U.S. Fed Cup team has strength in numbers; Four of world's top six chosen by captain King; Notebook


NEW YORK -- The United States' team that will play host to Russia in the Fed Cup Finals on Sept. 18-19 will be a powerhouse, with four of the top six players in the world rankings.

Yesterday, captain Billie Jean King named No. 2 Lindsay Davenport, No. 3 Venus Williams, No. 4 Monica Seles and No. 6 Serena Williams to the team.

"It's going to be great," said Davenport after rushing Amy Frazier off Arthur Ashe Stadium Court at the U.S. Open, 6-1, 6-1. "I think we probably have the strongest team ever assembled. I'm going to venture, it is the strongest that's ever played with the ranks we are."

Capriati rolls on

Jennifer Capriati advanced into the round of 16 yesterday by upsetting No. 11 seed Nathalie Tauziat, 6-3, 1-6, 6-1.

Capriati's win, combined with No. 4 seed Monica Seles' 6-2, 6-3 victory over Ai Sugiyama last night, sets up a much anticipated meeting between the women who were child stars on the tour in 1991, when they met in a U.S. Open semifinal.

"I remember the match," Capriati said. "I haven't thought of it in a long while, though. But I remember it was very close and that I was two points away from getting to the finals. For a while afterward, it stuck with me. Maybe it was a little turning point."

Capriati, 23, is in the midst of a comeback in which she has climbed from No. 150 in the world to No. 40. This will be her first appearance in a Grand Slam fourth round since Wimbledon in 1994, and the first time she has made it this far at the Open since 1991.

Kafelnikov confident

It took six match points for Yevgeny Kafelnikov to close out his third-round match against Jonas Bjorkman, but the No. 3 seed said he was never worried.

"First set, I played probably as well as I could," said Kafelnikov, who won, 6-1, 6-4, 6-4. "I knew then I would win in three straight sets."

He'll meet Andrei Medvedev, who needed five sets to oust Lleyton Hewitt, 3-6, 6-3, 3-6, 6-4, 6-3.

Serena's song

Kim Clijsters, 16, the youngest player in the women's draw, surprised No. 7 seed Serena Williams in the first set and was serving for the match at 5-3 in the third, but Williams stormed back to win 16 of the last 17 points to advance to the fourth round, 4-6, 6-2, 7-5.

"I was thinking, 'This can't happen to me. Why me?' " Williams said. "I was just really tired of having to go out all the time early. I just wanted to take it one point at a time. That's when my determination really kicked in."

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