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Old Feb 7th, 2003, 07:32 PM   #1
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Jennifer in the Media

Post any article/mention of Jen in magazines/news-papers/tv programmes ... etc. in here
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Old Feb 7th, 2003, 07:37 PM   #2
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The Awful Truth 07/02

Quote:
Jennifer Capriati, looking beefy and bulked up, à la Serena and Venus (hardly), for a morning meal at Duke's. Sunset Strip. City of the Fallen Rackets. Sporting a body-clinging knit pullover, Matthew Perry's swinging babe was stopped by a fan fawning about her recent matches. J.C. graciously thanked the gushing guy, who promptly turned around and bumped into the pro's number-one friend...

Matthew P., looking rather dazed and out of it this semi-smoggy morn. Clad in slacks and a patterned shirt, Mistuh P. wasn't exactly sporting that "fresh from the tennis court" look he often does when hanging with his "pal" Capriati.
http://www.eonline.com/Gossip/Awful/...3/030206d.html

Heat Magazine

Mentioned as one of Matthew Perry's ex-g/fs accompanied by very nice pic.
"Jennifer Capriati showed MP her ball control"
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Old Feb 8th, 2003, 05:28 AM   #3
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that sounds bad... hope she's trying to stay in shape a little, at least!
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Old Feb 19th, 2003, 07:30 PM   #4
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NYT/Reuters article on Jenn in Dubai (momo too)

a kiss to all JENN lovers

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

February 19, 2003
Contrasting Dubai Wins for Capriati, Mauresmo
By REUTERS


Filed at 2:35 p.m. ET

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (Reuters) - A rejuvenated Jennifer Capriati brushed aside Russian Svetlana Kuznetsova, 6-2, 6-1, to win her first match of the year and reach the quarter-finals of the Dubai Open Wednesday.

Defending champion Amelie Mauresmo flirted with elimination when she allowed Hungarian qualifier Petra Mandula to serve for victory at 5-4 in the third set, but the number two seed from France held off the challenge and edged through, 6-2, 2-6, 7-6.

Top seed Justine Henin-Hardenne was also stretched to the limit by German qualifier Anca Barna before prevailing, 1-6, 6-2, 6-4.

Capriati, who in November underwent eye surgery to remove sunspots, made a fruitless trip to Australia last month, the defending Australian Open champion suffering a shock first round defeat.

The American blamed a lack of preparation then, but she managed to take the break she has missed out on at the end of last season and now the hunger is back.

``Maybe it was a blessing in disguise that I lost early in Australia. I went on vacation after that for a week, just to have time and relax and to get my mind clear,'' said the third seed.

MOTIVATION

``Then I came back and had a lot of motivation to work out and try to get back into the shape.''

Capriati was relieved to get a win under her belt, especially in such a comprehensive manner.

``It's really nice to get a win. It feels really good,'' she said. ``I was just happy to get through. It's a good confidence booster. No matter what the score or whether I won or lost, I can feel my strokes are good out there.''

Henin-Hardenne struggled to shake off a determined challenge from German left-hander Barna, who had the benefit of having already played four matches in Dubai.

She was the more consistent player in the first set, and went up a break in the third before Henin-Hardenne rallied and closed out the match by winning the last eight points.

``When I lost the first set I just tried to stay focused and thought what I had to do,'' said Henin-Hardenne.

``That was to be aggressive and not let her play the way she likes to play, which is to run and play a lot of rallies. I had to wake up and I did.''

MAURESMO ESCAPE

Mauresmo, playing only her second tournament in four months and her first outdoor event since the U.S. Open, breathed a huge sigh of relief after battling past Mandula.

``It was tough for me and I don't know how I got out of that,'' she said.

``I played a very good first set, and then she played better and better and I had some trouble with my serve and that affected the rest of my game.''

