Capriati extends Hingis futility at French Open

Published 12:00 am Friday, June 8, 2001

The Associated Press

PARIS – She’s the No.

Friday, June 08, 2001

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PARIS – She’s the No. 1 player in the world, yet Martina Hingis hasn’t won a Grand Slam title in more than two years.

She’s the best tactician in the game, but comes apart against big hitters on the slow red clay of the French Open.

Hingis’ recent lack of success is an enigma, and she’s the first to admit it.

”I would miss shots which were going straight at me,” the Swiss star said after losing 6-4, 6-3 to Jennifer Capriati in the semifinals Thursday.

”That shouldn’t happen, not on clay,” she added, visibly shocked by her defeat.

Capriati will meet Belgian teen-ager Kim Clijsters in Saturday’s final.

The loss was the latest major setback for Hingis, who hasn’t taken a Grand Slam title since winning the 1999 Australian Open. Since then she has reached four finals and three semis, repeatedly falling to more powerful opponents at the final hurdle.

Her failure to win the French, the only Grand Slam title missing from her trophy cabinet, is particularly galling.

She was runner-up to Iva Majoli in 1997, missing an opportunity to sweep all four Grand Slam events that year.

She was three points from the championship in 1999 when Steffi Graf made a comeback to claim her sixth Roland Garros crown.

Last year, she lost in the semis to big-hitting doubles partner Mary Pierce, the eventual champion.She also lost to Capriati in in the final of the Australian in January.