Capriati Falls at First Hurdle

Published May 15th, 2000 - 02:00 GMT

Jennifer Capriati fell at the very first hurdle, when the American 10th seed was upset (6-3, 7-5) by unseeded Frenchwoman Anne-Gaelle Sidot in the Italian Open Monday. 

Capriati, returning to the Tour for the first time since Miami in late March after suffering Achilles tendinitis, was solid enough in her stroke-play but served poorly and lacked mobility. 

She made 12 double faults, compared to Sidot's one, and hit only 11 winners against 32 for her opponent in a first round tie on a near-empty center court. 

Capriati rallied from 5-3 down to reach 5-5 and was serving to take a 6-5 lead. But Sidot raced into a 40-0 lead before eventually breaking back and serving out for the match, concluding with a powerful forehand into the corner. 

However, the statistics also underlined that Sidot - who has lost half of her 10 opening matches this year - is no tennis phenomenon, with the Frenchwoman committing 27 unforced errors - eight more than Capriati. 

"It's been a while since I played a match, so maybe I didn't feel so comfortable out there," said Capriati, who is currently looking for a new coach. 

But paying tribute to Sidot, she added: "I have to give her a lot of credit, she played very well." 

As for her career in general, the former prodigy seemed content now just to stay on the WTA Tour - (AFP)

© 2000 Al Bawaba (

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