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  Thursday, 24 January, 2002, 07:39 GMT
Capriati sets up Hingis final
Jennifer Capriati
Capriati is looking for her third Grand Slam title
Defending champion Jennifer Capriati secured a place in the Australian Open final with a 7-5 3-6 6-1 victory over Kim Clijsters.

Capriati will face Switzerland's Martina Hingis on Saturday in a repeat of last year's final and it will give the American the chance to win her third title in the last five Grand Slam events.

The early stages of the semi-final were dominated by both players' struggling to hold serve, with Capriati throwing away a 4-1 lead and failing to serve out at 5-4.


I hung in there pretty good
Jennifer Capriati
She eventually made it in the 12th game but then immediately handed the initiative to Clijsters in the second set, the Belgian quickly going 3-1 ahead.

That break proved enough to level at one set all, but the top seed completely dominated the final set.

Two breaks of serve brought her to the brink of victory and she secured a return to the final with an ace in the seventh game.

After the game, Capriati admitted she was pleased to have successfully come through such a rigorous examination.

"I hung in there pretty good and it was a real test for where I am physically," said Capriati, who has been troubled by a right hip flexor strain.
Kim Clijsters
Clijsters' challenge fell away in the final set

"I was just letting her play her game too much, I just changed it up a bit and became more aggressive. It kind of worked and she broke down," Capriati said.

Clijsters claimed to be happy with her performance but admitted she felt she could have won the match.

"I was very motivated in the second set and I felt like I had some chances to even win that third set as well," the 18-year-old said.

"I think she was struggling a little bit after losing that second set, I could hear her puff and everything so I really wanted to keep the rallies long and try to make her move.

"But she just played too good from then. She just made the points short, whenever she got a chance to come in, she came in, and finished the points off as soon as she could."

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
BBC tennis correspondent Iain Carter
"The defending champion is getting better with every round"
Belgium's Kim Clijsters
"I really wanted to keep the rallies long"
Jennifer Capriati
"It was a tough match"
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24 Jan 02 | Photo Galleries
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