Boost for Capriati before US Open

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The Independent Online

The World No 3, Jennifer Capriati, reached her first WTA final in more than four months with a victory over Jelena Dokic at the Canadian Open in Montreal on Saturday night.

Capriati, seeded No 2, was leading the third-seeded Dokic 7-6 4-0 when the Yugoslav had to retire because of a hamstring injury. The reigning Australian Open champion will contest her first final since the Nasdaq 100 Open in early April.

Dokic never looked totally comfortable on the hard court, but battled admirably in the first set before losing the tie-break 7-5. In the second, she clearly struggled and was broken twice before withdrawing.

Capriati, who won this event as a 15-year-old in 1991, said: "I was on a roll and it was almost at the end when she retired.

"It would mean a lot to win here. Maybe not as much as coming back to win a Grand Slam title, but it's up there. I have a great opportunity and, going into the US Open, it would mean a lot for my confidence."

Dokic received treatment on her knee when trailing 3-0 in the second set, but returned to resume the match. However, she lost her next service game and decided to call it a day. She now faces a race against time to make the hard-court event at New Haven, Connecticut, next week. But she said: "I wouldn't hesitate to pull out. I'd rather be good for the US Open."

In the final Capriati was to meet Amelie Mauresmo,of France, who defeated the Slovakian Daniela Hantuchova 6-2, 7-6. The seventh-seeded Mauresmo took a one-sided first set 6-2, but the eighth seed made a match of it in the second, before being made to pay for not taking two set points while leading 6-5. Capriati leads Mauresmo 2-1 in matches this year, but lost when they met in the Wimbledon quarter-finals.