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post #421 of 648 (permalink) Old Jan 6th, 2013, 11:44 PM
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Re: 1992

Thursday, March 19, 1992

KEY BISCAYNE -- Jennifer Capriati won't be quitting tennis anytime soon. Forget the tabloid stories about the kid who would rather be at the mall with her teen-age friends.

Capriati may not have all the answers to the game of life yet, but she is doing just fine at the game of tennis.

Wednesday at Lipton, Capriati stunned Monica Seles, the No. 1 player in the world and the two-time defending champion, 6-2, 7-6 (7-5).

''This ranks right up there with my best wins, second after Martina,'' said Capriati, who knocked off Navratilova at Wimbledon last summer.

''I was really determined. I thought I had a really good chance. It feels great.''

Capriati meets Arantxa Sanchez Vicario in today's semifinal (1 p.m., ESPN), while Steffi Graf and Gabriela Sabatini face off in tonight's semifinal (7 p.m.).

Sanchez eliminated Amanda Coetzer 6-4, 6-1; Graf defeated Mary Joe Fernandez 7-6 (7-5), 6-4 and Sabatini ousted Amy Frazier 6-0, 6-1 in Wednesday's other quarterfinals.

Capriati struggling with burnout at 15? The kid proved Wednesday that the fire burns bright.

''This is the right time, the right moment,'' said Pavel Slozil, Capriati's coach. ''Jennifer is playing very well. She's there. She loves to play tennis. This is not the time to write her off.

''People made a big deal because she lost one match in Toyko (to Magdalena Maleeva). In five weeks, she has come back to beat No. 1. Wait and give her some time and understanding. People should stop worrying that she is not behaving the way they wish she'd behave. She's still only 15. This is a big win for her and her family.''

After Seles ended the match with a double fault (shades of Wimbledon), Capriati ran over to the box seats to hug her father, Stefano, her mother, Denise, her brother, Stephen, Saddlebrook pro Tommy Thompson, former coach Jimmy Evert and agent John Evert.

''Jennifer feels better about herself,'' Denise said. ''What's the National Enquirer going to write now?''

Seles entered the match on a 27-match winning streak. She was 19-0 on the year, the only undefeated player left on the Kraft Tour. She had lost only one set all season -- to Leila Meskhi at the Australian Open. She had won 34 of 39 sets by 6-3 or better.

Seles seemed invincible.

But Capriati, who beat Seles twice last year (Mahwah, N.J., a special event, and San Diego), came out blasting. She broke for 2-1 and took a 4-1 lead when Seles lost her serve on a double fault.

Capriati led 3-1 in the second set, but Seles reeled off four games in a row and served at 5-3 to even the match.

Starting with a net chord forehand volley winner, Capriati took the next eight points to even the set. Capriati then broke Seles with a backhand crosscourt on the line.

Capriati served for the match at 6-5, just as she did twice in that dramatic final set at the U.S. Open in September.

Capriati failed again, and the second set went to a tiebreaker. This one belonged to Capriati.

Seles led 3-1, but Capriati answered with a backhand down the line. Seles netted a forehand, but Capriati double-faulted to fall behind 3-4.

Capriati evened the tiebreaker with another backhand winner down the line, as the stadium clock, set to Swiss time (who knows why), struck midnight.

Capriati missed a backhand wide, but Seles sailed a forehand long for 5-all. Seles missed a backhand crosscourt wide and put her hand on her head, not sure of the call or her predicament.

It was match point, and Seles made it easy with her fourth double fault.

''That's the first time I've double-faulted on match point,'' Seles said. ''I was not so keen to win this match, even when I led 5-3. Jennifer was up for it. She was going for her shots.''

''I didn't let Monica take control as she usually does,'' Capriati said. ''I stayed on the attack. I expected her to go on a roll, but she really didn't. I gave it my all in the second set. I pretended it was the first set again.''

''You have to beat Monica, and you need guts to do it,'' Slozil said. ''Jennifer was up, then down in the second set and she came back. I was very pleased.''

Slozil told Capriati that Lipton would be ''a new beginning.''

''I was not expecting anything big here,'' Slozil said. ''She took time off to go to school and she worked hard for this. It is not the end of the story.''

5. Jennifer Capriati d. 1. Monica Seles 6-2, 7-6 (7-5).

2. Steffi Graf d. 6. Mary Joe Fernandez 7-6 (7-5), 6-4.

3. Gabriela Sabatini d. 14. Amy Frazier 6-0, 6-1.

4. Arantxa Sanchez Vicario d. Amanda Coetzer 6-1, 6-4.

1. Jim Courier d. Diego Nargiso 6-7 (8-10), 6-2, 6-0.

6. Michael Chang d. 4. Pete Sampras 6-4, 7-6 (7-4).

Alberto Mancini d. Richard Krajicek 6-4, 6-7 (8-6), 7-5.

Jakob Hlasek d. Andrei Cherkasov 6-7 (1-7), 6-3, 6-4.

Kent Kinnear-Sven Salumaa d. Cyril Suk-Tom Nijssen 6-4, 6-4.

Luke Jensen-Laurie Warder d. Steve DeVries-David MacPherson 6-4, 6-1.

Robin White-Natalia Zvereva d. Mary Lou Daniels-Rosalyn Fairbank-Nideffer 6-4, 6-2.

Catarina Lindqvist-Lori McNeil d. Shaun Stafford-Marianne Werdel 6-3, 6-0.

Jennifer Capriati stunned two-time defending champion Monica Seles 6-2, 7-6 (7-5).

Gabriela Sabatini smashed Amy Frazier 6-0, 6-1.

''Ever since we were 7 and 8, I haven't been able to put it together when I play Michael.'' -- Pete Sampras on his problems playing Michael Chang.

-- Graf is 8-0 against Fernandez. Graf has not lost a set.

-- Fernandez came to the net 39 times and won 21 points (59 percent) against Graf.

-- Seles committed 46 unforced errors to 31 for Capriati.

-- All four men's quarterfinal matches included tiebreakers. Courier, Mancini and Hlasek lost tiebreakers but still won in three sets.

-- The Hlasek-Mancini semifinal matches two lower seeds: Hlasek is No. 17 and Mancini No. 20.

Day session, 1 p.m.

Jennifer Capriati vs. Arantxa Sanchez Vicario: The series is 1-1. Capriati won at Hilton Head in 1990 and Sanchez in the Lufthansa Cup in 1991.

Night session, 7 p.m.

Steffi Graf vs. Gabriela Sabatini: Graf broke a five-match losing streak to Sabatini by winning the Wimbledon final.

1-4 p.m. and 1-2:30 a.m. (tape), ESPN.
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post #422 of 648 (permalink) Old Jan 6th, 2013, 11:46 PM
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Re: 1992

The Palm Beach Post
Thursday, March 19, 1992

Jennifer Capriati answered her detractors the best way she knew how Wednesday-- on the court.

Capriati, whose life has been the subject of tabloid speculation the past few months, beat No. 1 seed and No. 1-ranked Monica Seles 6-2, 7-6 (7-5) at the Lipton International Players Championships.

"How do you think it feels?" said Capriati, 15, who advanced to today's semifinals. "It feels great. I'm really excited.'

Capriati beat the previously unbeatable Seles at the International Tennis Center playing a Seles style game, pounding from the baseline on long rallies and hitting winners with incredible angles.

"She was a lot better from the backcourt than I was," said Seles, who had reached the finals of 21 consecutive tournaments and hadn't been beaten in 27 matches. "She was making great shots, and giving back a lot of great shots, also. She was making it that I would have to play a great point to win it."

Capriati, seeded No. 5, now plays No. 4 Arantxa Sanchez Vicario, who beat Amanda Coetzer 6-1, 6-3.

