Join Date: Jul 2012
More dramatic foreshadowing, with a bit of FCC history and general trivia thrown in...
EVERT: CAPRIATI'S WOES JUST PART OF GROWING UP - COMING FULL CIRCLE - THE FALL OF FRANCE - ETC.
Sunday, April 5, 1992
Chris Evert grew up on the tour during the early '70s, when tennis was not so intense.
''Everything is magnified in this day and age,'' said Evert, an NBC analyst at this weekend's Family Circle Cup in Hilton Head, S.C. ''Tennis was not as big, and the money was not as big when I was growing up. It's twice as tough today.''
Like everyone else, Evert is watching Jennifer Capriati take on her teen-age years in public.
''Jennifer is an outgoing person who treasures her friendships and is yearning for a normal life,'' said Evert, who has known Capriati since she was a young girl growing up in Lauderhill. ''With myself, and Steffi Graf and Monica Seles, we were all more introverted. We had more intensity for our tennis. Tennis was the most important thing and everything else was second. With Jennifer, her private life comes first.''
Evert, who turned pro at 18, said she rebelled at different stages in her life.
''When I was 19, I wanted to travel on the tour alone and my parents let me,'' Evert said. ''Then, it wasn't until I was 28 that I needed to be my own person. I felt trapped in a difficult situation. I postponed my teen-age rebellion until I was older.''
Capriati, in contrast, already is a three-year veteran at 16. She has never been out of the spotlight.
''The public and the press are understanding of what she's going through,'' Evert said. ''People see that this happy-go-lucky person is gone. No one wants to squash that, but all the attention is hurting that side of her. She's a little more cautious because she's a target now. Jennifer is a good person. She has a good heart and good intentions. She's going to come through it. She can only grow from this.''
Life continues to be full of ups and downs for Capriati. She was upset by Veronika Martinek, an unheralded German clay courter, in her first match at the Family Circle Cup , the first tournament following Capriati's stunning victory over Monica Seles at Lipton.
''Jennifer has had a couple of losses this year and people are panicking too much,'' Evert said. ''With Jennifer's power game, she can beat the No. 1 player one week and have a bad loss the next week. Because she has this game, Jennifer is going to win a Grand Slam and possibly become No. 1. Jennifer can't have the perfect game at 16. The power came first, and the consistency and finesse will come later. People expect too much, but that's natural. The expectations on Jennifer are tremendous. Jennifer's problem is that she's beaten the No. 1 player and she beat Martina at Wimbledon, which leads everyone to believe she is ready to take over as No. 1. But that's a great problem to have.''
Capriati doesn't play again until the Italian Open in May. By that time, the school year will be over and she should be able to focus on tennis.
--The Family Circle Cup , which is celebrating its 20th anniversary this weekend in Hilton Head, was the first women's tournament to offer $100,000 in prize money. That was big money two decades ago, when Wimbledon's purse for men and women was only $128,800.
''I wanted to do everything to capture someone's attention,'' said Jack Jones, the Los Angeles promoter who created the event. ''So I offered $100,000 in prize money. This put women on the map as far as prize money went.''
The Family Circle Cup 's prize money is $550,000 this year, putting it at the same level as the Virginia Slims of Florida, Berlin, the Italian Open and the Canadian Open on the Kraft Tour.
Jones got NBC to televise the first tournament in 1973, but only by guaranteeing the advertising at a cost of $1.3 million. Normally, television buys the rights to a telecast. Jones bought time and sold it all. The Family Circle Cup , still the only women's-only tournament on network television, has recorded a profit every year since.
-- The Family Circle Cup deferred to nature, constructing a new temporary stadium in Sea Pines. A concrete stadium was rejected because it would not have fit the surrounding environment of oak and pine trees.
The new stadium, 100 yards east of the old one, has a seating capacity of 9,500 with 1,650 permanent seats. It cost $500,000.
--The champagne has gone flat in France, where the defending Davis Cup champions are history. Switzerland upset France, and Yannick Noah, last year's victorious captain, resigned.
After winning France's first Davis Cup in 59 years, there wasn't much of an encore left for Noah.
Guy Forget and Henri Leconte, last year's heroes against the United States, teamed for a doubles victory, but were replaced in singles by Thierry Champion and Arnaud Boetsch. Leconte was not in shape, and Forget was not prepared to play on clay.
The Swiss press roasted Noah: ''The big loser in this tale was Yannick Noah. In neglecting to chose a fast surface which would have permitted Forget to eventually make the difference... In choosing a clay court, Noah was leading his gladiators to the slaughter.''
The French press was not much kinder: ''It was simply the hangover of a team which soaked up a little too much euphoria of the Cup .''
Perhaps, but it tasted great at the time.
--Monica Seles missed The Family Circle Cup when she sprained her wrist in bicycle accident at her Sarasota home last Saturday. One story had Seles falling off the bike as she answered a cellular phone; another story had Seles hurt when the bicycle fell against her. Another Monica Mystery... Martina Navratilova and Pam Shriver won their 79th doubles title last week in San Antonio... Lipton broke ground on its new stadium in Key Biscayne without any fanfare last Wednesday.