Wednesday, May 26, 2004

Amid jeers, Capriati advances at French

The Associated Press


Tuesday's first-round play:

Men's top seeded winners: No. 1 Roger Federer, No. 4 Juan Carlos Ferrero, No. 8 David

Nalbandian, No. 10 Sebastien Grosjean.

Men's seeded losers: No. 7 Rainer Schuettler, No. 29 Max Mirnyi, No. 32 Arnaud Clement.

Women's top seeded winners: No. 2 Serena Williams, No. 4 Venus Williams, No. 6 Anastasia Myskina, No. 7 Jennifer Capriati.

Women's seeded losers: No. 22 Karolina Sprem, No. 26 Nathalie Dechy.

PARIS - Jennifer Capriati glared toward the stands, told fans to shut up and endured scattered boos from the French Open crowd.

Then, one point from victory and ready to serve, Capriati paused and waved her hands at the fans, provoking both jeers and cheers.

"I was kind of using that to help pump me up," she said.

The tactic worked. Yulia Beygelzimer failed to put her service return into play, and Capriati had a first-round victory Tuesday, 6-2, 4-6, 6-4.

Court Suzanne Lenglen was more than half empty for the evening match, but some spectators gave Capriati a hard time. She angrily shouted at them at least once, and when she closed out the victory, she pumped her fist toward the stands and scowled.

"I didn't think I did anything that bad for them to boo," said Capriati, the 2001 champion. "But they're kind of finicky here."

The crowd wasn't the only annoyance for Capriati. Beygelzimer appeared to be on the verge of defeat, trailing 3-0 in the second set, then won nine of 10 games.

Trailing 0-3 in the final set, Capriati won five straight games to take the lead for good.

Martina Navratilova's Roland Garros comeback lasted barely an hour, ending with a loss to Gisela Dulko, 6-1, 6-3. The match was the first for Navratilova, 47, in Grand Slam singles since 1994.

"I had some moments of brilliance," Navratilova said. "But they were few and far between, unfortunately."

Navratilova won just 10 of 22 points at the net, struggled with her serve and was broken five times.

U.S. women went 9-9 in the first round. No. 2 Serena Williams, No. 4 Venus Williams and No. 5 Lindsay Davenport were among the winners.

Only two of the 10 U.S. men entered made it out of the first round, and the Americans went 0-for-3 Tuesday.

Taylor Dent, Jeff Salzenstein and qualifier Kevin Kim lost Tuesday, leaving only Andy Roddick and Vince Spadea in contention.

The second-seeded Roddick beat compatriot Todd Martin Monday. In matches against players from other countries, American men went 1-8 in the first round.

Dent was beaten by No. 24-seeded Jonas Bjorkman 6-3, 2-6, 6-3, 3-6, 6-2. Salzenstein lost to Felix Mantilla 6-4, 6-1, 6-7 (6), 6-2. Kim was eliminated by No. 10 Sebastien Grosjean 6-1, 6-1, 6-4.

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