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  Saturday, 27 January, 2001, 04:18 GMT
Capriati is Aussie champ
Jennifer Capriati
Capriati's awesome form takes her to the title
J Capriati (US) bt M Hingis (Swi) 6-4 6-3

Jennifer Capriati powered to a sensational straight sets victory over Martina Hingis to be crowned Australian Open champion in front of a joyous Melbourne crowd.

Capriati won 6-4 6-3 with a near-faultless performance as hot favourite Hingis crumbled under a fearsome onslaught of raking groundstrokes.

"Who would have thought I would ever make it here after all that has happened?" Capriati said afterwards.

"Maybe dreams can come true."

Capriati stretches to make another winner.
Capriati stretches to make another winner.
The American was thought to be finished as a top-flight player when she took three years out of the game between 1993 and 1996.

This display completes one of the greatest comebacks in tennis history.

"I don't know what to say," admitted a shell-shocked Hingis.

"It was a great effort from Jennifer."

Capriati shot out of the blocks to open up a 3-0 lead in the first set, holding on despite a break-back from Hingis at 5-3.

She sealed the set as a Hingis drop-shot opened the court out for a backhand drive down the line.

End comes quickly

Hingis, unlucky with poor line-calls throughout, could barely believe what was happening to her as the second set went the same way.

Throwing her racquet down in disgust, she fell apart in the closing stages as 24-year-old Capriati conversely showed no sign of weakening.

The end came quickly as Capriati hit another hammer of a backhand winner and leapt in the air with delight.

Hingis, so sure of victory beforehand, was eventually gracious in defeat - but the day belonged to Capriati.

Seeded 12th, she beat no.4 seed Monica Seles and no.2 Lindsay Davenport en route to the defeat of no.1 seed Hingis in the final.

Hingis, 20, has now failed to win a Grand Slam title in two years, having won five as a teenager.

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Jennifer Capriati
"I just jumped for joy"
Martina Hingis
"I made way too many mistakes"
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27 Jan 01 | Australian Open
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