Three seeds fell Wednesday. Sixth seed Patty Schnyder retired against Lina Krasnoroutskaya with a back strain after losing the first set 6-1, seventh seed Magdalena Maleeva was beaten, 7-6, 7-5, by Iroda Tulyaganova, and eighth seed Eleni Daniilidou slumped, 6-4, 6-7, 6-2, against Conchita Martinez.
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Old Mar 11th, 2003, 08:35 PM   #5
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originally posted by tennisIlove09

Capriati lifts her outlook and results
March 11 2003
By JANIS CARR
The Orange County Register

IINDIAN WELLS – Whatever demons kept Jennifer Capriati from Indian Wells in the past have disappeared, chased by a fresh outlook, new attitude and a spot in the quarterfinals of the Pacific Life Open.

Capriati, seeded No.2, advanced Monday with a 6-4, 4-6, 6-1 victory against Elena Dementieva of Russia.

"I haven't had good results here in the past," Capriati said. "But you know, it's a different year, a new year. I come with a fresh head."

Capriati first attempted to play Indian Wells in 1996, after returning to the tour after missing the previous 15 months. It was a dark time in her life, a time when she tried to pull together after a drug bust and a bout of teen angst.

She lasted two rounds that year before being ousted by Chanda Rubin.

The next time Capriati played at Indian Wells was in 2000, but her Achilles' tendon bothered her and she lost her first match.

She won't discuss why she has hesitated to return to the desert, saying only that there were "things about the place that bothered me." But it's clear Capriati doesn't have any anxiety about being here now. She had not dropped a set before Monday.

"I'm a different person, different player now," she said. "It's one of the biggest tournaments. Maybe I don't play well in this part of the country, but I feel like I'm really getting a good rhythm here."

Fourth-seeded Lindsay Davenport, who missed last year's Indian Wells tournament because of right knee surgery, played solidly in a 6-4, 6-3 victory against Elena Bovina that put her into the quarterfinals against No.5 Amelie Mauresmo.

Mauresmo advanced with a 6-2, 6-3 victory against Magui Serna.

"I'm obviously very happy with a win like that," said Davenport of Laguna Beach. "It was a good opportunity for me to have to step it up and play at a higher level, a good challenge."

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Old Mar 11th, 2003, 08:49 PM   #6
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I like that article
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Jennifer Capriati: "I feel like my old self again"
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Old Mar 12th, 2003, 04:26 AM   #7
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thanks VBN... and GO JENN
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Old Mar 12th, 2003, 08:43 PM   #8
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There are a few after match interviews with Jen posted at the pacific life open web page in case any of you are interested.
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Old Mar 13th, 2003, 05:30 PM   #9
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Great idea gourownway

J.Capriati def. E Demetieva

Q. The second set, what happened there? Did she just step it up a little bit?
JENNIFER CAPRIATI: I think she definitely played better in the second. Maybe I relaxed a little bit too much there when I was up 3?0. I had 40?Love or something at one point, and I lost that game. You know, she definitely played better. I sort of let her play and kind of, you know, maybe got tired there a little bit because I think I was just letting her run me around everywhere.
You know, I went in the third set back to my tactic, which was being aggressive and moving her around.

Q. How would you sum up the way you played today? Did you hit the ball well?
JENNIFER CAPRIATI: Yeah, I think I played really well. I think it was a good match. I mean, she's a tough competitor. I think she had a little problem with her serve. I don't know if she's injured. You know, she doesn't usually serve like that.
You know, I think that was maybe forcing her to hit her groundstrokes so hard. You know, it was tough because she's able to rip the ball. Yeah, I think I played well to get past that.

Q. You spent some time here briefly a good number of years ago. What's it like to come back here and be here in the area and play the tournament?
JENNIFER CAPRIATI: Well, I haven't had good results here in the past. You know, it's a different year, a new year. I come with a fresh head. I mean, I haven't played the last few years.
Yeah, I'm a different person, different player now. It's one of the biggest tournaments. You know, usually maybe I don't play as well in this part of the country. But, you know, I feel like I'm really getting a good rhythm here. You know, the crowd has really been supportive. It's a beautiful stadium to play in. It's nice.

Q. Key Biscayne is obviously sort of a home?type tournament for you. Why do you think there are the problems playing in this part of the country?
JENNIFER CAPRIATI: I don't know. You know, it's a weather change, a time change, it's an adjustment. You know, maybe the balls fly a little bit here. You know, I haven't had like bad results, just not like, you know, in other places where I've had great results.

