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View Full Version : For JCap fans........Nice insightful article on Jennifer


vettipooh
May 25th, 2006, 11:47 AM
Capriati reveals that she's retired until she can play!!!!:sad: I really miss her competing, even though she's not what I'd call a fav, but her matches vs Serena, Vee and Hingis, were always 'edge of the seat' drama!! Heal in time, and return soon, Jen! Sorry... don't know how to post the link:o Go to tennisnews.com

tennisIlove09
May 25th, 2006, 11:56 AM
For Capriati, the Dial Is Stuck on the Tennis Channel



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By KAREN CROUSE
Published: May 25, 2006
The black Labrador and the mixed breed pawed the sliding glass door, trying to lure Jennifer Capriati (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/c/jennifer_capriati/index.html?inline=nyt-per) outside. Her dogs, Happy and Aries, are like some tennis aficionados — they want Capriati to play.

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Injuries have kept Jennifer Capriati, 30, off the WTA Tour for 18 months. "I wake up every day, and my life has totally changed," she said.


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http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2006/05/25/sports/25capriati190.2.jpg Denis Paquin/Associated Press
The 18-year-old Capriati during a third-round match against Brenda Schultz at Wimbledon in 1993.




Capriati let the dogs inside and scratched their ears. That much she can do without pain. Dressed in dark blue shorts, a powder blue top and sneakers, and with her brunet hair tied in a ponytail, Capriati looked as if she could be headed for the tennis court or the weight room.

In fact, the only thing Capriati would be lifting on this May day were forkfuls of Cobb salad at the Polo Lounge at the Saddlebrook Resort, outside Tampa, Fla., where she lives.

It is difficult for Capriati, who was once ranked No. 1 in the world, to think about playing tennis when she cannot throw a ball for her dogs to fetch. She has been off the WTA Tour for 18 months because of pain in her right shoulder that two operations have failed to alleviate. When the French Open begins in Paris next week, Capriati, the 2001 champion, will be at home in Florida in front of the television.

"I wake up every day, and my life has totally changed," she said.

Capriati, who burst into the public consciousness as a gum-chomping, ground-stroke-blasting prodigy, is in the throes of a professional athlete's equivalent of a midlife crisis. She has been immobilized by a landslide of questions triggered by her injury. Even if she is able to return to competitive tennis, should she? And if she is not a tennis player, who is she?

"You don't know what's your driving force," Capriati said. "Is it sponsors, pressure, money, self-worth? Or is it that you really love the game so much that you can't be away from it?"

Capriati, 30, who has won $10 million in prize money and three Grand Slam titles, had her shoulder operated on in January of last year and again in June. Instead of traveling the tennis circuit, she is making the rounds of doctors.

"I feel stuck," she said.

Capriati was sitting in her living room, which was uncluttered by rackets or trophies. On one table, a cluster of framed family photos had one of the few reminders of the life she has put on ice. It is a picture of a much younger Capriati stretching to hit a forehand on the run.

"Sometimes I feel like this is another life already," she said.

Capriati has always worn the two sides of her personality like a reversible jacket. She can be vulnerable one moment, steely the next, and she revealed both during a candid two-hour conversation, her voice cracking once, when she talked about the encouragement she receives from fans.

She said she was constantly being asked when she would resume her tennis career. "Basically, I'm retired until I can play," Capriati said. "That's the easiest way to put it."

Her life is more complicated today than it was at the French Open five years ago, when she pulled out a three-set victory against Kim Clijsters (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/c/kim_clijsters/index.html?inline=nyt-per) in a riveting final on the red clay at Roland Garros.

Capriati, who had won the Australian Open earlier in the year, became the first woman since Monica Seles (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/s/monica_seles/index.html?inline=nyt-per) in 1992 to win the first two legs of the Grand Slam. On that day, she never felt more fit, more fulfilled.

"A win like that you almost want to freeze time and make the moment last as long as possible," Capriati said.

The 2-hour-21-minute match is preserved on videotape, but she cannot see herself watching it now. "I think it might make me cry," she said.

Capriati has not played a competitive match since losing to Vera Zvonareva, 6-0, 6-1, in the quarterfinals of the Advanta Championships in Philadelphia in November 2004. She said she knew when she walked off the court that day that it was her last match for a while. But forever?

"I did not think it was going to be my last one, that's for sure," said Capriati, who ascended to No. 1 in the world in the fall of 2001 and was ranked 10th at the end of 2004.

