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Top-Ranked Graf Heads La Costa Tournament

August 02, 1993|BOB WOLF

CARLSBAD — Jennifer Capriati, the two-time defending champion, will be hard pressed to repeat against a quality field in the Mazda Tennis Classic, which begins today at La Costa.

Capriati will have the likes of Steffi Graf of Germany, the world's top-ranked woman, to contend with. Also entered are No. 3 Arantxa Sanchez Vicario and No. 6 Conchita Martinez, both from Spain. No. 9 Capriati is seeded fourth, and has struggled this year.

Graf, 24, has won 13 Grand Slam tournaments, including this year's French Open and Wimbledon. She also won this tournament in 1989 and '90.

"I think my best tennis is in front of me," said Graf, although 1988 was her best year. "I still have to get to the net a bit more, and I'm not using all of the court."

Capriati, 17, won the Olympic gold medal last year by beating Graf, but has played poorly since Barcelona.

"She needs confidence," Graf said.

The top eight seeded players drew first-round byes for the tournament, which ends Sunday. Graf will openTuesday night, Capriati on Wednesday night.

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