In the other semifinal, No. 2 Steffi Graf and No. 3 Gabriela Sabatini resume their long rivalry. Graf beat Mary Joe Fernandez 7-6 (7-5), 6-4, and Sabatini had no trouble with Amy Frazier, winning 6-0, 6-1.

In the men's draw, top seed Jim Courier, No. 6 Michael Chang, Alberto Mancini and Jakob Hlasek all advanced to Friday's semifinals.

Courier needed three sets, but beat Diego Nargiso 6-7 (8-10), 6-2, 6-0. Chang beat No. 4 Pete Sampras 6-4, 7-6 (4-7), Hlasek beat Andrei Cherkasov 6-7 (7-1), 6-3, 6-4 and Mancini beat Richard Krajicek 6-4, 6-7 (6-8), 7-5.

Capriati breezed through the first set against Seles, but Seles came back to take a 5-3 lead in the second. She served for the set, but double-faulted twice and was broken at love. Capriati then held her serve at love to tie the match.

"I was not feeling as comfortable as I usually do," Seles said. "I was not so keen to win. She was really up for it. She was going for points and I was laying back. . . . I was playing to stay in the match, not to win it."

The tiebreaker was close throughout. Seles led 3-1 and 5-4 before Capriati took her first lead at 6-5 when Seles hit a backhand wide.

At match point, Seles-- incredibly-- double-faulted.

"That's the first time I've ever double-faulted on match point," Seles said.

Seles was not her usual self.

"I was a little tight," she said. "I don't know why. I was letting her take control of the points."

Capriati didn't deny that fact, but also said she would give herself some credit.

"I didn't let her take control as much as she always does," Capriati said. "But it's not like she gave it to me. It wasn't easy."

Capriati has been the subject of much discussion lately, especially after her tearful reaction to a quarterfinal loss to Sabatini in the Australian Open. That was followed by a National Enquirer story that told of problems between Capriati and her father, Stefano, after a 6-1, 6-2 loss to Magdalena Maleeva in Tokyo, the worst loss of her career.

Capriati, a teenager growing up with the world watching, shrugged off the problems, but some suggested she needed a break. ESPN's Mary Carillo said on the air this week that it was evident Capriati was not having fun and said Capriati should take six months off.

Capriati's response: "How do you know what I'm like at home?"

After beating Seles, she said she's not finished yet.

"Just because I beat Monica, I don't want that to be it for me," Capriati said. "That's happened to me before. I don't want to let it happen again."

Fernandez played one of her better matches against Graf, but for the eighth time in eight tries she came up short.

"I wasn't able to break her the whole match," said Fernandez, who came to the net 39 times, a departure from her normal game. "Every time I had a break point, she came up with a big serve."

Graf, who made just 55 percent of her first serves, didn't agree.

"I think we both did not serve that well," she said. "That's why it's very strange that few breaks really came up."

The only break of serve came when Graf broke Fernandez at 2-2 in the second set. Graf won the first set tiebreaker 7-5, the last two points on Fernandez mis-hits.

"To win the first set was very important," Graf said.

Fernandez said losing it was disheartening.

"Obviously," she said. "It was just frustrating. I had played well. I was with her. A couple of points made the difference."
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post #423 of 648 (permalink) Old Jan 6th, 2013, 11:48 PM
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Re: 1992

More than you ever wanted to know about the tournament's food service...

The Miami Herald
Thursday, March 19, 1992

There you are, a hungry tennis fan who has just sat through a five-set marathon, and you're really ready for lunch. But you don't want a burger and a beer. You have a taste for pasta. Or pizza. Or fajitas. A Caesar salad with grilled chicken. Grilled fish with tropical fruit salsa.

You can't get that at a tennis tournament, can you?

At the Lipton International Players Championships, now in full swing on Key Biscayne, you can. Food at this tournament is a whole new ball game.

Though the concession booths stock the stand-bys -- hot dogs, burgers, frozen yogurt -- they also feature bruschetta, ham and brie sandwiches, fish tacos. A sit-down restaurant, the Bacardi Tropical Grill, offers grilled fish, chicken fajitas, pasta salads, made and served on the spot.

This is upscale fare on a grand scale. By the time the tournament ends Sunday afternoon, Gene's Catering will have served about 200,000 meals in less than two weeks. Says company president Gene Singletary Jr.: "It's so much food it boggles your mind."

The logistics are formidable, the hours seemingly without end.

Singletary, who runs the family-owned company with his brother, Jim, jokes that catering the Lipton is like two weeks at a spa: You get a great tan and lose 15 pounds. The down side, he says, pointing at his sandy hair that's liberally dusted with silver, is more gray hairs.

This is the third year the Singletary company has done the food at Lipton . The job means weeks of days that begin at 9 a.m. and end at midnight, if you're lucky, riding an adrenaline wave that staffers call " Lipton fever."

Besides the food for spectators, the caterers also will handle about 140 parties given by corporate sponsors for their customers as well as set up and operate an exclusive restaurant for tournament players and their guests. Gene's also will feed the ball-fetchers, the umpires and referees, the reporters and photographers from around the world.

"It's expensive, but we know it's good," says tournament chairman Butch Buchholz. "Gene is known in the community, is known for quality. . . . We want it to be a total experience, that you can come out and have quality food and quality tennis."

To offer food that ranges from hot pretzels to paella cooked in a custom-made, 10-foot pan for a 500-person corporate party requires not only the caterer's regular staff (sometimes on double shifts) but also 300 temporary cooks and servers. They operate from a city of tents housing temporary kitchens, dishwashing machines, paper and food storage and props. A small fleet of refrigerator trucks will be unloaded and refilled with food a half-dozen times before it's over.

In the trailer that is the Gene's Catering office for the duration, phones ring madly on the Monday morning before the tournament begins. Walkie-talkies blare out questions. Fax machines whirr. On one wall are stapled samples of the paper and plastic cups, plates and containers that food will be served in. (They keep track of sales with daily opening and closing counts of cups, plates or food items. Gene Singletary's wife, Isabel, is here on a two-week "vacation" from her job as executive director of the Florida Shoe Mart to help with the accounting.)

The temporary workers are arriving to learn their tasks. The concession stands go through dry runs to check equipment and
serve the die-hard tennis fans here to watch the qualifying matches.

By Friday the 13th -- a cold and rainy day -- the Tropical Grill is up and running and the first corporate parties begin. The first weekend of the tournament is busiest for the concessions -- naturally enough, more tennis is played in the early rounds -- but the second weekend is prime time for the big-money sponsor parties.

Though it seems both daunting and exhausting to an outsider, the Singletary brothers, their families and core staff thrive on the challenge.

Says Gene Singletary: "I have to administrate all year long and wear a tie every day. This gets your adrenaline going a little bit."

There is a lot at stake: Gene's has set the gold standard for society catering locally and wants to uphold its reputation for sophisticated food and smooth, problem-free service. There are potential new customers to woo, too. Says Jim Singletary: "There are people out at Lipton this weekend eyeballing everything. . . . It's safe to say we got the Super Bowl (1991 in Tampa) out of Lipton."

The Singletary family started in the food business two generations back, when Gene and Jim's grandmother started the Estes restaurant in Allapattah. Their father, Gene Sr., began catering in the '70s. Their dad was a "hands-on cook" while their mom was the bookkeeper and accountant. (They have retired and live in Fort Lauderdale.)

Four of their six children (Gene, Jim, sister Janice and baby brother Jeff) are involved in the company today. Jim, who handles the "back of the house" or food side of the business, learned from cooking with his dad. "He knew pastry, meat, butchering. He used to wake me up at 4 a.m. to go and bake."

Gene, who seems equal parts showman, salesman, perfectionist and nice guy, recruits new business and is the "front of the house" man. At Lipton , he is everywhere, into everything. At the Spizza stand, he spends an hour adjusting the conveyor belt-like pizza oven to make sure it turns out crusts that meet his standards.

