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Capriati wins first title of 2000 in Luxembourg

Latest: Sunday October 01, 2000 05:12 PM

  Maggie Maggie had fallen to Capriati

LUXEMBOURG CITY, Luxembourg (Ticker) -- After emerging from three straight hard-fought matches, Jennifer Capriati emerged with her first title of the year.

Capriati, seeded third, pulled out her third consecutive three-set win Sunday as she rallied past seventh seed Magdalena Maleeva of Bulgaria, 4-6, 6-1, 6-4, to capture the $170,000 Seat Open indoor tennis tournament.

Unlike her first two matches that went the distance, Capriati had to come back after losing the first set and claimed her ninth career WTA Tour title and a first prize of $27,000.

"This has been a great week. All my matches were three sets and I played against some great players all week," Capriati said. "Maleeva played so well today, she served well, was getting everything back and hit some great shots. I'm happy that I also served and moved well and managed to win."

Capriati, 24, came back from off-the-court problems in the mid-1990s to win two titles last season. After starting off 2000 by reaching the semifinals at the Australian Open, she split up with renowned coach Harold Solomon and struggled with various injuries before reaching the fourth round at Wimbledon and the U.S. Open.

"I feel great to have won at least one title this year," Capriati said. "I am very happy that all the hard work I have put in has paid off. Earlier this year around the Australian Open, I took some criticism about my form and I hope that I have redeemed myself here."

Maleeva, 25, fell short in winning her first singles title of the year and eighth of her career. She put together back-to-back wins over fourth seed Patty Schnyder and second seed Anna Kournikova to reach her first final of the year.

"I never like to lose, but I am not disappointed because I played so well all week and beat both Patty Schnyder and Anna Kournikova," said Maleeva, who fell to 2-5 lifetime against Capriati.