MELBOURNE, Australia -- Defending champion Jennifer Capriati regained control after a shaky second set and advanced to the Australian Open final with a 7-5, 3-6, 6-1 victory Thursday over Kim Clijsters.
Seeking her third title in her last five Grand Slam events, Capriati faces a rematch of her Australian 2001 final with Martina Hingis.
Three-time champion Hingis reached her sixth straight Australian Open final by overcoming Monica Seles' power with agile retrieving, winning 4-6, 6-1, 6-4.
Capriati once again had a hard time with Clijsters, who extended her to 12-10 in the final set in last year's French Open final.
After four consecutive service breaks, Capriati won the first set with a forehand crosscourt and then a backhand error by Clijsters.
In the second set, Clijsters cut down her errors and Capriati missed frequently. The Belgian, seeded fourth, took the set with a sharply angled forehand half-volley.
Capriati saved one break point in the final set's first game, and again began pressuring her opponent into errors.
She broke in the second game and again in the sixth, where she sent a deep lob that Clijsters misjudged and then couldn't recover in time to return.
Capriati won the final game at love on two backhand misses by Clijsters and two aces, including one on match point.
In all, Clijsters had 46 unforced errors to 37 by Capriati.
Capriati, who reached the French Open semifinals at 14 in 1990, overcame a series of personal problems and won her first Grand Slam tournament title at last year's Australian Open, where she was seeded 12th.
She took over the No. 1 ranking this month after Lindsay Davenport underwent knee surgery.
Hingis is feeling confident after her comeback against Seles.
''I believe in it again now, and it's a great feeling,'' said Hingis, whose most recent Grand Slam title was the 1999 Australian Open.
Seles, a four-time Australian winner, used her power to prevail in the first set. She had to save two break points in a game that lasted 10 minutes and included five deuces for 3-1, and save another two for 4-4. She broke Hingis in the first and ninth games, and was broken in the sixth.
For the rest of the match, Hingis relied on her volley, waiting for Seles to miss or for an opportunity to put the ball away herself.
Seles had 40 unforced errors, while Hingis had 12. Seles led in groundstroke winners 36-20.
Hingis raced to a 5-1 lead in the final set, but couldn't serve out the match at 5-2 as Seles starting hitting winners again.
Seles, who has nine Grand Slam tournament titles, but none since the 1996 Australian, held serve for 4-5, but Hingis won in the next game when Seles, attacking the net, hit a backhand crosscourt wide.
''You always question if you're capable of winning another if you haven't won a Grand Slam in three years,'' Hingis said. ''You put the past behind. If I was able to do it once, I can do it again.''
Over the last three years, she said, other women on the tour caught up with her, ''but I've raised my level.''
Against Seles, Hingis said, ''I had to lift something. There was nothing I could do at the beginning. She was hitting winners.
''I was trying to make her move as much as I could and wait for my chances.''
Seles said Hingis has regained all her quickness after ankle surgery last October, when she lost the No. 1 ranking after 73 straight weeks at the top.
''She makes you put a little extra on,'' Seles said. ''I made too many unforced errors at key times.
''I felt I had a lot of mishits. Against a player like Martina, you cannot afford that.''
In the men's competition, Tommy Haas advanced to the semifinals, coming back in one match after another. That might not be so easy against his next opponent, Marat Safin.
Haas beat former No. 1 Marcelo Rios 7-6 (2), 6-4, 6-7 (2), 7-6 (5) in a quarterfinal Wednesday night. He saved break points in five early games and rallied from one service break down in two sets.
In two previous rounds, Haas rebounded from 2-1 deficits in sets to beat Todd Martin and 11th-seeded Roger Federer.
On, Friday, the seventh-seeded German faces the ninth-seeded Safin, the 2000 U.S. Open champion.
Safin, who squelched a comeback bid by Pete Sampras in the fourth round, needed only 28 minutes to advance to the semifinals when Wayne Ferreira quit with an abdominal strain.
In the other semifinal, No. 16 Thomas Johansson plays No. 26 Jiri Novak on Thursday night. Both are in their first Grand Slam semifinals, after 23 attempts by Novak and 25 by Johansson.
Haas said he will have to serve well again and make Safin play a lot of balls.
''He's a very powerful player, a young kid who is very hungry to play, already won a Grand Slam, he's been No. 1 in the world,'' Haas said. ''He played a great match against Pete and it's going to be tough.''
Sampras was trying for his 14th Grand Slam tournament title.
Haas also reached the Australian Open semifinals in 1999, and lost to another Russian, Yevgeny Kafelnikov. In other Grand Slam events, he has yet to pass the fourth round.
Rios might have been the semifinalist, Haas said, if he had done better on his break-point chances in the first two sets.
''I seemed to save them pretty well with my serves,'' Haas said. ''I was also quite frustrated when he actually broke me, so I seemed to play a really good game right after that to get the break back, which gave me confidence.''
Rios was serving for the first set at 5-4 when Haas broke him for the first time.
''If I win that first set, it's a totally different match,'' Rios said. ''And I was a break up in the fourth, and I couldn't keep winning my serve. He just played better in the important moments.''
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