He grabs a pair of tongs and a bowl to demonstrate the portion size for the Caesar salad. "Just fill it up. Lettuce is cheap. Make a nice healthy, serving."

He looks at the serving cart for the salads and frowns: "I want some tomatoes in here, some color. Cauliflower, eggplant, tomato. Give it a lot of color."

He can be stern. As staffers wrangle on the walkie- talkies about missing keys, he grabs a microphone and says: "Let's get this key business straightened out today, guys. Let's not let it become a problem."

He is obsessed with making things better. To staffer Barbara Burton, who is supervising the players' tent as well as food for the officials, he radios: "Barbara, I want you to take a look at the officials' buffet and make sure we spiffy it up a little. Also, don't serve hot dogs in there anymore. They don't like hot dogs."

A few minutes later, in the players' tent: "It's too quiet in here. Where's the music?"

Few details escape his attention. At the players' pasta station, he looks at the portion languishing in the pan and says to the cook: "Don't serve that if it's been in there too long. Just throw it away and start again."

Time was, Jim Singletary says, that he was alarmed by his big brother's penchant for taking on new challenges (Sure, we can cater a party in the Virgin Islands. No problem.) and branching out beyond the receptions and charity dinners that are a staple of the catering business. Now, Jim says, he relishes "the challenge of doing mega-events with little or no problems that anybody in the front would know about. Just seeing it all pull together. . . . It used to boggle my mind."

Planning for the tournament begins in November, devising the hospitality menus and thinking about concessions and new ideas. As it nears, party menus are set, amended, set again. Orders are placed, amended, delivered.

Two days before the tournament opens, Jim is at the company's headquarters -- a 20,000-square-foot office, huge catering kitchen and warehouse west of the airport. His wife, Neli, has taken a few weeks off from her job as a Southern Bell sales rep to keep track of change orders for parties, and later serve as an "expediter" in the hospitality kitchen at the site. Every time a party menu item or the number of people expected changes, it sets off a chain reaction in the food order and in the preparation needed in the kitchen. It's no simple thing.

The commissary is buzzing. "We're running two shifts right now," says Jim Singletary.

A crew in the bakery, all wearing tall white chef's hats, turns out dozens of cakes, pastries and breads, including "can bread" baked in big rounds.

In the salad production room, gallons of dressings are stirred together and make-ahead dishes like chicken salad assembled. Green salads will be prepared on site. In a steam kettle, 100 gallons of Alfredo sauce bubble. Next to it, a similar amount of beef stock steams.

At the loading dock, goods are being unloaded not by the case but by the pallet. There are three 45-foot refrigerator trucks here to handle the overflow.

In the midst of all this tournament-related chopping and cooking, other business goes on. In the big freezer room, executive chef Jose Rios examines a custom rubber mold for a foot-tall ice sculpture to hold caviar. It's not frozen yet; they'll need 400 of these for a party in a couple of weeks. (Gene's also handles catering and the restaurant at Grove Isle. The company operates Seasons restaurant at The Falls in South Dade, too.)

In Rios' office, which perches above the kitchen like a dispatcher's booth, production charts are color coded by department. As each shift reports to work, Rios assigns the day's tasks. Among them:

* Sear 105 tuna steaks.

* Make two batches (25 and 50 gallons) of tomato basil sauce.

* Prepare 10 gallons of pizza vegetables.

* Shred a case of cheddar cheese. That's 60 pounds.

* Season and sear 35 flank steaks for fajitas.

"It's very regimented because you have a lot to get done," Jim Singletary says.

"Right now," say Rios, who has been with the company for seven years, "we're low key." Once the tournament begins, he adds, "We don't sleep much."

Despite (or maybe because of) the long hours and the pressure, the Singletary team relishes the Lipton. Gene and Isabel's daughter, Amanda, turned 6 the first weekend of the tournament; her birthday celebration will come when it's over. Jim and Neli's three young daughters -- Nicole, Monica and Brittany -- miss their parents, too.

Still, says Jim Singletary: "It's a challenge. Every year it becomes a little easier because we're a little more experienced."

"You know what I like about this?" Gene Singletary asks. "It's a real local thing. It's in our back yard. It's like I'm part of something big. It makes you feel you're really a part of something that's happening in the community."

'LIPTON FEVER': Ramona Visconti, above, serves pasta -- a favorite with the athletes -- in the players' tent. At right, a wall in the tournament office is covered with samples of the plastic and paper goods in which food is served.

MARICE COHN BAND/Miami Herald Staff

THE FAMILY BUSINESS: Brothers Jim, left, and Gene Singletary check the rowboat that serves as a salad bar in the players' restaurant tent.

TROPICAL FARE: Ofelia Garcia opts for pasta salad in the Tropical Grill, a restaurant-bar that serves tropical drinks and grilled and light fare to tournament spectators.

IN TOUCH: Portable phones and two-way radios keep Isabel Singletary in touch with the action.
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post #424 of 648 (permalink) Old Jan 6th, 2013, 11:51 PM
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Re: 1992

Makes me certain that the statement from the French Open that Americans were ordering pasta with ketchup is nothing but base slander...

The Miami Herald
Thursday, March 19, 1992

Here's an overview of what Gene's Catering is cooking, serving and selling at the Lipton tournament:

Options range from pretzel carts, hot dog vendors and stands selling fruit smoothies to a central concessions plaza that features burgers, pasta, salads and more. Two "Fast Serve" stands right outside the stadium dispense hot dogs and soft drinks. A red-and-white check-bedecked stand called Spizza sells pizzas ($4 and $6), and Caesar salads available with ($7.50) or without ($4.50) grilled chicken. (Pizza sold so well last year that the stand was enlarged. They expect to sell about 15,000 this year.)

The key to successful concession sales is balancing the quality of food against the cost people will pay against the time people will wait. You can't cook burgers to order, for instance, because people don't want to stand around and wait. You don't want to cook them ahead because quality suffers. So, the cooks keep an eye on the big stadium and when a match is about to end, the burgers go on the grill. The hope is to have hot, fresh food ready for customers when they stream out of the stands.

This tented restaurant feeds not only tournament participants but also serves as a restaurant for their families and guests, plus a few tournament officials. (The players get meal coupons; for others, it's cash or credit card.) It's served by a small kitchen tent behind.

Inside the restaurant, the centerpiece is a red and white rowboat set up as a central salad bar; it's filled with ice, decked out with conch shells (the company owns "about a billion," Singletary says) and outlined with abundant displays of whole vegetables, bright red peppers, yellow squash, curly kale.

Instead of a long buffet line, there are two "stations" from which cooks prepare and serve pasta daily. Another changes each day from stir fry to fajitas to pizza. Singletary notes, "They like a lot of carbohydrates before they play."

Says John Sergi, a food consultant to Lipton and eight other tennis tournaments: "This is the best players food on the tour."

A joint venture with Bacardi, this restaurant-bar serves tropical drinks and an assortment of grilled and light fare -- fajitas, ribs, salads, "quick pick-up food."

Last year the Grill was a full-service restaurant, but the lines and the waits were frustrating; this year, it's a buffet- cafeteria set-up with tables. The tent is draped with tropical-looking vines and leaves (made of foam rubber) and leopard- and zebra-skin patterned cloths. It seats about 200; box holders are given preference in admission.

In the 10 days of the tournament, Gene's operations vice president Jo-Ann D'Arcy will supervise about 150 parties in the 13 small corporate tents as well as the large Lipton corporate tent and the Champions Pavilion. There, the company will cater a 300-person do for Prudential and a 500-person bash for AvMed, two of the larger parties.

Party sales are up this year, D'Arcy says. " Lipton is a hot ticket."

The fare ranges from standard rolls, coffee and juice continental breakfasts or fruit and cheese platters to elaborate, custom-designed spreads like the Tropical Paella Party. It included:

* Miami paella (made in that 10-foot-across pan).

