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Davenport and Capriati Arrive Very Differently

March 13, 2003|Bill Dwyre | Times Staff Writer

Lindsay Davenport walked into the semifinals of the women's Pacific Life Open on Wednesday and Jennifer Capriati blasted her way in.

Davenport, seeded fourth, got an extra day's rest when her quarterfinal opponent, Amelie Mauresmo of France, pulled out before the early afternoon match with a throat infection.

"I warmed up, then saw her about 11 this morning," Davenport said. "She looked terrible, sounded terrible. No question that she was really sick."

Capriati had to wait until the evening session at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden to gain her spot opposite Davenport. The second-seeded Floridian looked solid and aggressive in her 7-5, 6-2 win over unseeded Vera Zvonareva of Russia.

"I got in a good rhythm because she didn't really change it up at all," Capriati said. "She was just kind of predictable. But she's a good player. I think she has potential."

Davenport has won seven of the nine meetings with Capriati, including three of four in Grand Slam events. But their most recent Grand Slam meeting went to Capriati, in the 2001 Australian Open semifinals, when Capriati won her first of two straight titles there.

The other semifinal will be settled today, when top-seeded Kim Clijsters of Belgium plays unseeded American Chanda Rubin and the unseeded pair of Amanda Coetzer of South Africa and Conchita Martinez of Spain square off.

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Mauresmo's default represented just one of 11 players in the men's and women's draw who have dropped out because of illness. Dr. Sam Reber, tournament medical director, said that many players are experiencing symptoms of viral flu. Some are able to play with it, as Marat Safin of Russia did Wednesday, and others, such as Mauresmo and Jiri Novak of the Czech Republic, could not.

Tournament official Steve Simon said that it had at first been feared that there was a food problem, but said that tournament inspectors and outside officials had found that not to be the case.

Simon said there was enough concern about the spread of this virus among players that a complete sterilization of both locker rooms had been ordered for late Wednesday night.

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