Capriati easily wins second round match


CARLSBAD, California, AP

Second-seeded American Jennifer Capriati needed only 53 minutes to beat countrywoman Ashley Harkleroad 6-0, 6-3 in a second-round match Tuesday at the Acura Classic.

Capriati used her powerful groundstrokes to overwhelm the unseeded Harkleroad.

“I think that I played well today. I really wasn’t rusty out there. I think that I was hitting the ball well,” Capriati said. “I played almost a perfect match in the first set.”

In the other top second-round singles match, sixth-seeded Yugoslav Jelena Dokic defeated Gala Leon Garcia of Spain 6-2, 7-5.

“I thought that I was timing the ball well. I was happy that the match didn’t go to three sets,” Dokic said. “I think that I am playing much better this week than I did last week.”

In other second-round matches, eighth-seeded Elena Dementieva of Russia defeated Paola Suarez of Argentina 6-4, 6-2; No. 9 Anastasia Myskina of Russia defeated Francesca Schiavone of Italy 1-6, 6-3, 6-4; No. 12 Anna Smashnova of Israel defeated Marissa Irvin of the United States 5-7, 6-1, 6-1; and No. 14 American Chanda Rubin defeated South Africa’s Amanda Coetzer 6-1, 6-1.

In a premiere first round match played in the evening, Anna Kournikova of Russia defeated Alexandra Stevenson of the United States 6-0, 6-1 in 47 minutes.

Kournikova aggressively played the net and deftly hit winning shots to dominate the match. Stevenson played poorly, committing 21 unforced errors in the loss.

“She returned well and I didn’t serve well and that says it all,” Stevenson said. “I didn’t help to make it a battle. I played one-dimensionally tonight and it hurt me.”

Capriati wasted little time in establishing control of her match, but Harkleroad took a 3-1 lead in the second set.

“She has a good game,” Capriati said. “She is a good athlete and she can move around the court.”

Capriati regrouped and regained control by using her muscle to hit powerful baseline shots to win the final five games of the second set.

“Jennifer was moving me around a lot. She was hitting the corners and making me run,” Harkleroad said. “Today, she didn’t miss too much. She’s a great player.”

In Tuesday’s first round matches, Janette Husarova of Slovakia defeated Andriana Serra- Zanetti of Italy 6-3, 6-1; Meilen Tu of the United States defeated Cara Black of Zimbabwe 7-5, 6-3; and Ai Sugiyama of Japan defeated America’s Lisa Raymond 7-5, 6-0.