Capriati and Rubin to face-off in Bell Challenge final

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The Independent Online

Jennifer Capriati will look to defend her Bell Challenge title today in Quebec, Canada. Chanda Rubin will look for revenge.

Jennifer Capriati will look to defend her Bell Challenge title today in Quebec, Canada. Chanda Rubin will look for revenge.

Both Americans advanced to the final by winning their semifinal matches on Saturday, setting up a rematch of last year's championship.

Capriati, the top seed at the $180,000 tournament and No. 13 in the world, won last year's final 4-6, 6-1, 6-2. Capriati has defeated Rubin, the second seed and No. 14 in the world, five times in their eight matches.

Rubin needed just over an hour to beat American Mielen Tu 7-5, 6-1 in the first semifinal. She dominated the match after falling behind 4-0 in the first set.

"I expect I will have to play a lot better on Sunday than today," said Rubin. "Jennifer has an excellent pace and solid shots and I expect a similar match, except the tempo will be raised."

Capriati had a much tougher time in her semifinal with American Amy Frazier, prevailing 3-6, 7-5, in two hours, 20 minutes. She knows she will have to play better against Rubin on Sunday.

"We really know each other's games and we practiced against each other this week," Capriati said. "I just hope I will be OK physically, but there should be no surprises. I may not be a much better player than I was a year ago, but I have a lot more experience now, especially in important matches."

Capriati used two medical time-outs in her match against Frazier. In the second set, she had a problem with her left arm. In the third set, she fell and sprained her left ankle. But she recovered to improve to 3-0 against Frazier.

"I played better than last year here where she beat me," said Frazier, who was seeded fourth. "I felt really good out there, but she just beat me."

Tu jumped into a 4-0 lead against Rubin in the opening set before things fell apart. Rubin won seven of the next eight games, breaking Tu three times and using an ace to take the set 7-5.

In the second set, Rubin overpowered Tu while taking a 4-0 lead, then cruising to the victory.

"I have been concentrating on serve and volley play to try and improve my ranking," said Rubin. "And on Sunday I hope to get my momentum going early."

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