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Clijsters hammers Hantuchova, Capriati flops
( 2003-10-10 10:04) (Agencies)

Kim Clijsters showed she would not surrender her number one ranking easily when she overwhelmed Daniela Hantuchova 6-1 6-1 to reach the quarter-finals of the Filderstadt Grand Prix on Thursday.

But fourth seed Jennifer Capriati maintained her dismal record at the event when she was beaten 6-4 6-2 by Mary Pierce. The American has now won just three of 10 matches she has played in Filderstadt.

Defending champion Clijsters could lose the top spot to fellow Belgian Justine Henin-Hardenne if the French and US Open champion were to beat Clijsters in Sunday's final.

But against Hantuchova, she showed no signs of the ankle injury that forced her retirement from the semi-finals of the Leipzig tournament almost two weeks ago.

Clijsters was in devastating form, taking just 42 minutes to earn victory and surrendering only four points on serve in the entire match. She swept the last 11 points to book a last-eight meeting with fifth seed Amelie Mauresmo.

The match was a replay of the 2002 final, which Hantuchova surrendered after leading 4-2 in the final set.

Clijsters has only once failed to reach the semi-finals this year in the 17 events she had played before this week.

"I've become a lot more mature, a lot more consistent compared even to the last few months," said Clijsters. "My best game now is the same as it was then but a year ago I would have moments when I was too much up and down.

"I feel I served a lot better than when I played against her last year and I never really gave her the chance of playing her own game."


Capriati was unable to cope with her French opponent's big forehand but her biggest problem was burnout after a long season, during which she has lost several close matches.

The most dramatic was her marathon semi-final battle against Henin at the US Open which stretched to more than three hours.

"I wasn't really ready to come here but it was my duty as a professional," said Capriati. "It's been a long year for me and I feel I've played a lot of tennis and, to be honest, I'm tired and not in the mood to fight like I always do."

Anastasia Myskina is other player weary after winning two titles in the past two weeks and the number eight seed surrendered 6-2 6-3 to fellow Russian Elena Bovina.

Third seed Lindsay Davenport advanced with a comfortable 6-2 6-4 win over Japan's Ai Sugiyama, while Frenchwoman Mauresmo beat Patty Schnyder 6-2 7-6.

Sixth seed Elena Dementieva advanced when Silvia Farina Elia retired because of a lower back strain with the Russian leading 6-0 2-1.

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