The last time Capriati dropped out of sight, after losing in the first round of the 1993 United States Open as a 17-year-old, she resurfaced nine months later in a seedy Miami hotel room, where she had been using marijuana. She then spent 28 days in drug rehabilitation. Capriati knows that her past gives people reason to wonder if a relapse is not the reason for her latest disappearing act.

"I can see why that is," she said. She sighed and added, "At this point, I've got too many other things that are going on to even think about that, care about that."

Now she is dealing with withdrawal from the sport that made her rich and famous. The worldwide acclaim and public adoration can be habit-forming. What happens when that attention is no longer forthcoming?

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"I was addicted to that sort of lifestyle, that sort of adrenaline rush," Capriati said. "Is that really why I want to go back and play? What do I want to play for? It shouldn't be so I feel better about myself or feel important, and sometimes you're like that. I am still struggling with that."

Tom Gullikson, who coached Capriati when she first turned pro in 1990 and again in 2004, pointed out that tennis had been Capriati's identity for more than half her life.

"It has to be very traumatic for her because she has been playing on the Tour off and on since she was 13 years old," he said in a telephone interview. "For all Jenny's bubbliness and aggressiveness on the court, she always seemed a little shy off it. She's never been quite as sure of herself off the court as on it."

Shortly after Capriati turned professional, a few weeks shy of her 14th birthday, she said she hoped that, after she retired, "when I go down the street people would say, 'There's Jennifer Capriati, the greatest tennis player who ever lived.' "

She seemed firmly headed in that direction when, three months after turning pro, she played in the 1990 French Open and became the youngest woman to reach the semifinals of a Grand Slam tournament. She was the gold medalist in singles at the 1992 Summer Olympics and won six titles before she turned 18.

Capriati can look back at things she did in her quest to be the best that probably hastened her shoulder problems and possibly shortened her career: training too hard and too long, competing in too many events, and listening to tournament organizers, sponsors and Tour officials instead of to her body.

"It is amazing how much we torture ourselves because of everything you're never taught," Capriati said. "Not that you don't have the support, but everyone else is clueless around you also. You don't have that Zen master."

She had people entrusted with her image and her diet, her strength training and her court strategies. There was someone to massage her muscles, but no one to knead the knots in her mind.

"I think it would be important to have more of a mental coach to help you make sure you don't get twisted your perceptions of who you are," Capriati said. "So many things that go on in your head are not normal."

When Capriati was able to train, she could count most nights on falling into bed exhausted, her muscles aching for sleep. Now, she said, "the mind races."

"You're going back to decisions you made when you were 5," she added.

On occasion, her frustration has driven her to tears. "I think that's O.K.," she said. "It's like purging."

Capriati has talked to a psychologist to try to make sense of her feelings. "Sometimes you want people to listen so you're not feeling alone in this despair," she said.

There are other players who probably understand what Capriati is going through. Martina Hingis (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/h/martina_hingis/index.html?inline=nyt-per) recently won her first title since coming back from an injury-imposed retirement of nearly three years. Seles, a former No. 1 player who lives in Sarasota, Fla., has not played a match since the 2003 French Open because of injuries, but she has not officially retired.

Capriati said she had considered phoning Seles, who turned pro the year before her, to compare notes. Asked why she had not, Capriati mentioned the awkwardness of confiding in a former competitor.

Seles declined through her agent to be interviewed for this article.

"Don't talk to those who used to be the enemy," Capriati said. She laughed ruefully. She realizes how hollow that excuse rings outside the athletic arena. "Now that I'm living a normal life, I know that other people are what's going to get us through life. You can't do it alone."

Without tennis to occupy her time, Capriati spends a lot of hours inside her head. "A lot of the time my hobby is thinking," she said. "That's what I do." She laughed. "I need to find a hobby."

Capriati recently found herself in Washington, playing a power game that was foreign to her. She was focused on winning points in Congress, pressing for the continued financing of daily physical education classes in schools.

The four hours that Capriati spent mingling with members of Congress was energizing, she said. For one of the few times since her last match victory, against Meghann Shaughnessy in Philadelphia, Capriati felt productive, capable, buoyant. "I really felt like I was doing something meaningful and making a difference," she said.

Navigating the corridors of power opened Capriati's eyes to her own considerable clout. "You realize that people pay attention to you because of your name and what you have done," she said. As opposed to what you have done lately.