Q. When you say you're a different person, different player than you were here in the past, can you be more specific?
JENNIFER CAPRIATI: Well, definitely, I mean, I'm older, have a lot of experience under my belt. Last time I played here, I didn't have a couple Grand Slams. This time I do. You know, whatever things about this place that bothered me before, I think I can get past that and I'm more of a mature person to not let anyplace dictate what I'm going to do.

Q. Is it hard for you, after you've had such a spectacular comeback, with the competition being as tough as it is, to keep up the work ethic? Do you feel like relaxing once in a while?
JENNIFER CAPRIATI: Yeah, I mean, definitely. It's a grind all year through. You know, maybe I got a little bit tired of it and sort of took a break ? even though I was playing, still not having my best results. Maybe I wasn't working as hard as I usually do.
But I think that helps that you do take the break or you realize, you know, that you start missing it and you start missing playing well, having the results. So that's the motivation that gets me back to working hard.
It's sort of a cycle up and down. I think everyone goes through it.

Q. It would be better like if tennis had a season?
JENNIFER CAPRIATI: I think it would help, yeah, definitely.

Q. Martina just 22 and retiring. Were you surprised by that? What are your thoughts about her retiring?
JENNIFER CAPRIATI: Is it official? It's not looking good?

Q. She says it's highly unlikely she'll ever come back. Who's to say.
JENNIFER CAPRIATI: Never say never. Yeah, I mean, I've had some pretty epic battles against her. She's a fine player. I've enjoyed playing her and even watching her over the years. You know, it's unfortunate that we have to lose such a great champion and competitor, just tennis player.

Q. As a fabulous athlete who emerged so early in your mid teens, does someone like that hit a wall after a while where the magic goes away? Is there kind of a second breath after that?
JENNIFER CAPRIATI: Well, I mean, you have to think that I guess her main reason for stopping is her injury. I mean, there's not much you can do about that. Believe me, I know, and a lot of other players will know, it's hard enough when you're feeling fine out there to just go out and play and deal with everything. If you're struggling and in pain and you don't feel a hundred percent, I mean, it's mentally very draining.
You know, I'm sure it's just that in combination with other things, sort of like a snowball effect. I mean, who knows? She's still young. She might come back.

Q. If you could say one thing, you obviously had a period where you were off the tour ? I know the situation is different with an injury ? but what would you say?
JENNIFER CAPRIATI: Well, I mean, it's very different circumstances, you know. She's played all the way through. She's won more Grand Slams than I have. I mean, she's made tons of money. I mean, it's a little different. She did have a great career. It's almost like, yeah, she fulfilled everything that she was supposed to do, and maybe in my case it wasn't, so I didn't. That's why I came back. I feel like I have more to do. You can't win much more than she has.

Q. Her victories were all in that early run. She had real troubles after that.
JENNIFER CAPRIATI: Well, you know, that's destiny.

Q. Speaking of destiny, I know you followed some Arizona tennis. Is Arizona basketball part of your world these days?
JENNIFER CAPRIATI: I don't watch much basketball. Yeah, definitely it's on every time in the house, you know, something going on, or I know what the results are.
You know, it's fun to watch. I'm not like a fan, keeping track and everything like that. I'm happy that he's happy.

Q. What do you know about Zvonareva? What do you know about her?
JENNIFER CAPRIATI: Not a lot. I've never played her before. I practiced with her a long time ago, but I think she's definitely improved since then. I haven't even had a chance to watch her play. It's kind of a surprise that she's in there. You know, I think she's just like a typical, you know, baseliner, good off the ground. I can just play my game and do all the right things ? serve well, be aggressive, you know, keep moving well. I should feel pretty confident still.

Q. Do you feel your game is where it needs to be to win this tournament?
JENNIFER CAPRIATI: My game?

Q. Yes.
JENNIFER CAPRIATI: I think every match I'm getting better, and today was a good test. It was a more difficult match. Yeah, I feel like since the first match I played well, I really felt like my strokes have been there and I've been moving well. I think my chances are good if I just keep, you know, doing what I'm doing and stay positive.