* Pepper-crusted sirloin seared on the buffet and served with black bean chili sauce.

* Grilled dolphin with mango and papaya salsa.

* Tropical Caesar salad with smoked fish and spice croutons.

* Black bean and corn salad with jicama.

* Carts dispensing Bahamian conch fritters with Key lime mustard sauce and Jamaican meat patties with Pickapeppa sauce.

* Assorted desserts including banana Key lime pie.

Such sophisticated corporate entertainment helps the tournament recruit sponsors. Says tournament chairman Butch Buchholz: "He really works hard to be creative about it, which fits into what we want."

The caterers also feed the dozens of ball kids, the referees and umpires and the press (known for being both voracious and ill-mannered).
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Re: 1992

The Palm Beach Post
Thursday, March 19, 1992

From outside the stadium, the grunts and thuds made it sound as if Monica Seles were working over a punching bag. Backhand, forehand, head butt, the works.

Inside, to the amazement of everyone with a good tan or any other claim to tennis expertise, the bag was fighting back. Jennifer Capriati has taken her shots in 1992, answering accusations that a lifetime of enthusiasm has been burned up before her 16th birthday, that a mercenary schedule of exhibitions is making a mess of her career, that she hates her father to the point of telling him so in public following an embarrassing loss to unseeded Magdalena Maleeva at the Pan Pacific Open in January.the world's dominant star in Wednesday's Lipton quarterfinals should throw the hounds onto another trail. Tennis' littlest legend is back on a roll.

"I'm gonna give credit to myself a little bit," Capriati said of a 6-2, 7-6 win over Seles, a predator who had not been turned away from any target in 27 straight matches. "I played really well."

Walter Cronkite can verify that's the way it was. He ducked into the back of the interview tent Wednesday, another celebrity charmed by Capriati. Already in the family photo album are shots of Jennifer meeting Tom Cruise, Wilt Chamberlain, Wayne Gretzky, etc. From time to time she should leaf through that book as a reminder of how much fun this all is.

Gone are the giggles that punctuated each remark in 1990, the year Capriati made her professional debut at Boca Raton's Virginia Slims of Florida. Just 13, she reached the final and made Gabriela Sabatini work for a 6-4, 7-5 victory. Jennifer had dimples and a retainer and was "cute" according to the lead paragraph of every story filed internationally that week.

These days she squirms in front of reporters, praying she doesn't look cute anymore, demanding with a healthy coat of lipstick that she be taken seriously. She has stopped bouncing from the court to the interview area, pausing instead to shower, change clothes and reach into the jewelry box. She wore five necklaces and a pair of dangling earrings to the Seles post-mortem. "It wasn't easy, not like she gave it to me," Capriati said of a second set she fought back to win after being down 5-3. "I didn't let her take control as much as she always does."

And neither, it seems, will anyone else be allowed to dictate her game. Not even father Stefano.


In 10 days Capriati will be 16, the age when every kid imagines their acne is being discussed in whispered tones all about them. Sarcasm is discovered as a weapon, wielded against the group in power-- grownups. On every continent, in every home, these are trying times.

At an earlier Lipton match, Capriati was asked what happened to the "creative energy" that made her a tennis genius by junior high.

"How have I lost it?" Capriati asked, not the least amused. "I mean, what would you like me to do? I mean, how do you know what I'm like at home? How do you know what I'm like with my friends and stuff?

"I get the same enjoyment out of tennis, but it's different now. There's more pressure, a lot of responsibility. In the beginning, it was fun and all just to be there. Now I take it more seriously."


Seles found that out Wednesday. It wasn't just that Capriati, stronger and heavier, steamrolled her in the first set. The big points of the second set demonstrated Capriati's maturity. With teeth gritted on each swing, Jennifer pounded groundstrokes deep in the court and worked Seles side to side like a puppet. This came as quite a shock to the No. 1 player, who hadn't missed a tournament final in 21 events. Seles lost a 5-3 lead in the second set and double-faulted on match point in t he tiebreaker.

"Everything happened so fast," Seles said.

That suited Capriati, who didn't need time to dwell on her last tiebreaker with Seles, a 7-3 loss in the third set of September's U.S. Open semifinals. This match removes a psychological barrier, just as a Wimbledon quarterfinal win over Martina Navratilova did in July.

The greater goal will take time, approximately two years. Then little Jenny will be an adult, judged as a player, not a prodigy.

And if we still recognize her, that's a bonus.
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post #426 of 648 (permalink) Old Jan 6th, 2013, 11:53 PM
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Re: 1992

Capriati gets sweet revenge, upsets Seles
The Tampa Tribune
Thursday, March 19, 1992

Sometimes, the longer the wait, the sweeter the revenge.

Jennifer Capriati found out Wednesday in an emotional victory against No. 1-ranked Monica Seles at the Lipton International Tennis Championships.

Capriati gunned down Seles 6-2, 7-6 (7-5) in the quarterfinals, avenging a three-set loss last year at the U.S. Open.

The victory moved Capriati, from Saddlebrook, into the semifinals today against fourth-seeded Arantxa Sanchez Vicario.

"This win ranks right up there, but I don't want this to be it for the week,'' Capriati said.

"This is what I was aiming for. I've worked hard the last three weeks to get ready for this tournament. I came here thinking I had a chance.''

Not only did Capriati get even, but she stalled the Seles Express. Seles, Lipton's two-time defending champion, had a 27-match winning streak snapped. Seles also had reached the final of her last 21 tournaments, including all 16 last year.

"The shots just weren't there today,'' Seles said. "Jennifer ran a lot of them down, so I felt I had to come up with some great shots.''

Today's other women's semifinal will pit No. 2 seed Steffi Graf against third-seeded Gabriela Sabatini. Graf edged sixth-seeded Mary Joe Fernandez 7-6 (7-5), 6-4, and Sabatini routed Amy Frazier 6-0, 6-1.

The men's Final Four also is complete. Defending champion and No. 1 seed Jim Courier of Dade City rallied to a 6-7 (8-10), 6-2, 6-0 victory against Italy's Diego Nargiso. Courier will face sixth-seeded Michael Chang on Friday. Chang beat No. 4 Pete Sampras 6-4, 7-6 (7-4).

The other semifinal sends Jakob Hlasek against Alberto Mancini.

Nargiso, ranked No. 100 in the world, gave Courier, ranked No. 1, a scare in the first set before Courier took charge.

"You're always a little concerned when you're down a set,'' Courier said. "I figured he might have a letdown after the first set, and he did. Once I jumped on him, I felt good the rest of the way.''

Capriati had two scores to settle against Seles. One month after their U.S. Open match, Seles defeated a gimpy Capriati in the final of the Virginia Slims of Philadelphia.

But the U.S. Open loss was the match that really inspired Capriati. In that match, Capriati twice served for the win. She just didn't have the shots.

The shots were there Wednesday. Capriati overpowered Seles with her groundstrokes and showed surprising quickness. It wasn't Seles who chased down every ball. It was Capriati.

Capriati also was determined. At the Open, she let Seles off the hook in the third set. Not this time. Not even after failing to close the match out when serving at 6-5.

"At any time, I expected her to get on a roll and take off. That's what she normally does,'' Capriati said.

Capriati matched Seles point for point in the tie-breaker. Seles finally blinked. At 5-5, she hit a forehand long, then double-faulted on match point.
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Re: 1992

Pressure from Capriati explodes Seles' streak
Thursday, March 19, 1992
Doug Smith

KEY BISCAYNE, Fla. - Jennifer Capriati stayed loose; Monica Seles admitted being ``a little tight.''

Usually, it's Seles, the No. 1 player in the world, applying the pressure.

But Wednesday, No. 5 seed Capriati had greater firepower in a baseline battle of the teens at the Lipton International Players Championships.

Capriati, 15, outdueled Seles 6-2, 7-6 (7-5), breaking the Yugoslav's 27- match winning streak and advancing to a semifinal matchup today against Spain's Arantxa Sanchez Vicario. Seles, 18, failed to reach the final for the first time in 21 events.aying to stay in the match, not to win it.''

Seles, who leads the series against Capriati 4-2, led 5-3 in the second set and came close to forcing a third set. But Capriati wouldn't allow it.

``After I won the first set, I kept saying to myself to pretend that the second set was the first set,'' Capriati said. ``I kept saying she's probably going to come out fighting now, but I didn't let her take control as much as she always does. I served a lot better.''

Seles' serve left her when she needed it most. With Capriati leading 6-5 in the second-set tiebreak, Seles ended the match with a double fault.

``That's the first time I've ever double-faulted at match point. I don't know what happened,'' Seles said. ``When you're so close to getting into a third set, it's always difficult.''

After a first-round loss at Tokyo in February, Capriati returned to her 10th-grade classes and friends at Palmer Academy in Saddlebrook, Fla.

``She had to regroup,'' said Pavel Slozil, Capriati's coach since the Australian Open. Slozil, who coached Steffi Graf when the German was No. 1, says Capriati is capable of being just as good.

``She's got guts,'' he said. ``I knew she had something excellent; that's why I came to work with her.''

Said Capriati: ``I thought I played well; I took one point at a time. It wasn't easy. It's not like she gave it to me.''
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post #428 of 648 (permalink) Old Jan 6th, 2013, 11:55 PM
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Re: 1992

The Palm Beach Post
Thursday, March 19, 1992

The rivalry between Steffi Graf and Gabriela Sabatini goes back seven years and 30 matches.

It resumes today in a semifinal match at the Lipton International Players Championships.

Graf, 21-9 against Sabatini, had the advantage early, but Sabatini has turned it around the past two years, winning five of the last six matches. Her only loss was in last year's Wimbledon final, which Graf won in the third set 8-6.

In Florida matches, Sabatini is 6-1 and has won the last six.

"I don't think it has much to do with Florida itself," Graf said. "I mean, that's where most of the tournaments have been the last year in the beginning, and that's where she won matches against me. Because I didn't play that well. I don't think it really has much to do with the area."

* In the other women's semifinal, Jennifer Capriati and Arantxa Sanchez Vicario have played twice, with each winning one. Both matches, though, were on clay, Sanchez's favorite surface.

* Top-seeded and No. 1-ranked Jim Courier got a scare, losing the first set 6-7 (8-10) to Diego Nargiso but coming back to win the final two 6-2, 6-0.

"There's always concern when you lose a set," Courier said, "but I felt pretty good. I tried to take advantage because I felt he might have a letdown after the tiebreaker, which he did."

* Pete Sampras is starting to wonder. He has played Michael Chang seven times, and, after Chang's two-set win Wednesday, has lost six of the matches. (Sampras has one unofficial win over Chang in the Grand Slam Cup.)

"I never seem to play well against Michael," Sampras said. "This goes back to when we were 7 or 8 years old in juniors. I've never had the best of success against him."

Chang bothered Sampras by slicing his serve. Chang, reluctant to play to Sampras' strength, rarely exceeded 85 mph on his first serve.

"He served so slow," Sampras said. "He just kicked it in. I was trying to slice it back, and I'd catch it late and it would float long. I really had a hard time with his serve. He played a pretty smart match."

Chang said: "I didn't want to give him any kind of opportunity to set up for any shots or take advantage of any second serves. It seemed to work well."

* Jakob Hlasek's trip to the semifinals brought to mind his appearance in the quarterfinals two years ago against Stefan Edberg.

Hlasek had a match point and hit what looked like a winning volley, only to have it called out. Edberg went on to win the match.

"There was nothing positive I could take from that," Hlasek said after beating Andrei Cherkasov in three sets. "The ball was good. The match was over. What can I say? You have to go on. You have to start over the next day. I had done nothing wrong."

* The best match nobody watched: Alberto Mancini's 6-4, 6-7 (6-8), 7-5 win over Richard Krajicek. It was played on Court 1, the same time most people were watching Capriati beat Monica Seles.
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post #429 of 648 (permalink) Old Jan 7th, 2013, 07:28 PM
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Re: 1992

The Miami Herald
Friday, March 20, 1992

Ole! And welcome to Saturday's Hispanic Open, featuring Argentina's (and Key Biscayne's) Gabriela Sabatini against Spain's Arantxa Sanchez Vicario.

Some will insist on calling it the Lipton International Players Championships. Whatever, Saturday's women's final will speak with a Latin accent.

One huge sign said it all Thursday night after Sanchez Vicario buried Jennifer Capriati and Sabatini marched in against Grand Slammer Steffi Graf.

Key Biscayne residents say, VAMOS, GABI, the sign said. People brandished it furiously at the top of the jammed stands.

Go she did, with support so hysterical the only equivalent opposite would be playing Graf in Germany.

"It is very special to be here," Sabatini said. "Without this crowd tonight, I don't know . . ."

Key Biscayne has been the Argentine queen's turf for seven years since she was a slip of a thing not yet even 15.

Back then she could be seen pushing her old clunker of a car out of parking lots trying to get it started before she even had a license to drive it.

She can hire chauffeurs now, with millions of dollars to spare. But she never has really left Key Biscayne, and all her old friends and young ones, too, came out Thursday night for the Lipton semifinals.

They came from the Doughnut Gallery, the famous little eatery that has hosted celebrities from Eddie Rickenbacker to Richard Nixon, where Sabatini has often breakfasted.

They came from Sir Pizza, her practically nightly supper-spot of old, where she followed the likes of Bernie Kosar and Jack Kemp to the cash register.

They came from the Sheraton Royal Biscayne courts, where she began her pro tennis life under Patricio Apey.

They came cheering so loudly Graf must have thought it was raining Sabatini in the end of a 3-6, 7-6 (7-5), 6-1 runaway.

It started off as only a mist, a soft chorus of "Go, Gaby!" during a tedious first set when Sabatini seemed to be playing with someone else's racket.

The mist turned to a shower of rapturous shouts in the second-set tiebreaker.

Finally, the roar crescendoed nonstop, and Graf shrank under it as if she had been shot.

"It looked like she wasn't trying very much" at the end, Sabatini said.

Graf was trying. It's just tough to hit winners through such a wall of hostile sound.

Sabatini earned the sound. She earned it with sweat under broiling sun, day after day, long before she won the 1990 U.S. Open, or endorsed her own perfume (a first in tennis), or had a rose named for her in Boca Raton.

That darned rose refused to blossom.

When Sabatini finally blossomed Thursday night, her fans grew so rowdy that umpire Joan Vaunbaum despaired of saying, "Ladies and gentlemen, please be as quiet as you can during the playing a point, thank you!"

They weren't about to be quiet. They won't Saturday, either. Even Sanchez Vicario, the Spaniard, will be up against it in the Hispanic Open showdown.
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Re: 1992

The Miami Herald
Friday, March 20, 1992

She has been around all week without getting much attention, so it's not surprising that you hardly noticed her out there on stadium court Thursday.

While her opponent, Jennifer Capriati, was conspicuously inaccurate with erratic groundstrokes, double faults and unforced errors, Arantxa Sanchez Vicario hung behind the baseline, quietly running everything down and keeping the ball in play.

Sanchez Vicario's patience and persistence paid off in an easy 6-2, 6-4 victory over Capriati in the women's semifinals of the Lipton International Players Championships on Key Biscayne.

In Saturday's 1 p.m. final, Sanchez Vicario, seeded fourth, will play third-seeded Gabriela Sabatini, a 3-6, 7-6 (7-5), 6-1 winner over second-seeded Steffi Graf.

"They read about (Monica) Seles and Graf and Sabatini and Capriati, so it looks like I was not here," Sanchez Vicario said. "But I didn't care. I didn't think about it.

"Maybe now they will pay more attention."

For those who haven't noticed, Spain's Sanchez Vicario, 20, is ranked No. 5 in the world and has a Grand Slam title (1989 French Open) to her credit.

Capriati, 15, who put on a powerful performance in upsetting top-seeded Seles in the quarterfinals Wednesday, was tied up and frustrated by Sanchez Vicario's consistency and placement Thursday.

"She played very smart," said Capriati, the fifth seed who was shrouded in rings, necklaces, bracelets and multiple earrings. "She was waiting for me to make the mistakes. I think her plan was to get everything in and try to move me and break me down."

Capriati, who was playing in just her third tournament of the year and said she was tired from a long week of matches, looked run-down even before she really started running Thursday. She was broken at 15 in the third game of the first set and wasn't doing what she does best: raring back and whacking the ball.

"I wasn't really there today," said Capriati, chomping on a wad of gum. "I wasn't really on. I was tentative because I was missing a lot of shots."

Capriati had 32 unforced errors; Sanchez Vicario had 14. Thanks to Capriati's mistakes, Sanchez Vicario didn't need to hit many winners -- and she rarely did, collecting only eight for the match.

"If she's not in position she has more trouble because she cannot hit the ball hard like she did against Monica," Sanchez Vicario said. "I just moved the ball really well. When she runs is when she makes the mistakes."

Sanchez Vicario held serve to win the first set in 39 minutes. Capriati fell a break behind in the third game of the second set with two double faults and three unforced errors.

"What was frustrating was I was missing," Capriati said. "I was impatient."

Despite fighting off two match points and holding serve at 5-4, Capriati didn't have enough to take the match to three sets. She lost the last game without winning a point, hitting three balls into the net and one wide.

"I just put pressure on her," Sanchez Vicario said. "She did not know what to do."

Sanchez Vicario dedicated the victory to her father, Emilio. Thursday was Father's Day in Spain.

"He was very happy about it," she said.

Another very happy person Thursday was Sabatini, who scored a come-from-behind, crowd-aided three-set victory against Graf.

"I think these are the most important matches to win," said Sabatini, who improved her career record against Graf to 10-21. "I fought very hard."

Though the packed stadium of more than 11,500 screamed ("GABY! GABY!") for Sabatini, who lives on Key Biscayne, Graf said the noise didn't faze her.

"I let the crowd get into it," she said. "But I was more concerned with my serve than with the crowd."

Despite falling behind a break in the second set, Sabatini kept unwinding her long groundstrokes and finally started getting results. She broke back in the sixth game and held serve to force the tiebreaker.

Once the third set unfurled, Sabatini, with the crowd in her corner, was attacking more and had her groundstrokes in sync.

"I played a very good third set," she said. "I came to the net more and it looked like she wasn't trying very much."

Graf tried, but it wasn't enough.

"She didn't make many mistakes," Graf said. "She was getting very confident in the end."
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Re: 1992

Sabatini, Sanchez Vicario triumph in semifinals
St. Petersburg Times
Friday, March 20, 1992

After holding the tennis world on the delicate strings of her racket for so long, Steffi Graf is settling into a new phase of her career: mortal life.

She wore this new look well Thursday in the Lipton International Players Championships, crumbling at those crucial moments when only steel nerves survive just as so many of her opponents once did. She let the crowd of 11,554 get under her skin and the spell of Gabriela Sabatini get over her head, blowing a one-set lead and losing 3-6, 7-6 (7-5), 6-1 in a night semifinal.

After the loss, her sixth in her last seven matches against Sabatini, Graf said only that "this time I lost. It's a fact and that's the way it is.''

Jennifer Capriati, too, was in an odd mood following her 6-2, 6-4 semifinal loss to Arantxa Sanchez Vicario earlier Thursday. One day removed from her upset of top-ranked Monica Seles, the Saddlebrook pro sat expressionless and seemingly unamused during her post-match interview, finding no consolation in reaching her first Lipton semifinal.

Rather, she talked with an air of defiance, smacked loudly on some chewing gum and periodically rolled her eyes as if this were some type of punishment for her performance.

"(Sanchez Vicario) played very smart. She was waiting for me to make the mistakes, moving me around and just breaking me down,'' Capriati said. "What was really frustrating was that I kept missing and I was impatient.''

Capriati and Graf don't have to frown anymore. They can sit back and watch as Sanchez Vicario and Sabatini move on to Saturday's final.

Graf, the former No. 1 who once was thought unbeatable, could have easily been in the final instead of Sabatini. Up a set and ahead 3-1 in the second, she was three games away from a Saturday date with Sanchez Vicario. But Sabatini, as she seems to be able to do at will these days, chopped away at Graf until she had broken her to 3-2 and again to lead 4-3.

"I had chances at 3-1, but I let the crowd get into it,'' Graf said.

After holding serve to the tiebreaker, Sabatini, a traditional South Florida crowd favorite, went on the offensive, pressuring Graf with charges to the net and line-skimming baseline shots. And Graf sat back and watched as if she were a paying spectator.

Sabatini flubbed one match point at 6-5, then evened things with a wicked backhand winner down the line.

"I could tell (Sabatini) was getting very confident in the end,'' Graf said. "I knew if I didn't win the second set it would be difficult to keep up in the third.''

Keep up? It was over before it started. Rallying from 40-love, Sabatini broke Graf to open the deciding set, then sweep her out of the tournament like a janitor with a big broom.

"That (first game of the third set) was a very big game, probably the most important in the match,'' Sabatini said. "I kept attacking and coming to the net, doing the same thing I was doing before.''

The unhappy face Capriati wore Thursday has been a familiar sight on the tour lately. Capriati, who turns 16 on March 29, has been squabbling with her parents over control of her tennis career and has rarely looked like the giggly, happy-go-lucky kid of old.

At Thursday's post-match interview, she was the picture of irreverence: funky Led Zeppelin shirt, black eye liner, silver jewelry draped from her ears, neck and wrists, and rings on every finger. She could have passed for a distant relative of Alice Cooper.

Capriati didn't look so hot on the court, either. She committed 32 unforced errors to Sanchez Vicario's 14 and couldn't do anything with the three break points she had.

While Capriati has gotten stronger and more fit, it was obvious she hasn't added much variety to her game. She had power and plenty of it but the wiser and more versatile Sanchez Vicario jerked her all over the court with drop shots and lobs, and repeatedly ran down baseline blasts that Capriati thought were sure winners.

"I don't think she knew what to do,'' Sanchez Vicario said. "She was hitting the balls hard and I was getting them back.''

Added Capriati: "I wanted to fight, but you can't when the legs aren't there.''
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Re: 1992

So, it's like the press understands that losing a tennis match isn't the end of the world and Capriati is more or less a normal teenager, but they still won't back off from their chosen storyline?

Friday, March 20, 1992

KEY BISCAYNE -- I wonder what it's like never to be a teen-ager. I wonder what it's like never to attend pep rallies or look for a summer job.

I wonder what it's like to be Jennifer Capriati these days.

On Thursday, she left the Lipton International Players Championships after a 2-6, 4-6 loss to Arantxa Sanchez Vicario in the semifinals. It was a solid tournament for her after a five-week layoff, topped by Wednesday's upset of top-ranked Monica Seles.

But tennis was just part of Capriati's South Florida adventure. Her life off the court was discussed more, thanks only in part to a recent National Enquirer story that teased on the front page: ''Jennifer Capriati finished at 15? 'I never want to play tennis again!''' This merely exploited what tennis has discovered: Capriati is not always a happy baseliner.

Suddenly, The Wonder Years have turned into Growing Pains and, suddenly, a lot of people have problems with how this is being discussed publicly.

The Capriatis, foremost among them.

Jennifer slouched behind the microphone smacking gum Thursday, like any 15- year-old, wearing a tie-dye Led Zeppelin shirt, heavy make-up and all sorts of jewelry, like any 15-year-old trying to look older.

''I want to be with my friends, and do things 15-year-olds do,'' she said at one point, making it sound as much a plea that people would let her do just that.

This is such a common story, especially in tennis, that I can write it with my eyes closed: Young star comes on scene. Young star captures hearts everywhere. Young star grows a little older, struggles a lot with fame's burdens and begins to wonder why everyone is paying such close attention.

That's where we're at with Capriati today. She was asked about her non-tennis life all week. Once, when ESPN's Mary Carillo asked, Capriati answered, ''Why does anybody care?''

By saying that, she showed a 15-year-old's lack of appreciation of the modern sports scene, of who she is, where she is at and especially of what she has been marketed as.

The media can wander out of bounds or, in the National Enquirer's case, camp out there. But by a who-should-care attitude Capriati neglects that it is her handlers and marketers -- more so than her tennis coaches -- that made us care in the first place.

Two years ago before her first pro match in Boca Raton, she was hyped as The Next Chris Evert by the management group handling her account. She had already signed a multi-million dollar endorsement deal by that first match.

She also had a tele-press conference before that initial match in which reporters from Europe and America asked questions about her favorite music and her school schedule.

No one bothered to ask: What had she done to merit this attention? She had been created into a name, and if the rewards are high so can the Faustian price be at times, too.

That's why Capriati took five weeks off recently, to live at home near Tampa, be with friends and go to school. That's why she has been asked this week about being too fat, too complacent, too burned out, and she has answered in ways to suggest that the world's media is trodding too closely.

To tell how things have changed, when she turned pro two years ago she made the Sports Illustrated cover with the headline, ''And she's only 13.''

Now, Sports Illustrated is back doing another story on her and will no doubt include the recent turmoil. She turns 16 in nine days. Suggested headline: ''Sour 16?''

But what teen-ager doesn't go through stages? Who isn't a grump, doesn't throw tantrums and never tells parents to buzz off?

Only Capriati is going through this stage on a stage. She just wants to be 15 more often.

It doesn't seem too much to ask. It's just hard to find the right answer while playing on center court.
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post #433 of 648 (permalink) Old Jan 7th, 2013, 07:36 PM
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Re: 1992

Friday, March 20, 1992

KEY BISCAYNE -- Jennifer Capriati wore down. Gabriela Sabatini got wound up.

A tired kid lost to Arantxa Sanchez Vicario 6-2, 6-4, and an inspired star continued her Florida hex on Steffi Graf 3-6, 7-6 (7-5), 6-1 in the Lipton semifinals Thursday.

Five matches in five days proved to be too much for the Florida teen-ager who had not played in five weeks. Back on the stadium court 18 hours after beating No. 1 Monica Seles, Capriati had the heart, but not the hustle to combat Sanchez before 10,772 afternoon fans.

Sabatini, lifted by a passionate night crowd of 11,554, beat Graf for the seventh straight time under the palm trees. This one was a virtual replay of last year's semifinal, in which Sabatini rallied to win 0-6, 7-6 (8-6), 6-1.

''It's very special to play here,'' said Sabatini, the 1989 Lipton champion, who keeps an apartment in Key Biscayne. ''The fans support me very much, but a comeback like this also comes from inside me. These are the most important matches to win. I needed to win a match like this for my confidence.''

Graf led 3-1 in the second set, before Sabatini mounted her charge. The Argentine came to the net 55 times and won 31 points (13 of 16 in the final set).

''I kept attacking even when I was behind,'' Sabatini said. ''I never thought I'd lose.''

Graf surrendered after losing her serve from 40-love in the first game of the final set.

''I was so tired,'' said Graf, who won the Virginia Slims of Florida before Lipton . ''The matches have taken a toll on me. I knew after I lost the second set that it would be difficult to keep up in the final set.''

''The first game of the final set was the most important one,'' Sabatini said. ''At the end, it seemed like Steffi wasn't trying.''

Capriati was drained for Sanchez.

''I was mentally ready to fight, I was willing to fight, but you can't fight if the legs aren't there,'' said Capriati, who outlasted Zina Garrison in three sets Tuesday night, then stopped Seles Wednesday.

Capriati needed to be a tennis Energizer to keep up with Sanchez, who moved the ball around the court and kept mixing up the pace.

Sanchez Vic -- as the scoreboard called her -- was pretty slick.

''I moved the ball well,'' said Sanchez, who is 2-1 against Capriati. ''When Jennifer moves, she makes more mistakes. I didn't hit the ball in the middle of the court and I kept changing the pace. I didn't play like Monica.''

''Sanchez played very, very smart tennis,'' said Pavel Slozil, Capriati's coach. ''She used the wind well, hitting high balls with the wind. Jennifer won only one game on the side against the wind.''

Capriati committed 32 unforced errors (16 in each set), while Sanchez made only 14. Capriati's 19-8 advantage in winners did not make up for her mistakes.

''It was not Jennifer's day,'' Slozil said. ''She was hitting the ball too early or too late.''

Sanchez broke Capriati in the third game of the match. Capriati missed three break points in the first set, one for 2-all and two more for 3-all. Sanchez broke again for 5-2 and served out the set.

Sanchez got another break in the third game of the second set, and that was all she needed. Capriati had no break points.

''I served great,'' said Sanchez, who connected on 77 percent of her first serves. ''My serve has improved a lot.''

Capriati could have used a day off, and would have had one if rain on opening day last Friday did not back up the schedule. The women's quarterfinals were originally scheduled Tuesday, with Wednesday a rest day.

A few extra hours may have helped, but the Capriati-Sanchez match was scheduled for the day session because Sanchez was also playing doubles. Doubles players are usually spared late-night matches. ESPN requested the Graf-Sabatini match at 1 p.m., but was refused.

''I don't know if the later match would have helped,'' Slozil said. ''We're still proud of Jennifer. She showed this week that she's a match player. She proved she can beat No. 1. She gained something. She didn't lose anything. This is the beginning of the new Jennifer. She's on the way forward.''

-- Lipton will easily pass the 200,000 attendance mark this year, breaking last year's 10-day record of 194,730.

After 14 sessions, attendance was 156,114.

Saturday's women's final and Sunday's men's final are sold out, and less than 400 tickets remain for tonight's semifinal.


Arantxa Sanchez Vicario d. Jennifer Capriati 6-2, 6-4.

Gabriela Sabatini d. Steffi Graf 3-6, 7-6 (7-5), 6-1.


Jim Courier vs. Michael Chang, 1 p.m.

Alberto Mancini vs. Jakob Hlasek, 7 p.m.


4. Arantxa Sanchez Vicario d. 5. Jennifer Capriati 6-2, 6-4.

3. Gabriela Sabatini d. 2. Steffi Graf 3-6, 7-6 (7-5), 6-1.


Ronnie Bathman and Rikard Bergh d. Mark Keil and Dave Randall 6-0, 6-3.

Ken Flach and Todd Witsken d. Mark Kratzmann and Wally Masur 6-4, 3-6, 6-1.

Wayne Ferreira and Piet Norval d. Petr Korda and Jim Pugh 6-2, 3-6, 6-4.

Kent Kinnear and Sven Salumaa d. Luke Jensen and Laurie Warder 6-2, 6-7 (7-2), 6-3.


Stephanie Rehe and Brenda Schultz d. Debbie Graham and Ginger Helgeson 6-4, 6-0.

Katrina Adams and Manon Bollegraf d. Robin White and Natalia Zvereva 6-1, 6-2.

Jill Hetherington and Kathy Rinaldi d. Yayuk Basuki and Kim Miyagi 6-1, 6-3.

