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Last Updated: Tuesday, 2 September, 2003, 01:03 GMT 02:03 UK
Capriati moves into quarters
Women's round-up - day eight

Jennifer Capriati in action at Flushing Meadows
American Jennifer Capriati battled through three rain delays to advance to the quarter-finals of the US Open.

The sixth seed defeated Russia's Elena Dementieva 6-2 7-5 in a match that took six hours and 37 minutes to complete.

"It was just getting pretty annoying and I was getting tired," Capriati said.

"It's hard to play matches like that once you're out there because your rhythm is off."

Capriati got off to the perfect start, breaking the eleventh seed twice with some rasping forehands to storm to a 4-0 lead.

But after only 13 minutes the rain, which had already delayed the start of the day's play, returned and forced the players off court.

Over four hours later, the grey skies eased up to allow the pair to resume their contest on Arthur Ashe court.

Dementieva grabbed a break back but a poor second serve let her down and Capriati quickly took advantage to seal the first set.

The Russian began to find her rhythm in the second but more showers interrupted the even tempo of the match with Capriati leading 3-2.

After nearly an hour off court, Capriati broke Dementieva for a 4-2 lead, but her determination appeared to have wavered as the Russian broke back.

The eleventh seed stole another break to love to seize a 5-4 edge but Capriati, watched by her boyfriend, actor Matthew Perry, answered with her fifth service break of the match.

The American then went on the attack, moving up to the net at every opportunity in a fine service game before closing out the match with a series of powerful forehands.

French Open champion Justine Henin-Hardenne also made it through to the last eight, comfortably beating Russian Dinara Safina 6-0 6-3.

It was a great atmosphere - a late match but I have tomorrow off so it's perfect
Justine Henin-Hardenne
In contrast to Capriati's epic encounter, Henin-Hardenne needed just 57 minutes to wrap up her fourth round match against 17-year-old Safina.

The pair had warmed up twice before the weather intervened but when they finally got on court the second seed was ready for action.

Henin-Hardenne blasted her way to the first set in typically energetic fashion before allowing Safina into the match in the second.

The Russian, who is the younger sister of 2000 US Open champion Marat Safin, could not resist the Belgian's pressure for long and surrendered the second 6-3.

Japan's Ai Sugiyama and Francesca Shiavone of Italy were level at 6-6 in the opening set before rain put pay to their endeavours on the Louis Armstrong court.

Russian seventh seed Anastasia Myskina's fourth-round match against France's Mary Pierce was also halted with the Russian leading 4-2.





Links to more US Open 2003 stories


 

WATCH AND LISTEN
Justine Henin-Hardenne
"I want more"


Jennifer Capriati
"The rain makes things difficult"



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