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Old Mar 13th, 2003, 05:43 PM   #10
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Q. How do you feel you played?
JENNIFER CAPRIATI: I think I played pretty well. I think I played confidently and relaxed. You know, she's a difficult opponent to play. She's sort of, you know, got her own rhythm so you have to go along with it, sort of up and down.
But I think I just concentrated on my own game and played my own shots. So I think I executed everything pretty well. I mean, I had maybe one or two little lapses, just very little ones, and the rest was pretty good.

Q. Must be nice to win a couple matches in the desert. It's never really been your best locale.
JENNIFER CAPRIATI: Right. I mean, I haven't played here that many times. But it's nice to get a few matches under my belt, for sure.

Q. The weather, how the ball flies, the court, all that is okay with you?
JENNIFER CAPRIATI: Yeah. I mean, I got here a few days early, so I got pretty used to everything. Yeah, when you're feeling good ? feel like you're playing good, feel like you're in good shape, all that stuff ? it's not quite there as much as if you weren't feeling that good. So they're just a little bit easier to cope with, I think, when you're feeling strong in other parts of your game.

Q. First game of the second set there was a call you thought was in, they called it out, she aces you, you double?fault the serve. Did you really have to fight in that second game of the second set? It almost looked like you were upset, then pulled it back near the end. Is that what happened?
JENNIFER CAPRIATI: Yeah. I mean, maybe I lost my concentration there for like a second. I got it back right away. You know, I'm not going to let things like that bother me, you know, and start making me lose points here and there, and start making me lose concentration. You know, it's not worth it.
I was playing well the whole time. I just got it right back and continued on my game.

Q. Earlier in your career something like that would have stayed with you a little longer, wouldn't it?
JENNIFER CAPRIATI: It depends on what point of my earlier career. I mean, I've had different times, so (laughter).

Q. Casting ahead to the grass, for preview purposes. Do you think anybody that wants to win on the grass is going to have to get by the Williams sisters? If so, why?
JENNIFER CAPRIATI: Well, I think people who have the most advantage are ones who have a good net game, serve and volley game, have a good serve.
There's not that many players out there. I don't know, is it like Els Callens gave Serena like a very tough match that one year. I think players like that.
You know, but the grass makes everything faster. I mean, so it's a big advantage. It's hard to get by. But you also think it's adding to your own game, too. If you can learn how to play the grass well, you know, you never know what can happen. So maybe it's almost easier, maybe it's better on that kind of surface.

Q. Do you think that might be the one place, even though they've both won it, that somebody else could sneak up on the Williams?
JENNIFER CAPRIATI: I think at any tournament, at any time, anybody could sneak up on anyone, so...

Q. How do you rate your chances on the grass, given that we're three or more months away?
JENNIFER CAPRIATI: I mean, I'm not even thinking about it.

Q. What are your thoughts on what the WTA needs to do when they select someone in the next few weeks?
JENNIFER CAPRIATI: I mean, it's something that I haven't been thinking about too much. I mean, I've just been really kind of concentrating on my own stuff and my own game, what I need to do to get back to playing well.
Obviously, someone who is not too passive, who's determined, believes in his cause, you know, I think is strong?minded, strong?willed person and can get things done. Definitely somebody who has a good business sense and knows how to talk to people. Definitely someone who is going to listen to the players.

Q. What do you need to do to get back to playing well? What were you working on in preparation for this season?
JENNIFER CAPRIATI: Just everything. Just my whole training habits, getting back to working on my fitness a lot, you know, just kind of going out there and, in a way, not expecting too much, but just kind of going along with what my game is and not really holding back.
So every match I think I'm trying to do that. I think in maybe the earlier rounds, that's the best opportunity for me. You know, I can have that chance to sort of work on things that maybe I wouldn't do before, you know, take more chances, take more risks, try that kind of play, so if it doesn't work, I have confidence that I can just go back to my other game and win that.
That's what I think it's going to take to beat the other top players.

Q. If you're not winning titles, are you playing up to your capability?
JENNIFER CAPRIATI: I mean, it's tough to say really because there's just so many good players out there. You know, I'd like to say if I'm playing my best that I'll be, you know, winning everything ? when I'm playing my best. But, you know, I can't say that nowadays. I think I should be pretty darn close.
So, yeah, I mean, when I'm playing my best tennis, I mean, there's definitely a better chance for me to win some titles.

