PARIS — Continuing her youthful run through the French Open, 14-year-old Jennifer Capriati defeated eighth-ranked Mary Joe Fernandez, a semifinalist here last year, 6-2, 6-4, in 65 minutes Tuesday.
Capriati, appearing in her first Grand Slam event, will play third-ranked Monica Seles in the semifinals.
Steffi Graf eased into the semifinals with a 6-1, 6-3 victory over Conchita Martinez, who won only three games from Graf when they played here last year. Graf will play Jana Novotna of Czechoslovakia in the other women's semifinal.
While all eyes have been on Seles and Capriati's march toward each other, Graf's advance has been virtually unnoticed. Of the attention lavished on Seles and Capriati, Graf said, shrugging, "It is much easier for me that way."
Seles, who has been playing on the edge recently, was shaky again but still won. She trailed Manuela Maleeva in the third set, 1-4, 0-30, but came back to win the match, 3-6, 6-1, 7-5.
Seles dropped a set in the second round, was extended to two tiebreakers in the third and trailed, 4-2, at the start of the fourth. Still, her victory over Maleeva was her 30th in succession.
Maleeva played most of the match with a nasty bruise above her left eyebrow after accidentally hitting herself with her racket while chasing a shot in the second game of the second set.
Maleeva's explanation of the incident: "The ball was there. I swung my racket. The ball was not there and the racket was on my head."
Capriati is brimming with confidence. The seventh-seeded Fernandez is an 18-year-old fellow Floridian who lives 40 miles from Capriati's hometown, but they had not played before. It was a question of two baseliners with heavy pace, and Fernandez proved the more error-prone and yielding.
"Her strategy is just to hit the ball as hard as she can," Fernandez said.
"I think I can win," Capriati said. "Everybody thinks I can win.
"This is a great thing for me. This is my biggest accomplishment. Now I just have to keep going."