Capriati said she had thought about choosing a cause to champion.

She has also considered becoming a tennis commentator or writing a book or counseling younger women. "So maybe a chapter of your life is over," she said, "and you go on to the next one."

Lindsayfan32
May 25th, 2006, 12:07 PM
Thanks for posting this article. It was an insightful and interesting read. I hope Jennifer gets back on the court even if it takes her as long Martina did at least she could leave on her terms. I remeber Jennifer when she was 14 andits sad if her career really is finished.

Brandon85
May 25th, 2006, 12:56 PM
nice article, makes me sad!

blue249
May 25th, 2006, 01:01 PM
What a great article. Jenn seems stuck between wanting to play again and moving on.

Hopefully it will be her choice....

jfk
May 25th, 2006, 01:08 PM
Terrific article. She was very open and honest. Doesn't sound like the most optimistic article in regards to her tennis future though.....

hotandspicey
May 25th, 2006, 01:18 PM
Very good read. Jen has put her cards on the table, so to speak. Hope she returns some day.

manu32
May 25th, 2006, 01:33 PM
great and sad....miss jenny

Steffica Greles
May 25th, 2006, 01:51 PM
Ah bless her cotton socks. I'll refrain from caricaturing her once again. She's lovely.

Jen rockz!:)

RJWCapriati
May 25th, 2006, 02:21 PM
:sad: Do what makes you happy Jen!

TeamUSA#1
May 25th, 2006, 03:28 PM
She looks fab in that new pic of her!!!!

TeamUSA#1
May 25th, 2006, 03:31 PM
What a great article. Jenn seems stuck between wanting to play again and moving on.

Hopefully it will be her choice....

She does seem stuck between really, really wanting to play tennis again but then also figuring out what to do if she cant and moving on. Perhaps she can do both!!!

auntie janie
May 25th, 2006, 03:41 PM
Poor Jennifer. :sad: This is really an excellent interview. I've never been a fan of hers, but her warrior spirit and edgy personality were fantastic for the Tour and I always miss her when she's out. It's definitely not easy to expose so much of one's inner self to the public, so I admire her for doing that here. If she can't come back this time :sad:, I hope she can find something meaningful to do with her life. She's got a lot to give. Best of luck to her. :hug:

Dawn Marie
May 25th, 2006, 03:49 PM
I actually find it quite sad. It's like she has no clue what to do with her life witout tennis.

This is why I love Venus and Serena. They have alot to fall back on when tennis is over. Alot of these women make tennis their entire identity and it's not. They will always have a life after pro tennis.

JennyS
May 25th, 2006, 03:55 PM
That was a nice article and very personal, especially for Jen. It is sad that she is having trouble finding things to do. I like the idea of her as a commentator. She could also go to college.

brunof
May 25th, 2006, 04:02 PM
I actually find it quite sad. It's like she has no clue what to do with her life witout tennis.

This is why I love Venus and Serena. They have alot to fall back on when tennis is over. Alot of these women make tennis their entire identity and it's not. They will always have a life after pro tennis.

Hopefully they make a quick exit then and Jennifer comes back soon! :tape: :lol: :rolleyes:

But no, like so many great atheletes, I'm sure Jennifer wants to end her career on her own terms (like some other players we know) and I hope she gets that chance.

AsGoodAsNew
May 25th, 2006, 04:24 PM
I actually find it quite sad. It's like she has no clue what to do with her life witout tennis.

This is why I love Venus and Serena. They have alot to fall back on when tennis is over. Alot of these women make tennis their entire identity and it's not. They will always have a life after pro tennis.
I agree totally with you Dawn Marie. Tennis deserts players, and fans move on. Steffi has found a new life as a wife and mother. But there are many who don't find a niche in life after their tennis career is over. They end up in some TV studio commenting on a sport that has left them. I think that even Monica is struggling to find a life. And didn't Hingis say that she returned because she needed a resaon to get out of bed - again she couldn't find a life. Actors and writers can go on until the day they die, but not tennis players. So I completely agree about Serena and Venus, they know that there is more to life and that hopefully they will live for decades after tennis. I think that they are a great example for young players - give it your best but get a balance.

mishar
May 25th, 2006, 04:40 PM
I agree totally with you Dawn Marie. Tennis deserts players, and fans move on. Steffi has found a new life as a wife and mother. But there are many who don't find a niche in life after their tennis career is over. They end up in some TV studio commenting on a sport that has left them. I think that even Monica is struggling to find a life. And didn't Hingis say that she returned because she needed a resaon to get out of bed - again she couldn't find a life. Actors and writers can go on until the day they die, but not tennis players. So I completely agree about Serena and Venus, they know that there is more to life and that hopefully they will live for decades after tennis. I think that they are a great example for young players - give it your best but get a balance.


Why is commenting such a bad thing to do? I think tennis is a pretty special activity -- I play it several hours a week and would be happy doing more -- if I could have a career commenting on tennis or coaching tennis, I think that'd be a pretty great way to spend my life. That's great for V and S that they have other interests, but I don't think "spending your life" on tennis is a waste of time -- I think it's a beautiful and fascinating sport, a totally valuable human activity. (It would be a bit ridiculous to be a fan and not feel that way!)

I think what's hard is when you've been the best in the world at something and you get to be the center of attention and then you just have to face daily life -- I'm sure that would be hard for anyone, and I'm sure it will be hard for Venus and Serena when their careers end and their fame diminishes. The world of celebrity is heady, but it doesn't last forever. I think V & S both seem like sensible girls, so I'm sure they'll manage, but I can't imagine it's easy.

patricio
May 25th, 2006, 05:08 PM
Jen... I miss you... but I think its time to move on now...

TeamUSA#1
May 25th, 2006, 05:36 PM
I actually find it quite sad. It's like she has no clue what to do with her life witout tennis.

This is why I love Venus and Serena. They have alot to fall back on when tennis is over. Alot of these women make tennis their entire identity and it's not. They will always have a life after pro tennis.


Why is it that every damn post of yours is a way to slam another player and at the same time heap loads of gushing praise onto Venus and Serena :rolleyes:

This post is about Jenny, NOT THEM..... go to their fan forums for this crap....

TeamUSA#1
May 25th, 2006, 05:38 PM
but I don't think "spending your life" on tennis is a waste of time -- I think it's a beautiful and fascinating sport, a totally valuable human activity. (It would be a bit ridiculous to be a fan and not feel that way!)
.


SO TRUE!!!!!! :worship: :worship:

I hope that Jen can play again, and in her retirement, but if she cant, I hope she can find a way to put the pain behind her of not being able to play and then can be part of tennis in another way, wether it be through commentary, coaching, or opening an academy......

mn73
May 25th, 2006, 05:57 PM
Three Grand Slams, World No.1, Olympic Gold Medal and countless other achievements... us Jennifer fans are so proud to have cheered her on over the last sixteen years. It doesn't sound like she'll be back anytime soon, or even at all. We'll miss those edge of your seat classic matches with all the top players. It must be so tough to walk away from a sport which has occupied practically 25 years of your life, and it will take a period of adjustment. Get well soon and get together with Seles, Graf, Sabatini and Sanchez-Vicario and start the Women's Senior Tour!!!

We miss you Jen :bounce:

*abby*
May 25th, 2006, 06:53 PM
jenny was the reason i got into tennis and now it just doesnt seem as interesting without her
i really hope that this isnt the end for her but if it is then im so glad i got to meet her and tell her what i thought of her.
she is an amazing woman and she has done a lot for the game
she will be missed

Malin
May 25th, 2006, 07:56 PM
Why is it that every damn post of yours is a way to slam another player and at the same time heap loads of gushing praise onto Venus and Serena :rolleyes:

This post is about Jenny, NOT THEM..... go to their fan forums for this crap....

I was thinking the exact same thing, it's getting old

Jennifer is facing what every athlete goes thru when they are nearing the end of their career, what to do next.

DStern127
May 25th, 2006, 08:22 PM
read what i had to say about it on my blog

www.noml.blogspot.com

MISS YOU JEN!

AsGoodAsNew
May 25th, 2006, 10:21 PM
Capriati said she had considered phoning Seles, who turned pro the year before her, to compare notes. Asked why she had not, Capriati mentioned the awkwardness of confiding in a former competitor.

Seles declined through her agent to be interviewed for this article.

"Don't talk to those who used to be the enemy," Capriati said. She laughed ruefully. She realizes how hollow that excuse rings outside the athletic arena. "Now that I'm living a normal life, I know that other people are what's going to get us through life. You can't do it alone."

Did the reformed Hell's Angel (druggie to you or me) consider phoning Monica around 93-95? Or in 2000 and on when Monica was injured? No. But now the poor cow is out of action SHE has the nerve to say that SHE thought of phoning Monica! Hypocrite. Good riddance. So she is SO self-obsessed that without tennis she is adrift, well, drift off!

TeamUSA#1
May 25th, 2006, 10:39 PM
Capriati said she had considered phoning Seles, who turned pro the year before her, to compare notes. Asked why she had not, Capriati mentioned the awkwardness of confiding in a former competitor.

Seles declined through her agent to be interviewed for this article.

"Don't talk to those who used to be the enemy," Capriati said. She laughed ruefully. She realizes how hollow that excuse rings outside the athletic arena. "Now that I'm living a normal life, I know that other people are what's going to get us through life. You can't do it alone."

Did the reformed Hell's Angel (druggie to you or me) consider phoning Monica around 93-95? Or in 2000 and on when Monica was injured? No. But now the poor cow is out of action SHE has the nerve to say that SHE thought of phoning Monica! Hypocrite. Good riddance. So she is SO self-obsessed that without tennis she is adrift, well, drift off!

You fucking moron, she was the 1st player on the WTA to send flowers and good greetings to Monica after she got stabbed. Get your facts straight before spouting off idiot. :fiery:

AsGoodAsNew
May 25th, 2006, 10:46 PM
You fucking moron, she was the 1st player on the WTA to send flowers and good greetings to Monica after she got stabbed. Get your facts straight before spouting off idiot. :fiery:
You dreamt that. Jen did NOT do that. Not saying she should have. But YOU get your facts right!

hingis-seles
May 25th, 2006, 11:04 PM
Was never a Jenny fan to put it mildly, but her presence is sorely missed. Her matches with Monica were always special. I guess in a sense Monica and Jennifer are our last connection with the golden era of the early 90s in women's tennis. Wishing Jenny all the best in whatever she ends up doing.

hingis-seles
May 25th, 2006, 11:07 PM
I actually find it quite sad. It's like she has no clue what to do with her life witout tennis.

This is why I love Venus and Serena. They have alot to fall back on when tennis is over. Alot of these women make tennis their entire identity and it's not. They will always have a life after pro tennis.

:tape: :rolleyes: :retard:

This crap is even worse than your usual stuff about how Queen Vee was cheated by racist, white, cheating umpires and how she is a FEARLESS STRONG BLACK WOMEN!!!~~~

Steffica Greles
May 25th, 2006, 11:54 PM
Hey guys, it's Jen Jens. I dunno what that article was sayin'...some'ut about me being pissed cos I can't play tennis? It sounds like stuff real soph...sophi...like....really brainy people write about. So it's all lies. That wasn't me. Tennis is, like, sooo boring. Hey, only the other day Iva came over and we played strip poker. OhmyGod it was such a hoot. She reckons I should retire but I'm like "just cos you're so old"....well, she's younger than me, but I kinda feel 14! Dad still calls by from time to time but I'm on NOT on good terms with him after some row we had the other week. I can't tell you what he called me, not just cos it was f*cking sick, but basically cos it was in Italian and none of youz would understand anyways. Just about, you know, my behaviour or some shit like that. I've decided I'm gonna divorce my parents and move away cos they're doing my f*cking head in.

jmd
May 26th, 2006, 01:02 AM
I like her honesty

Barrie_Dude
May 26th, 2006, 02:31 AM
I love Jen for more reasons then I can list here

Dawn Marie
May 26th, 2006, 02:52 AM
Why is it that every damn post of yours is a way to slam another player and at the same time heap loads of gushing praise onto Venus and Serena :rolleyes:

This post is about Jenny, NOT THEM..... go to their fan forums for this crap....

I didn't slam Jennifer here. You can find other post where I slammed her in the past. Yet nothig here. I'm only stating my truth here. MY OPINION. I didn't bash anyone. Yet a few children came in here to BASH me.


Again my opinion is that this article sounds SAD to ME. When you think about the entire picture it is SAD.

I miss Jen. Infact I want her to get well and play Sharapova. I think it would be a great match up.

bello
May 26th, 2006, 03:02 AM
Wow that was such an honest article, and so sad in parts...

That last comment by her did not seem very encouraging at all as far as awaiting a come back is concerned.

TeamUSA#1
Jun 2nd, 2006, 04:24 PM
You dreamt that. Jen did NOT do that. Not saying she should have. But YOU get your facts right!

Sorry to burst your bubble, but it was not a dream. It was the truth.