Q. Are you still having fun out there?
JENNIFER CAPRIATI: Yeah. You know, that's what I do. It's what I enjoy. Definitely, you know, it's nice to go out there, and when you hit a good shot, you hear people's moans and groans, like, "Ooh."
I'm competitive, I like working that hard, running around the court. You know, yeah, I get a thrill from it.

Q. Do you feel you're in good shape now?
JENNIFER CAPRIATI: Yeah, definitely a big improvement from the beginning of the year. And I think I can get a little bit better. So far, I mean, I haven't really been tested to the max. But, you know, I had a pretty tough match in Dubai, so I think from there, you know, I've kept my level.

Q. You have a great down?the?line backhand, big inside out forehand, lots of shots that work for you. What are one or two shots that you don't own that you feel you need?
JENNIFER CAPRIATI: That I don't own? Well, my backhand down the line is good for the most part, but I could maybe take more chances on that and nail that better. But what I think I could be a lot better on is definitely my net court game. You know, I don't have maybe quite as much confidence in there as I should. You know, I shouldn't be surprised when I come to the net and I win the points, you know.

Q. And you're still surprised when you're winning points at the net?
JENNIFER CAPRIATI: Not as much now, but you know (smiling). That's something else I've been working on.
You know, it's tough because the girls are so good at the baseline. You know, it's like they could hit a passing shot in their sleep. That's one of the things, yeah, mostly the transition game.

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Old Mar 14th, 2003, 07:01 AM   #11
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Capriati Sees The Light

Capriati Sees The Light
By Richard Pagliaro, Tennis Week Writer

Jennifer Capriati spent the last half of the 2002 season often overshadowed by brighter stars on the WTA Tour and by the end of the year Capriati completely embraced the concept of playing in the twilight of her career.

Sunspots on her eyes from years of practicing in Florida eventually required surgery in November and made playing beneath the bright Florida sun uncomfortable so Capriati began training in twilight. It seemed to be a symbolic foreshadowing of events to come when the season started Down Under. The two-time Australian Open champion was stricken from sight, as if the retractable roof over Rod Laver Arena had been drawn to diminish her light, in a stunning first-round setback to Marlene Weingartner.

It was more than a devastating defeat — it was a historic loss as Capriati became the first defending Australian Open champion to lose in the first round in the Open Era. That loss extended Capriati's title drought to a year as questions concerning her commitment to her career began to emerge.

Taking a break from tennis to clear her mind, the Prince-carrying Queen of the comeback has returned to the court again and is defiantly refusing to fade from focus in Indian Wells this week. Scoring successive wins over Russians Elena Dementieva and Vera Zvonareva, Capriati has stepped back into the spotlight to set up a semifinal showdown with Lindsay Davenport.

The 26-year-old Capriati is complementing her prodigious power with an even more important ingredient for success — staying power.

"I have gotten better and more aggressive as the tournament has gone on," said Capriati. "It is getting to the point now where it starts to count."

While the Davenport match will be the true test of where Capriati stands, the fact remains whether she wins or loses, Capriati counts.

Capriati can evoke extreme reaction among die-hard tennis fans: some fans find the down-the-line diva's will to win and passion for play endlessly engaging while other fans view Capriati as a belligerent bully who generated a world of good will after completing her captivating comeback at the 2001 Australian Open only to thoughtlessly trash it with increasing temper tantrums on the court. For those fans, Capriati's 2002 season resembled a rampage of rage where she played with anger, argued with anger and addressed press conferences with anger.

Subject to surliness in stretches last season, Capriati sometimes seemed to take the court with a chip on her shoulder larger than her racquet bag in playing periods of downright hostile tennis last year. A cranky Capriati could sound like a character from a Quentin Tarantino film in some of her more colorful declarations of disagreement with line calls (remember her four-letter declaration of disgust during the Australian Open final?).

Whether you love her or loathe her, there's no denying the WTA Tour is a lot more interesting when a compelling character like Capriati is playing well. Serena Williams has beaten older sister Venus in four consecutive Slam finals, but the best match in women's tennis remains Serena vs. Jennifer.

