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  Saturday, 9 June, 2001, 19:17 GMT 20:17 UK
Capriati ponders Grand Slam
Capriati and Cjisters display their respective trophies
Capriati and Clijsters show off their respective wares
By BBC Sport Online's Alex Perry at Roland Garros

A brave, battling performance from Kim Clijsters ultimately proved not quite enough as Jennifer Capriati took the French Open title with a 1-6 6-4 12-10 win.

Capriati had been hotly tipped for a straight-forward win over her Belgian opponent.

But Clijsters, cheered on by a crowd full of her compatriots, made her work all the way in the final set - the longest deciding set ever in a women's final at Roland Garros.


I wasn't used to all those Belgian fans and every match before has been pretty quiet
Jennifer Capriati
Twice Clijsters broke Capriati as she served for the match, but a third time proved just too much to ask.

"Of course it's heart breaking," said Clijsters. "But I gave everything I had so I can't blame myself for losing.

"I'm disappointed but in a few days I'm sure I'll enjoy what I had here."

So Capriati is now half way to a Grand Slam, and afterwards claimed: "Anything's possible.

"I'm just really happy that I played out such a tough match, and I fought it out right to the end - I was fighting for my life."

2001 French Open champion Jennifer Capriati
Capriati has now won two straight majors
Perhaps Capriati's choice of phrase came with her friend and fellow player Corina Morariu in mind.

Morariu is battling against leukaemia, and Capriati had earlier dedicated the victory to her.

Capriati also paid tribute to her mother who she said has always been an inspiration to her.

"She's taught me how to come back from being down and to keep coming back - she's always helped me to believe in myself."

But things looked as though they might turn out very differently when Capriati was struggling to find her game and Clijsters cruised to the first set.

"I wasn't used to all those Belgian fans and every match before has been pretty quiet," added Capriati.

Certainly the colourful and vocal support Clijsters received from the many Belgians in the crowd was a feature of the match, one she said she appreciated.


All the new upcoming players hit the ball hard and they like to go for the points so this is maybe the future of tennis
Kim Clijsters
"It was great to hear all the Belgians cheering for me," Clijsters said.

And she thanked them when she made a speech to the crowd after the match.

"I felt that I had to give something back to all the Belgian people who came today," she explained.

The match must go down as one of the most exciting women's finals ever at Roland Garros, and with a number of talented young players coming through in the women's game it could be the shape of things to come.

"All the new upcoming players hit the ball hard and they like to go for the points so this is maybe the future of tennis," said Clijsters.

Capriati agreed with her opponent.

"I think that's the way the women's game is now," said Capriati.

"I think it's better to take the chance and that's the way the young players are being brought up to play."

The Roland Garros crowd will certainly hope for more of the same in years to come.

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