Capriati outlasts Hingis in Family Circle Cup Final
CHARLESTON, South Carolina (AP) -- Second seed Jennifer Capriati of the United States overcame a late rally by top seed Martina Hingis and repeated her Australian Open feat by winning the 2001 Family Circle Cup tennis event. Capriati, who defeated Hingis in the final at the Australian Open, nearly blew a 5-1 lead in the third set before holding on for a 6-0, 4-6, 6-4 win in one hour, 53 minutes. The 25-year-old claimed her second title of the year and 11th of her career while pocketing $178,000.
"This is the biggest tournament I have ever won in the States," Capriati said. "Today shows that it wasn't just a one-time thing in Australia. I always knew deep down inside my heart that I could do it."
As a result of her win, Capriati reached a career-high of world No. 4. A two-time Family Circle champion, Hingis mounted a strong effort in the final set to get back on serve at 4-5. But she dropped the first three points on her serve and hit a shot wide at 15-40.
"The first set was so quick and I am thinking, `I am playing Martina Hingis, who's No. 1 in the world, but I know she's not going to let it go without a fight,'" Capriati said. "And she played a lot better in the second and third sets."
Capriati, who dropped only one set all week, had returned to action after facing Venus Williams in the final of the Ericsson Open on April 1. Capriati also was runner-up at Oklahoma City in February. She has won 23 of 27 matches in 2001. Hingis is tied with Amelie Mauresmo, whom she eliminated in the quarterfinals here, with a tour-leading three titles and has a 39-6 match record this year.
"I have always said in the past that she was a great player and if she ever got it together she was going to be tough," Hingis said of Capriati. "She has proved to everyone that she belongs up there at the top with myself, Lindsay (Davenport) and the Williams sisters right now."