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  Thursday, 6 June, 2002, 16:38 GMT 17:38 UK
Serena sees off Capriati
Serena Williams
Serena Williams is in her third Grand Slam final
Serena Williams (US) beat Jennifer Capriati 3-6 7-6 6-2

Serena Williams won a classic encounter against defending champion Jennifer Capriati to reach her first French Open final.

Williams fought back from a set down, and now takes on her sister Venus in a repeat of last year's US Open final.

"I hung in there and really fought," said Serena.


Serena has improved over the last two years
Jennifer Capriati
"I have played her before and even when I was up 5-2 today in the final set, I knew she could come back and win the match.

"I made a lot of mistakes, but in the tiebreak I knew that if I could come through the first few points I would be home."

Venus Williams beat Argentina's Clarisa Fernandez 6-1 6-4 in the second semi-final.

Defending champion and top seed Capriati looked on course for victory when she fought back from 5-2 down in the second set to force a tie-break.

But Williams did not give her even a glimpse of victory, sweeping through the breaker 7-2 to force a final set.

Jennifer Capriati
Capriati struggled to find her best form

Both players made unforced errors as the finish line approached, but an improvement in Williams' serve from the early stages made the difference.

And when Williams broke in the sixth game it proved to be the decisive moment as she held on against an unusually hesitant Capriati.

The match had begun with a Capriati break of serve, and there were five more in the opening set, with the top seed making the vital breakthrough in the eighth game.

And despite the expected fierce hitting from both players, there were more errors than normal from two of the world's leading names.

"Serena has improved over the last two years, she plays the big points a lot better," said Capriati.

"She's in better shape and her concentration has also improved."

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
Serena Williams
"I never think of losing"
BBC Sport's Ian Carter
"Venus and Serena will be the top two in the world"
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