Forget the fact the Serena scored six straight wins over Capriati and consider some of the high-quality matches they played last year:

Williams beats Capriati 6-2, 4-6, 6-4 in the Scottsdale final.

Fighting off seven set points in the second set, Williams edges Capriati 7-5, 7-6(4) in a battle of fellow Floridians in the final of the Nasdaq-100 Open in Miami

In the Roland Garros semifinals, Williams is one game away from elimination in the second set before rallying for a 2-6, 7-6(2), 6-2 victory.

At the WTA Tour season-ending Home Depot Championships, Capriati is one point away from a 4-1 final set lead, before Williams rallies to win five of the final six games in scoring a 2-6, 6-4, 6-4 semifinal win.

If you see a pattern here, so does Serena. Asked to assess why her rivalry with Capriati is so compelling, Williams replied: "We battle each other each time we play. We bring out the best in each other. I think it's the fact that we both want to win so bad."

It's that fighting spirit and extreme competitiveness that helped carry both Williams and Capriati to the top of tennis at different times. While Capriati lacks the dominant serve the Williams sisters and Davenport possess, she's faster than Davenport and has as much or more power than the Williams sisters.

Serena has separated herself as the best player in the world, but Capriati still gives her the best match of anyone in the world. The question remains can Capriati attain the level of competitive concentration Williams has and come to terms with her place in the game? Capriati believes she can.

"Since the first match I played well, I really felt like my strokes have been there and I've been moving well," Capriati said after beating Dementieva. "I think my chances are good if I just keep, you know, doing what I'm doing and stay positive."

Battling back in a match is tough enough — fighting to find clarity with your eyesight, fighting your own frustrations, fighting over line calls and fighting to attain high expectations makes winning titles an improbable task. Unless Capriati finds a way to clone herself and conduct these battles simultaneously, she'd be better served confining her fight to the court.

Capriati has been around long enough to know you don't have to be incensed to be intense. The genuine joy she expressed after completing a captivating comeback by capturing her first Grand Slam championship at the 2001 Australian Open endeared Capriati to tennis fans all over the world. She hasn't had a lot to smile about lately, but that could change in the coming months as the woman who faced the twilight may just be starting to see the light.
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Old Mar 15th, 2003, 11:04 PM   #12
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Capriati's instincts aren't always enough

Capriati's instincts aren't always enough

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
By Joel Drucker
Special to ESPN.com


INDIAN WELLS, Calif. -- With exasperating annoyance and exhilarating shotmaking, Jennifer Capriati rides a roller-coaster in the course of a single match -- or is it a single career?


It was just past 11 p.m. on Friday night in the California desert and Capriati was battling in the semifinals of the Pacific Life Open with Lindsay Davenport. After nearly two hours, the two were deadlocked at 4-all in the third. Serving at love-30, Capriati skied a forehand 10 feet long and then netted a backhand to hand Davenport the pivotal break. Davenport won 6-4, 4-6, 6-4.

"She stepped it up at that point more than I did," Capriati said. "She got some good opportunities and took advantage of them. She played some unbelievable tennis."

The defeat marked the 20th straight event Capriati has played since last winning a tournament at the '02 Australian Open.

"It's a grind all year through," Capriati said of her less-than-satisfactory results of the last 14 months. "Maybe I wasn't working as hard as I usually do. But I think that helps that you do take the break or you realize, you know, that you start missing it and you start missing playing well -- having the results. So that's the motivation that gets me back to working hard. It's sort of a cycle up and down. I think everyone goes through it."

In the wake of the loss in Indian Wells, the Capriati camp remained optimistic. Her first-round defeat at the Australian this past January was ancient history. The negative memories of the brief time she'd spent living near Indian Wells during her exile years were erased by this year's wins.

"Last time I played here, I didn't have a couple of Grand Slams," Capriati said. "This time I do. You know, whatever things about this place that bothered me before, I think I can get past that and I'm more of a mature person to not let anyplace dictate what I'm going to do."

Steven Capriati, her brother and on-site executor of father-coach Stefano's will, was glad see her go so far.

"She loves tennis," Steven said, as he waited just outside the women's locker room. "If she didn't, do you think she'd want to come back from these kind of losses?"

