OKLAHOMA CITY (TICKER) — Monica Seles wishes her meeting with Jennifer Capriati at the Australian Open was more like their encounter Sunday.
Seles gained a measure of revenge for her loss to Capriati at Melbourne by outdueling the Australian Open champion, 6-3, 5-7, 6-2, Sunday to successfully defend her title at the IGA U.S. Indoors.
Last month, Seles suffered her earliest career exit from the Australian Open when Capriati rallied for a three-set quarterfinal win.
Capriati again forced the third set in Sunday’s all-American final, but this time, Seles dominated the decisive set to seal her 48th career singles title and a first prize of $27,000.
“I just wanted to compete better against Jennifer than I did the last time we played each other in Australia, which was a tough loss for me,” Seles said. “Today I was lucky, she made some errors at key times and I played better.”
Last year, Seles made a successful return from a broken foot at this event and did not drop a set en route to the title. This week, it was a bit tougher for the former world No. 1, who had to pull out three-set wins in the last two rounds.
Capriati, the second seed, did not look as sharp this week as she did at Melbourne, where she defeated top-ranked Martina Hingis to capture her first Grand Slam title. She was taken to three sets in the quarterfinals and semifinals before going the distance Sunday.
“I’m definitely not going to be disappointed with today,” Capriati said. “I’m proud of myself for coming back this week and playing well. They say you have that letdown after winning a Grand Slam but I don’t think I had a letdown this week. I’ll just put it behind me and go on to the next one (tournament).”
The 24-year-old Capriati suffered just her second loss in 13 matches this season and saw her lifetime record against Seles fall to 4-8. She was seeking her 11th career singles title.