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  Saturday, 9 June, 2001, 15:31 GMT 16:31 UK
Capriati claims French Open crown
Capriati battles back against Clijsters in the French Open final
Capriati fights back to win the French Open
J Capriati (US, 4) beat K Clijsters (Bel, 12) 1-6 6-4 12-10

Jennifer Capriati edged a thrilling deciding set to overhaul Kim Clijsters and win a hard-fought French Open final in two hours and 21 minutes at Roland Garros.

It was the American's second consecutive Grand Slam triumph and she becomes only the fifth woman to complete the Australian and French Open double.

But she was made to work very hard for her victory by a battling Clijsters, who had chances to win the championship herself.

Crown Prince Philippe of Belgium and his wife Princess Mathilde watch the French Open final.
Royal watch: Crown Prince Philippe of Belgium
The Belgian got off to a flying start and took the first set by a 6-1 margin.

And when Capriati bounced back and began to find her powerful range, Clijsters raised her game and answered with fierce winners of her own.

Capriati did win the second set, after securing a vital break in the fifth game, but she was thwarted twice in the third when serving for the match.

Finally though, at 11-10, the American made her greater experience tell.

She won an enthralling and exhausting third set - the longest in the history of French Open women's finals - with a crosscourt forehand on her second match point.

The tennis played in the final capped what had been a disappointing women's tournament and was appreciated by a royal audience at Roland Garros.


I can't believe I won two Grand Slams in a row - it's unbelievable
Jennifer Capriati
Crown Prince Philippe of Belgium and his wife Princess Mathilde were on hand to support Clijsters, who did her country proud.

The Belgian number 12 seed - only recently turned 18 - dominated many of the points and gave strong indication that she has the weapons to feature heavily in future Grand Slams.

She may well find herself squaring off against Capriati again.

The American, who reached the semi-final of this event in 1990 as a 14-year-old, has a chance to emulate Steffi Graf by winning all four majors in the same season.

And, on current form, she could add Wimbledon and the US Open to her list of honours.

For now though, she is just pleased to be back at the top of women's tennis.

"I'm so happy," said Capriati.

"We both got nervous. I just don't know how I did it. I can't believe I won two Grand Slams in a row. It's unbelievable."

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
BBC tennis correspondent Iain Carter
"It was an extraordinary final"
Jennifer Capriati
"I'm so happy I can't believe it"
Kim Clijsters
"She made less unforced errors than me"
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09 Jun 01 | French Open
Links to more French Open stories are at the foot of the page.


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