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  Thursday, 7 June, 2001, 19:12 GMT 20:12 UK
Hingis bemoans 'mental problems'
Jennifer Capriati after making it through into the final of the French Open
Capriati is wallowing in her excellent form
By BBC Sport Online's Alex Perry at Roland Garros

Martina Hingis' dreams of winning the French Open have been shattered once again, as comeback kid Jennifer Capriati beat her 6-4 6-3 to set up a final against Kim Clijsters.

And while the heavens opened immediately after the match had finished, Hingis put a brave face on her defeat, and her own floodgates remained closed.

But she spoke afterwards of mental "crises" which affect her in the middle of the season.

"Other players get injured and they have problems physically, but with me I have mental problems," said Hingis.


I knew pretty much that this could have been the final
Martina Hingis

And Hingis suggested that it is a new mental toughness that has made Capriati such a force in the game once more.

"Right now it's all that matters to her and maybe that's why she's playing so well," said Hingis.

"The mental part she's got so much better."

So after several years in the wilderness, Capriati will now be a strong favourite to win a second straight Grand Slam tournament when she faces Kim Clijsters in Saturday's final.

It's a far cry from a couple of years ago when Capriati was feeling her way back into the tennis scene.

"My goals back then were just to win a match - that was a difficult task," she admitted.

Confidence

"Since then I've started believing in my tennis much more and got a coach.

"Slowly it just got better and better and I gained more confidence."

Clijsters will be no pushover, but Hingis certainly felt that this semi-final would decide who won the title.

"I knew pretty much that this could have been the final," said Hingis. "If I had beaten her I think I would have had a great chance of winning the final."

Martin Hingis
Hingis struggled with her confidence in the semi-final

But Hingis had no complaints. "She overwhelmed me at times - she played too good.

"There were just too many chances which I didn't take.

"She played just better at those times - she wasn't missing and I was missing too many."

So another chapter is written in Capriati's remarkable story.

It is no longer a drama or a tragedy, and you can sense that she now really appreciates what she has.

"I love competing and I love playing tennis. Moments like today are what I think professional athletes live for.

Delight

"They thrive on these situations playing in a big stadium with so many people watching."

Capriati reached the semi-final at Roland Garros way back in 1990, and now she has gone one step further.

"I never knew after I reached the semi-final when I was 14 whether I'd ever get back here again," she said.

"Right now I just want to scream at the top of my lungs and jump up."

 WATCH/LISTEN
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BBC tennis correspondent Iain Carter
"Capriati had a dimension that was beyond Hingis"
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See also:

07 Jun 01 | French Open
07 Jun 01 | French Open
06 Jun 01 | French Open
Links to more French Open stories are at the foot of the page.


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