Capriati’s clean winner
JENNIFER Capriati once had to endure the ignominy of being photographed by
discount ray bans the LAPD, following a conviction for shoplifting. She was also embroiled in a drugs scandal during the lowest point of her career, prior to performing the kind of miraculous recovery one expects to witness from the first reel of your average mindless Hollywood blockbuster.
Capriati duly progressed to the last 16 of the tournament yesterday by beating
replica ray ban sunglasses the little heralded Greek teenager Eleni Daniilidou 6 2 3 6 6 1. Yet as the scoreline might indicate, this was by no means an entirely convincing display from the American, who fell asleep in the course of the second set and was required to dig deeper into her reserves than she might have envisaged at this early stage of the competition.
It was business as usual in the opening
discount ray bans set, but Capriati subsequently committed a rash of unforced errors and lost her composure amidst a golden spell for Daniilidou, who adhered to the first principle of tennis by keeping the ball alive and waiting for her opponent to make mistakes. Indeed, so effective was the 19 year old’s fightback that she actually led 1 0 and 40 30 in the deciding set before normal service was resumed with an emphatic forehand volley from Capriati which transformed the complexion of the match.
Thereafter, the underdog won just six more points in the final five games and Capriati was perhaps justified in stating at the post match press conference that was exactly the type of grilling she required in the build up to the second week of the championship. "Maybe it was good for me to have a match like that, where I was asked a few questions and forced to endure some difficulties before winning through," said Capriati. "In the third set, I don’t think I let her play any more, but she definitely has a lot of potential and she was a tough opponent until the closing stages."
Capriati suffered a right hip flexor strain in the week prior to the Australian Open but, unlike the Williams sisters, who can be counted on to whine relentlessly about any injuries they might sustain, the reigning title holder denied that she was suffering any reaction to the problem. "Hopefully, I can hang on for another week. I had the other leg taped because I had a bit of a leg rash, but that had nothing to do with me being taken to a final set today," said Capriati. "I know it will be tougher as the event progresses, but if I can get past my next opponent [Rita Grande] I will be in the quarters and be a handful for any of the other girls in the draw."
Elsewhere, even as the mood amongst the British contingent remained quietly confident that Tim Henman may be on course to record his maiden grand slam triumph, there were other more contentious matters to discuss. Such as the fact that all the male players in Melbourne have been given information cards by the ATP Tour and warned about sanctions for those caught using the banned drug nandrolone.
The governing body reiterated at its general meeting in Melbourne that the onus lies with individual players to be careful and that ingesting the drug inadvertently through nutritional or dietary supplements is no excuse. The warning followed the seven month ban and heavy fine imposed last month on Argentina’s Guilermo Coria, who claimed that his positive test for nandrolone was the consequence of a contaminated vitamin dosage.
Ricard Ings, the ATP’s vice president of rules and competition, confirmed yersterday that the Tour has fallen into line with the International Olympic Committee’s guidelines on testing, in response to the clutch of leading sportsmen who have tested positive for nandrolone, including Coria, former Australian Open champion, Petr Korda, and the British athletics duo, Linford Christie and Dougie Walker.
Yet, even as the courtly game grapples with the hormone monsters, it was also having to wrestle with Marat Safin, the heir apparent to ‘Superbrat’ John McEnroe, who is posed to be heavily fined after swearing at an umpire. The Russian wunderkind lost his cool when he was given a code violation for hitting a line judge with a ball in Friday’s otherwise routine 6 4 6 4 6 4 win over Mikhail Youzhny, and was charged with unsportsmanlike conduct. However, the former US Open champion has said he will contest the decision and said he only lost his temper with official Norm Chryst because he feels victimised by the latter.
"I’m so disappointed this kind of thing happens to me with the same chair umpire, because I have nothing against him," said Safin, "I was trying to return the ball to the ballboy, but suddenly he waded in and said: ‘Why did you have to hit the linesman, why did you have to do this?’ But it wasn’t deliberate and it should be obvious that everybody makes mistakes. So the chair umpire has to use his brains sometimes."
Safin became increasingly agitated when the umpire refused to removed his sunglasses amidst the confrontation. "I was talking to him nicely, but he was talking to me as if he was the king of the court and that’s not right. He should have treated me with respect as I did to him rather than lord it up."
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