For Jennifer Fans -
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old Mar 12th, 2002, 10:07 PM Thread Starter
Senior Member
Join Date: Jan 2002
Posts: 2,282
Smile For Jennifer Fans

March 12, 2002

On This Day: The Times, March 12, 1990
From Barry Wood, Boca Raton, Florida
The future looked bright for Jennifer Capriati when, at the age of 13, she reached her first professional final. Yet the overwhelming pressure of expectations took its toll and by 1994 she had fallen out of the tennis rankings and her life was one of drugs, shoplifting and junk food. In the past year, however, Capriati has won three Grand Slam titles, crowning an astonishing sporting comeback

GABRIELA SABATINI yesterday prevented Jennifer Capriati from becoming the youngest player to win an important tournament since Andrea Jaeger claimed the title in Tampa in 1980 at the age of 15 years and four months.

Sabatini, 19, the world’s third-ranked player and a veteran in the context of this confrontation, eventually tamed her youthful opponent, 6-4, 7-5, in the Virginia Slims of Florida.

The youngster had already made tennis history before the finals began. No one before her has reached a major circuit final in their first event. Chris Evert played five tournaments before reaching her first final. Tracey Austin made it at her 11th attempt, Andrea Jaeger took 13, Gabriela Sabatini 15, Steffi Graf 21 and Martina Navratilova 26.

Not 14 until the 29th of this month, Capriati exceeded almost everyone’s expectations, but was unable to overcome the surprisingly resolute Argentinean. She appeared at times to be overeager and made errors where earlier in the week she had managed to find winners.

Sabatini used her exaggerated topspin to good effect. The ball bounced high, often above the shoulders of 5ft 6in Capriati, but that did not provide the greatest problem. That came from Capriati's inability to return the ball in the rallies with the same amount of pace she had enjoyed against previous opponents.

She managed to rally well with Sabatini from the baseline, but rarely looked like threatening from that position. Only when she came in to the net, which she did with increasing frequency, was there a realistic chance of volleying a winner. However, Sabatini was more often than not her equal in that area, too.

Although she has challenged and beaten several highly ranked players in her first week as a professional, Capriati will not receive a computer ranking until she has also competed at two further events, including the Lipton International which begins on Friday.

Meanwhile, she can count her earnings of $28,000 and consider the impact she has had. Perhaps her greatest achievement was in defeating Helena Sukova with such ease in the quarter-finals, although the determination she showed in overcoming Laura Gildemeister in two tie-breaks to reach the final would also have given the players who watched fascinated from the sidelines much food for thought.

They know, although they may be reluctant to admit it openly, that they would find the tenacious teenager almost impossible to overcome. But while the hurricane of publicity surrounds her, Capriati herself remains unaffected by it all. She is still a 13-year-old child, although a remarkably mature one.

Before yesterday, Capriati had received a good luck telephone call from Chris Evert, her model and inspiration for those punishingly accurate and consistent ground strokes which struck fear into earlier opponents.

Interviewed on the Today television show before the tournament began, she admitted that if the chance arose she would love to play mixed doubles with Jimmy Connors. She described him in a way that also describes herself.

“He’d be a lot of fun to play with and he’s really enthusiastic. I love the way he gets into it. He’s always been my idol and I've always loved him. But I also want to play with Stefan Edberg because he’s cute,” she added with a giggle.

She is, as Rex Bellamy would say, a major minor.

GogoGirl is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old Mar 13th, 2002, 12:34 AM
Senior Member
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: U.S.
Posts: 1,120
Thanks!! That was really interesting to see a report from 1990!!

Go Jennifer!!
Good Luck in 2003!!

"I just made the decision that it's now or never..Just, you gotta have this positive self-image of yourself and otherwise, you know, your not gonna survive this life, I mean, you're gonna go through living depressed and sad and not being able to look at yourself and always degrating yourself..You know the most important thing is, is that to love yourself, you know, walk around with your head high and not take anything from anybody!..There's no other way than to just try to be happy, to try to smile, 'cause you know it's just..your wasting time if you're not!"
-Jennifer Capriati
TeNnIsFaN is offline  
post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old Mar 13th, 2002, 01:02 AM
Senior Member
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: :noitacoL
Posts: 16,998
Nice article!
Jordan. is offline  
post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old Mar 13th, 2002, 08:19 AM
Moderator - BFTP
Join Date: Oct 2001
Posts: 22,782
Funny how we expected a Chris Evert clone a the time. Jen turned ut to be nothing like her, though I enjoy them both.
Rollo is offline  
post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old Mar 13th, 2002, 12:47 PM
Queen Diva on High
vw43's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: The Dew Drop Inn
Posts: 4,097
well, jen could take gaby now...nice article.

I'd rather have a bottle in front of me, than a frontal lobotomy.
vw43 is offline  
post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old Mar 13th, 2002, 02:05 PM
Senior Member
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Berkeley, CA
Posts: 2,920
Brings back a lot of memories! I thought in 1990 that Jen would rule the next ten years. Funny how she just started ruling a full ten years later than expected.

I miss Gaby too! She was only 19 then, time flies.
Mark43 is offline  
post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old Mar 13th, 2002, 03:37 PM
Team WTAworld
Senior Member
veryborednow's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: here
Posts: 10,772
But I also want to play with Stefan Edberg because he’s cute
aw! how sweet! thanks

and where they produce desolation, they call it peace
veryborednow is offline  
post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old Mar 13th, 2002, 04:21 PM
Junior Member
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 44
Thanks, that was nice (and saddened me in a way). Jennifer's comeback is why I started paying attention to Women's tennis again. I watched her back then and loved the child prodigy story. It was so disheartening when it all went down the toilet, which is why her fantastic results now are so rewarding to those of us that followed her then (and liked her). The impossible happened, no one thought she'd ever come back to be a force in tennis, some said she was good then but couldn't compete with the power of today. It's great when the underdog proves the nay-sayers WRONG!

Go Jen, better late than never!!!
dionysus is offline  

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome