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Back injury keeps Capriati out of first Slam event

1/13/2004

MELBOURNE, Australia -- Two-time Australian Open champion
Jennifer Capriati withdrew from the Grand Slam tournament Tuesday
because of a back injury.

Capriati, injured in November in the season-ending WTA
Championship, also missed a tournament in Hong Kong last week.

The 27-year-old American, the 2001 and 2002 Australian Open
winner, lost in the opening round last year, becoming the first
defending champion to lose there in the first round.

Capriati, ranked world No. 6, is the fourth high-profile woman to withdraw. Serena
Williams, the 2002 winner, withdrew last week, and Mary Pierce,
the 1995 winner, pulled out because of fitness concerns.

Jelana Dokic, who hasn't appeared at Melbourne Park since she
left Australia in 2001, has withdrawn from warmup tournaments in
Australia citing "personal reasons," and is again expected to skip the Australian Open.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.