziat beat Katarina Srebotnik, 7-5, 1-6, 6-3 and Dementieva got by Karina Habsudova, 7-6 (7-5), 5-7, 6-0.

There were two minor upsets as Australian Alicia Molik ousted 15th seed Magdalena Maleeva, 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 and Iroda Tulyaganova, the 22nd seed, was beaten by Jana Nejedly, 1-6, 6-3, 6-4.

Also Thursday, 17th seed Anke Huber beat Sarah Taylor, 7-6 (7-2), 6-4; 18th seed Sandrine Testud upended Gala Leon Garcia, 5-7, 6-4, 6-4; and 19th seed Barbara Schett eased past Selima Sfar, 6-4, 7-6 (7-5). Chanda Rubin, the 28th seed, got by Adriana Gersi, 6-4, 6-1 and 30th seed Lisa Raymond moved into round three by defeating Jennifer Hopkins, 6-2, 6-1.

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