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Resilient Capriati out to fight odds

Berlin: Little suggests Jennifer Capriati should be listed among the favourites for next week’s French Open but the resilient American has a record for fighting against the odds.

While the Williams sisters, Serena and Venus, and the Belgian pair of Kim Clijsters and Justine Henin-Hardenne have kept up a constant pace, the former world number one has struggled this year.

The defence of her Australian Open title in January ended with her first match and she took time off later that month to have eye surgery to remove sunspots.

But when the claycourt season came around the American proved she could still do damage, reaching the semi-finals of the German Open — her first tournament of the year on the slow surface.

It took a spirited performance from Clijsters to stop her making the final and the 27-year-old Capriati again lived up to her reputation as a ferocious competitor, surviving four match points before bowing out.

“I’m going to take a positive note from this,” she said after an exciting re-match of the 2001 French Open final in which she beat Clijsters 1-6, 6-4, 12-10 after the longest third set in a women’s final in the history of the event.

“Kim played great but I definitely could have won.” (Reuters)

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