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Australian Open Notebook

January 20, 1994

MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) _ Jennifer Capriati is certain to return to tennis, coach Paul McNamee said Thursday.

The American teenager is taking a break from tennis until she completes high school in June. There has been specualtion she may not play again professionally.

″Jennifer will definitely come back,″ McNamee said Thursday at the Australian Open. ″We haven’t heard the last of her.″

McNamee, who coached Capriati until she was sidelined by an elbow injury during the U.S. Open, said her comeback would need to be well-planned.

″It is so important to her career that Jennifer’s comeback is managed correctly,″ he said. ″She will need to come back the right way, in the right tournaments.″

McNamee’s coaching agreement with Capriati expired at the end of 1993, but the former Wimbledon doubles champion is interested in working with her again.

″If I was asked I’d give it serious consideration, but Jennifer is in charge now and it’s up to her,″ he said.


DREAM COME TRUE:. Australian Jane Taylor is ranked 200th in the world, but played like a world-beater in ousting 78th-ranked Christina Singer of Germany 7-5, 4-6, 7-5 in the second round Thursday.

But Taylor is lucky to be on a tennis court at all after a bout of viral meningitis last year. She defied doctors’ orders to stay off the courts for six months, and instead took part in limited training at the Australian Institute of Sport in Canberra.

″I said to the doctor that I wanted to play tennis, it’s been my dream since I was a little girl,″ the 21-year-old said. ″He said give it a couple of months and see how you go. Now hopefully I won’t look back.″

She still suffers from migraines as a result of the illness, but feels she wants to compete as regularly as possible on the circuit. ″My goal is to get into the top 150 by the first half of the year, and the top 100 by the end of the year.″

Her father, Peter, is her coach, but she has no other outside help. ″I don’t even have an agent or clothing sponsor. People have given me clothes.″


DOES STEFFI NEED MORE HELP?:. After more than a decade with Dunlop, Steffi Graf has switched to a composite Wilson racket.

Australian Nicole Provis, beaten by Graf in the second round on Wednesday, feels the German is now serving so hard that it could hurt her opponents. ″I think my arm is about to drop off,″ Provis said after the match. ″She is serving very hard, and getting a lot of stick (power) on it. The balls are hard, and I string my rackets tight and it was like the whole vibration was going up my arm the whole time.″

Graf said the material in her new racket is harder, making it ″feel different″ when she hits it. Those on the receiving end apparently concur.


COMMUNICATION BREAKDOWN:. German player Alexander Mronz was enjoying lunch in the players’ restaurant when he got a message he was needed for an interview.

Mronz politely declined the interview, saying he still had to play his second-round match against Arnaud Boetsch of France.

The Frenchman had, in fact, withdrawn from the match earlier in the day, saying he was suffering from a painful sinus complaint.

The only problem was nobody had bothered to tell Mronz that he had a free passage into the round of 32.

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