Capriati advances, Sampras loses

Jan. 21, 2002 at 10:54 AM   |   Comments

MELBOURNE, Jan. 20 (UPI) -- Defending champion and top-seeded Jennifer Capriati defeated Rita Grande ot Italy Monday to reach the quarterfinals of the Australian Open but Pete Sampras was knocked out of the tournament by Russia's Marat Safin.

Safin, the No. 9 seed, fired 22 aces and committed almost half as many unforced errors as Sampras for a grueling 6-2, 6-4, 6-7 (5-7), 7-6 victory.

In beating Sampras for the second time in their last three Grand Slam meetings, the 21-year-old Safin needed just 79 minutes at the outset to open a commanding two-set lead.

Safin will next take on South African Wayne Ferreira, who won an electrifying five-setter over Spain's Albert Costa,4-6, 6-4, 6-4, 6-7 (4-7), 9-7.

Capriati withstood an exhausting 62-minute second set in defeating the 20th seeded Grande, 6-3, 7-6 (11-9) , eventually prevailing on her third match point.

In the quarterfinals, Capriati will take on eighth-seeded Amelie Mauresmo of France, who also had a difficult time of it before ousting Marlene Weingartner of Germany, 6-0, 4-6, 7-5.

Meanwhile, fourth-seeded Kim Clijsters and sixth-seeded Justine Henin won to set up an all-Belgium quarterfinal match. Clijsters needed only 45 minutes to demolish Janette Husarova of Slovakia 6-0, 6-2. Henin notched a 6-0, 6-3 victory over No. 11 Elena Dementieva of Russia.

No. 7 Tommy Haas of Germany, the highest seed remaining on the men's side, downed 11th seed Roger Federer of Switzerland in a thrilling five-set, three and a half hour battle between two of the rising young stars,7-6 (7-3), 4-6, 3-6, 6-4, 8-6.

Haas next goes up against Marcelo Rios of Chile. Rios, the 1998 runnerup here, advanced to his first Grand Slam quarterfinal since 1999 with a 7-5, 6-1, 6-4 triumph over No. 23 seed Nicolas Lapentti of Ecuador.

None of the top six seeds in the men's draw made it past the third round.

The quarterfinals will get under way Tuesday with the top attraction being the match between Monica Seles and Venus Williams..

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