Capriati's trainer of three weeks, Lisa Austin, was equally keen. "She's fast, but we can make her even faster, help her learn to use her speed not just for offense but for defense."

Let's hope so. Off the court, Capriati exhibits a world-weary, insular quality (she is ruthlessly perfunctory with all public and press requests). On the court, she still has a remarkable appetite and capacity for fighting her way through matches. Back her into a corner -- whether during a point or in the wake of her exile from the tour -- and she'll strike back with dazzling power, shot making and borderline creativity. Against Davenport, she scored constantly with whipping crosscourt passing shots and mid-point rips down the line.

Yet when it comes to being a creator rather than a counterpuncher, Capriati regresses. So often, she still plays like the spunky, fearless prodigy who sprouted out of the juniors in 1990 and a year later reached the semis of Wimbledon and the U.S. Open at 15. Back then it was all instinct and tenacity. No one ever expected her to play with the devious texture of Martina Hingis, but one looked forward to the ripening of the physical into the cognitive.

Instead, for reasons we'll likely never know, over months that turned into years, Capriati grew jaded off the tennis court and intellectually stunted on it. And then she re-emerged, a high schooler suddenly showing up with a home-made doctorate, impressively willing herself to three Grand Slams. Poof!

Davenport's story arc poses a striking contrast. Though the same age as Capriati, Davenport was expected to be little more than a character actor. But while Capriati vanished, Davenport went to school, honing her game against the top players of the '90s. Like Capriati, Davenport was a well-trained junior with impressive gross motor skills.

The education she underwent during those years Capriati missed, seasoned Davenport's brain, adding just enough spice to make her steak-and-potatoes baseline game (a less athletic version of Capriati's) deceptively flavorful. There's a design to her brand of power tennis that Capriati lacks. On a couple of points in their match, for example, she threw in some moonballs that took Capriati out of her power range and opened up the court for Davenport to smack oppressive groundstrokes.

Credit Davenport for willingly letting herself absorb input from others throughout her pro career, most notably during her long association with Robert Van't Hof. Capriati only hints at letting anyone other than her family advise her. Say what you will about intimacy and knowledge, there is something more valuable about hearing the brutal truth about your tennis from an outsider than a blood relative. For so long, we've been accustomed to treating Capriati with kid gloves, treating her preciously because she was burned out and engaged in some activities we'll never truly know about. But alas, there are times when her emotional vulnerability has been a smoke screen for an immature tennis game.

"You want to make sure you're not 45 years old, sitting at an airport and asking yourself, 'What if?'" Billie Jean King once said. Let's hope Capriati does everything she can, physically and mentally, to avoid asking this question. As her incredible career has proven, there's always more time than you think -- particularly if you think."
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Old Mar 16th, 2003, 04:37 PM   #13
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Jennifer Capriati



March 14, 2003

L. DAVENPORT/J. Capriati
6-4, 4-6, 6-4

An interview with:

JENNIFER CAPRIATI

MODERATOR: Questions for Jennifer.

Q. You were up 4-3, third set, just talk about what happened from there on.
JENNIFER CAPRIATI: Well, I mean, the whole match, it was really so close. You know, we were both playing some really good tennis. You know, she just stepped it up I think at that point a little more than I did. She got some good opportunities. She took advantage of them, you know, the whole night.
You know, it was a little bit gusty out there on one side. We'd always get broken, you know, on one side it was blowing against. I think, you know, at 4-3, I was kind of on that side. You know, it was just really hard at that point.
She played some unbelievable tennis.

Q. What was the injury on the injury time-out?
JENNIFER CAPRIATI: Well, I guess it's like a high hamstring strain.

Q. When did you get injured, do you think?
JENNIFER CAPRIATI: Well, I've kind of been feeling it the last couple days. I think just tonight with me running so hard, you know. I was fine the whole match, and just sort of at the end, it sort of started bothering me because I think I was just, you know, running around so much. With it being a little bit chilly and everything, finally it gave way a little bit.

Q. Right or left?
JENNIFER CAPRIATI: Left.

Q. You were moving to the right really well. She could hardly get the ball past you moving to the right. Moving to the left, she hurt you a bit more. Is that a common thing for you?
JENNIFER CAPRIATI: You mean on the forehand side?

