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Capriati dedicates victory to ill friend

Compiled from Times wires

© St. Petersburg Times,
published June 10, 2001

PARIS -- Jennifer Capriati dedicated her French Open title to Corina Morariu, a 23-year-old player having chemotherapy for a rare form of leukemia.

Standing on the winner's stage with a microphone, Capriati held her trophy and delivered a message.

"I'd like to dedicate this victory to Corina," she said. "I hope everyone prays for her recovery."

Capriati said she first thought of making the tribute as she advanced toward the final.

"I just wanted to show that my heart is with her," Capriati said. "We're all players. . . . It really hits home when something like that happens."

Before the quarterfinals, Capriati walked onto the court and held a sign for TV cameras that read: "Get Well Soon, Corina."

Morariu was diagnosed last month with acute promyelocytic leukemia and is being treated in Florida. The disease strikes about 1,500 Americans a year.

Morariu turned pro in 1997 after winning three junior Grand Slam championships. She won the 1999 Wimbledon women's doubles with Lindsay Davenport.

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