Capriati recovers to win timing doesn't hurt, either Injury timeout key in 7-5, 4-6, 6-2 win

June 26, 1993|By Sandra McKee | Sandra McKee,Staff Writer

WIMBLEDON, England -- Jennifer Capriati said she didn't do anything unsportsmanlike, but Brenda Schultz had to wonder.

Just when Schultz, the 31st-ranked player in the world, seemed poised to upset Capriati, Wimbledon's No. 7 seed, and put a little life in the women's draw, Capriati slowed Schultz's momentum.

She called a five-minute injury timeout.

Schultz had just won the second set, 6-4, and the first game of the third to go up 5-7, 6-4, 1-0, when Capriati asked for time so a trainer could look at her left foot.

Schultz then lost five straight games before getting her timing back. By then, it was too late.

Capriati advanced to the fourth round with a 7-5, 4-6, 6-2 victory. She will meet Lisa Raymond, a two-time National Collegiate Tennis Association champion, in the fourth round early next week.

"I was getting a blister, and it was irritating me," Capriati said. "I don't know if the timeout had anything to do with how she played. But it had to do with me. I started playing better, and she missed."

Until she asked for injury time, there had been no sign that anything was bothering Capriati beyond Schultz's baseline power and backhand. After the timeout, Capriati's serve seemed stronger and her forehand became more reliable.

"Of course it was a breakthrough for me in the match," she said. "She missed shots here and there that were important."

Schultz could hardly hide her frustration during the delay and afterward.

As Capriati removed shoe, sock and tape and waited for the trainer, Schultz stood and looked on in disbelief.

Then she sat a few seconds. When the trainer arrived -- and seemed to have trouble finding the problem until Capriati pointed to the spot -- Schultz began running in place, jumping up and down and swinging her serving arm trying to keep loose.

It didn't work. Schultz lost the next game at love on Capriati's serve and was broken twice, as backhand volleys at the net and passing shots, previously hit with precision, suddenly were hitting the net and dropping wide.

"It's very hard to say anything about it," Schultz said. "What can you say? I was hitting winners. She looks fine. Suddenly, something is wrong with her foot?

"It was just a good time for her to do it right then, that moment, because I was playing well, and she was kind of out of it, maybe, and I was right there. It was tough for me.

"You try to focus and to just go on with your match. But you start thinking, because you just cannot stop your brain from thinking. You look at her and you don't know what's wrong, or whatever."

Schultz was not unfamiliar with Capriati. The last time they met, at the German Open, Schultz had beaten her, 6-2, 5-7, 6-4, in the round of 16.

"I know she can play great," said Capriati, who was kept running most of the match, as Schultz slammed forehands and backhands from sideline to sideline, while dropping in six aces and many service winners. "I was really psyched going into this match, because I knew I had to play really well to beat her."

In the end, Capriati did play well, but without the injury timeout, it might have been another story.

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