Aranxta Sanchez Vicario and Larisa Savchenko d. Catarina Lindqvist and Lori McNeil 6-4, 7-5


-- Michael Chang is on a career-best 10-match winning streak, equaling his 1989 mark when he won the French Open and advanced to the fourth round at Wimbledon.

-- Jakob Hlasek has reached the final in 12 tournaments, winning five.

-- Chang, Hlasek and Alberto Mancini are first-time Lipton semifinalists.

-- Each set of the Capriati-Sanchez match lasted 38 minutes.


Day session, 1 p.m.

Jim Courier vs. Michael Chang: Chang leads 2-1 with a victory this year in San Francisco. ESPN.

Night session, 7 p.m.

Alberto Mancini vs. Jakob Hlasek: Both players have been in the Top 10. WMRZ- AM radio. ESPN at 1 a.m. (tape).
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post #434 of 648 (permalink) Old Jan 7th, 2013, 07:37 PM
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Re: 1992

Sabatini beats Graf; weary Capriati falls
The Dallas Morning News
Friday, March 20, 1992
Debbie Fetterman

KEY BISCAYNE, Fla. -- No. 3 seed Gabriela Sabatini, down a set and a break in Friday's semifinal against No. 2 Steffi Graf, rallied back, 3-6, 7-6 (7-5), 6-1, for a return to the final of the Lipton International Players Championships. Sabatini, the 1991 runner-up, won it in 1989.

She will face Arantxa Sanchez Vicario, who wore down sixth-ranked Jennifer Capriati, 6-2, 6-4, in the other semifinal. Saturday's final will mark their 15th meeting with Sabatini holding an 11-3 edge.

Sabatini, an Argentine native who resides Key Biscayne, Fla., now has beaten Graf in six of their last seven meetings and seven consecutive times in Florida. Graf holds a 21-10 edge.

"I've improved a lot," Sabatini said. "I'm coming to the net more, and I'm being more aggressive."

Being the hometown favorite also helped when Sabatini trailed, 3-1, in the second set. She broke back in the sixth game, forcing the tiebreaker. She then won eight consecutive points to take a 2-0, third-set lead despite Graf serving at 40-0 in the opening game.

Suddenly, Sabatini had confidence and the support of the boisterous Stadium Court crowd of 11,554 (capacity 12,332). After key points, the crowd chanted: "Gaby," and waved Argentinean flags.

In the other semifinal, Capriati had little energy left for Sanchez Vicario after expending so much in Wednesday's stunning quarterfinal victory over top-ranked Monica Seles.

The afternoon Stadium Court crowd of 10,772 tried to boost Capriati's confidence and intensity. But the soon-to-be 16-year-old committed an uncharacteristic 32 unforced errors, losing, 6-2, 6-4, to Sanchez Vicario, the steady defensive specialist.

"I was mentally ready to fight, but you really can't fight if your legs aren't there," said Capriati, who ate bananas between games for sustenance. "I was tired from five days straight, but still she played very well. She was waiting for me to make the mistakes. I think her plan was just to get everything in and try to move me and break me down. I'm the one who broke first."

Capriati's physical state might not have mattered. Sanchez Vicario executed a masterful game plan to perfection. She constantly changed the pace, and varied her shots from high, looping lobs to well-disguised drop shots. The Spaniard kept Capriati on the run, preventing her from getting into a rhythm of slugging winners.

"I'm happy because I played great," said Sanchez Vicario, who dedicated the victory to her father, Emilio, in honor of Father's Day in Spain. "If I play like today, I can win (the final)."

Sanchez Vicario capitalized on service breaks in the third and fifth games to take the first set. She then broke Capriati's serve again in the third game of the second set. Capriati could not convert on her three break-point opportunities.

Although Sanchez Vicario had roared through the tournament without dropping a set, she has received little attention from the American media.

"It looks like I was not there, but I didn't care," Sanchez Vicario said. "I didn't think about it. I am concentrating because I knew I was playing very well. Every match, I played better. Nobody was paying much attention.

"Maybe now they will."
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post #435 of 648 (permalink) Old Jan 7th, 2013, 07:38 PM
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Re: 1992

TENNIS; Capriati Too Tired For Pace
March 20, 1992
New York Times

KEY BISCAYNE, Fla., March 19— Left with more fatigue than fight following two arduous rounds against Zina Garrison and Monica Seles, Jennifer Capriati capitulated, 6-2, 6-4, to Arantxa Sanchez Vicario of Spain today in the semifinals of the Lipton Players International.

"I was willing to fight more," said Capriati, whose victory over Seles a day earlier ended several streaks for the world's top female player, "but you can't fight if your legs aren't there.

"Her plan was getting everything in, moving me and breaking me down. She played very smart, and I got tired. And impatient."

More interested in prolonging points and retrieving balls than trying to outgun Capriati, Sanchez Vicario goaded the 15-year-old into 32 unforced errors, thwarted her pace with a hefty dose of powdery topspin and confused her with an unpredictable array of drives and drop shots. Lost Opportunities

This knockout combination cost Capriati the opportunity to reach her first final in 1992 as well as a career-high ranking of fifth in the world.

"She was not in position to hit, and if she's not in position, she can't hit the ball hard," said Sanchez Vicario, who will face third-ranked Gabriela Sabatini on Saturday in a final that Seles had won the last two years. Seles had reached 21 straight finals, in fact, before Capriati eliminated her on Wednesday, ending a string of 27 match victories as well.

Tonight Sabatini turned in a 3-6, 7-6 (7-5), 6-1 comeback performance against Steffi Graf that was nearly a replica of their semifinal clash here last year, when Sabatini dropped the opening set without taking a game and then struck back, 7-6 (8-6), 6-1, in the next two.

"I never thought I was going to lose the match," said Sabatini. "It was the most important moment when I was losing, 3-1, in the second set, but I kept attacking and coming to the net and, well, I came back."

All crisp precision as this year's rematch began, the second-ranked Graf was drenched in indecision by the time it ended with her double fault on Sabatini's second match point.

"My serve was terrible today," said Graf, who unraveled after the tie breaker and later said she was suffering from fatigue by the third set.

Once Sabatini began to ambush Graf's passing shot and charge in on nearly every return, the German was paralyzed, the Argentine energized.

Sabatini said she knows what to expect from Sanchez Vicario, whom she has beaten in 11 of 14 meetings: "She's a big fighter, and she runs everything down."

Capriati expected that, too, but didn't have the energy to make her opponent fight her favorite way. It's Not Easy to Hit It Hard

"She likes a lot of pace, and I didn't play like that," said Sanchez Vicario of Capriati, who saved two match points on her own serve but at 40-0 dropped a backhand into the net as the Spaniard served out the match. "I think she didn't know what to do."

That's a problem that Capriati, like most girls 10 days from their 16th birthday and enduring the mood swings that accompany the age, is busy confronting on every front.

Today, she had trouble with her tennis. Instead of adjusting her game plan to the windy conditions, she tried to play the same swashbuckling style that served her so well against Seles, and when those high-minded shots went astray, she became frustrated and tentative, not inventive.

Tomorrow, tennis could be the last thing on her mind: "School, friends, and stuff," said Capriati.

She's not a ponytailed prodigy anymore. Instead, she is an intermittently sulky superstar whose hair has turned a shade lighter than her disposition; she sneaked her favorite color, black, onto the court today in the form of a headband.

Although a smile comes more naturally than a frown, she is adamant about the fact that she's "not a baby" anymore and no longer feels comfortable cooing and gurgling in the spotlight.

Like all teen-agers, she spars with her parents; unlike most of them, she has to account for her growing pangs in public, which occasionally makes her irritable.

But Capriati, who already possesses the natural talent and mental tenacity of a champion, came to Lipton ready to compete, even if she was too bone-weary to show it in this semifinal.

"I was coming in here willing to play," said Capriati, who two months ago wasn't. "I'd been working hard, my coach told me I was playing well, and I didn't want to let that go down the drain."
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