Capriati pulls out of Open

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The Independent Online
Jennifer Capriati has been unable to shake off an attack of flu and has withdrawn from next week's Australian Open, the tournament's director, Paul McNamee, announced yesterday.

McNamee said the 19-year-old American had been advised by her doctor not to travel by air and Capriati's manager, Barbara Perry, confirmed that the 1992 Olympic champion had not recovered from the symptoms which forced her out of this week's New South Wales Open.

"Jennifer is at home resting and hopes to return to the WTA Tour as soon as she is physically able," Perry said.

Capriati's withdrawal follows last week's announcement that the defending champion, Steffi Graf of Germany, had pulled out with a calf injury. The American, arrested at a Florida motel last year for marijuana possession, has not played in a Grand Slam event since the 1993 US Open.

Wayne Ferreira, the top seed from South Africa, and third- seeded MaliVai Washington were first-round losers in a day of upsets at the New Zealand Open in Auckland yesterday.

Ferreira, ranked 13th in the world, went down 2-6, 7-5, 6-3 to the Dutchman Jan Siemerink, ranked 70th.

Ferreira took the first set comfortably, looking in control of the match, but seemed to lose concentration half-way through the second set and lost six consecutive games before he regained his composure. It was too late, however, to stop a fired-up opponent.

Washington suffered a similar fate, going out to Norwegian qualifier Christian Ruud 7-6, 3-6, 6-3. In a second-round match yesterday, Spain's fourth-seeded Javier Sanchez lost to Switzerland's Jakob Hlasek 6-1, 6-2.

But the second-seeded Russian, Alexander Volkov, made no mistakes in his second-round match with Britain's Jeremy Bates, winning 6-2, 6-4.

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