Capriati faces tough Serena

Originally Published: May 29, 2004
By Pam Shriver | Special to ESPN.com

*Ask Pam in her online chat! Tuesday at 3 p.m. ET*

The barn-burner match of Tuesday's quarterfinals is between two top Americans as No. 2 Serena Williams plays No. 7 Jennifer Capriati.

The two met just a couple of weeks ago in Rome, where Capriati got a big boost from her 6-4, 6-4 semifinal victory. Capriati absolutely needed that win. It's too bad she couldn't finish off another top player, Amelie Mauresmo, in the final.

Despite Capriati's increased confidence, Serena likes to get revenge for losses. After Justine Henin-Hardenne beat her in the semifinals of last year's French Open, Serena returned the favor in the semifinals at Wimbledon. Serena rarely loses, but it's more rare for her to lose to the same player twice in a row. So I'm giving the nod to Serena in this match.

After all the injuries on the women's side, this is the quarterfinal matchup should be a barnburner.

Here's a look at what might happen in the other matches.

Paola Suarez (14), Argentina, vs. Maria Sharapova (18), Russia
As long as Sharapova, who turned 17 in April, doesn't get in awe or overly excited about this situation, she should do well. Out of the possible matchups, playing Suarez to get to a semifinal is a great opportunity, although Suarez is a little tougher to beat on clay than other surfaces.

It seems, though, that Sharapova is ready to arrive in the final four. She's growing into the whole scene. Each month, she seems more confident of her place in women's tennis. She's a star on the rise.
Pick: Sharapova

Amelie Mauresmo (3), France, vs. Elena Dementieva (9), Russia
Mauresmo's routine scoreline of 6-2, 6-1 against Maggie Maleeva in the fourth round is impressive. This quarterfinal with Dementieva will be Mauresmo's first sizeable test.

Mauresmo is playing well enough that she should win this match, but she has to do everything well. She can't suddenly hit the wall like she has the past two years at the French Open (losing to Serena 6-1, 6-2 in 2003, and 6-2, 2-6, 6-4 to Suarez in '02).

For the first time, Mauresmo seems to have the mentality -- she's had the skill for years -- that she needs to make herself felt. She might not win the title, but it is her time to make it into the final four.
Pick: Mauresmo

Anastasia Myskina (6), Russia, vs. Venus Williams (4), U.S.
Even after a day off, Myskina likely will still be a little tired on Tuesday for this quarterfinal because of her 8-6 third set on Sunday.

Everything's playing into Venus' hands. She's had a great clay-court season. She's more confident than she's ever been on clay.

Venus will have to serve well, though. She's playing against one of the best returners in this tournament, so she'll feel some pressure on her serve. Otherwise, as long as Venus serves well, she should have an easy day and get through to the semifinals.
Pick: Venus

ESPN tennis analyst Pam Shriver won 21 singles and 112 doubles crowns, including 22 Grand Slam titles.

A top player on the women's tennis tour more than 15 years, Pam Shriver hosts ESPN's women's tennis telecasts. She also appears as a sideline reporter on select men's matches.

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