Q. When she was going down the backhand side, down the line, you were having a harder time getting the ball. Is that because her shot was so good or you moved a little bit slower to the left?
JENNIFER CAPRIATI: Well, if she's hitting the backhand down the line, then that's moving to my right, isn't it?

Q. She's hitting a forehand down the line to your backhand, sorry.
JENNIFER CAPRIATI: Yeah, well, I don't know. I think it's easier to move when you're sort of freer on that side anyway. You know, when you have two hands, it's harder to get over and get across and hit it with both hands. I think you have a little more reach on the other side.

Q. I thought you played well. Do you feel you're playing well? You look awfully strong.
JENNIFER CAPRIATI: Yeah, I do. I feel like it was a good match. Definitely shouldn't put my head down from it. Take a lot of positive things from it. You know, it was very close.
You know, Lindsay, she played well. I played well. But she just played a little bit better.

Q. Would you study a tape of a match like this or do you just kind of learn from it, talk about it with Steve?
JENNIFER CAPRIATI: Yeah, I mean, I pretty much have it in my head. I don't need to look at it.
But, yeah, I mean, definitely with Steve and my dad, who is at home. But I pretty much know. I don't have to look at it.

Q. Statistically it looks like the one thing that's really separating you guys is you're having to defend too much on your second serve. You only won 34% of those points. That is one thing you're going to have to improve against the big hitters?
JENNIFER CAPRIATI: Usually, I mean, my second serve is not so attacked like Lindsay was doing it tonight. But obviously I think that was her game plan. You know, I mean, she was just hitting everything huge. You know, she's one of the best returners, so she returns well anyways. And when she's on -- you know, I mean, I'm not hitting like puff ball serves. They're up in the 80s. You know, I think of course it could get a little better. But, you know, when she's putting the pressure on like that, it's difficult.
But, you know, I would say for the most part that wasn't maybe -- I don't think that was like the difference in tonight's match.

Q. Do you and your family ever think of drawing on advice from other coaches or experts or do you feel you pretty much have a good clarity about what makes your game succeed, what you need to do?
JENNIFER CAPRIATI: Yeah, definitely, you know, you know the ones that know the game, who you can trust, who knows what they're talking about. Sure, I mean, I'm not going to say specifically who.

Q. You mean, you have thought of other people?
JENNIFER CAPRIATI: Well, I mean, you know, you just kind of talk with people and they, you know, have their input. You're not going to just listen to anybody. No one's just going to come up to you and start saying -- I mean, they will, but those are the quacks (laughter). You know the ones that you know what they're talking about and you listen to. Sure. It's just like if you don't like the water, you can try it, and if you don't like it, just spit it out (smiling). That's one of my dad's sayings.

Q. Is the family water the best kind?
JENNIFER CAPRIATI: So far, yeah (smiling).

Q. The only kind?
JENNIFER CAPRIATI: No. Different kinds that, a little more flavor, some have bubbles (smiling).

Q. In the past you said you skipped this tournament for different reasons. Anything this week that happened that maybe changed your mind about this tournament?
JENNIFER CAPRIATI: No. I mean, yeah, it's like I will come back to it. It's definitely been a better week last two weeks here. Today I was playing Lindsay. I mean, she's from this area, so the crowd was a little bit more on her side. But this won't stop me from coming back.

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Old Mar 16th, 2003, 09:18 PM   #14
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Old Mar 19th, 2003, 10:27 AM   #15
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Excerpt from "Players to watch" by MICHELLE KAUFMAN

Jennifer Capriati

--Rank: 5.

--Hometown: Saddlebrook.

--Age: 26 (turns 27 final weekend of NASDAQ).

--In her favor: Has made past two finals at NASDAQ and feels at home here. Remains one of the few players with power and confidence to upset Williams sisters. Coming off semifinal run at Indian Wells.

--In her way: Weak second serve. Poor season start in Australia, bounced in first round at Sydney and Aussie Open, partly because of eye operation in November. Skipped Tokyo. Seems to have lost exuberance for game she had when she first returned from layoff.


© 2003 The Miami Herald and wire service sources. All Rights Reserved
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