1991-Aiming for the top - TennisForum.com
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old Mar 17th, 2002, 04:45 PM Thread Starter
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1991-Aiming for the top

Jen's second year on tour

Jen doesn't play Australia-opening her 91 campaign in Chicago.
She beats Tami Whitlinger-Jones 6-4 6-1, coming from 1-4 down in the first set. In the quarters Jen is upset by Helena Sukova 6-4 6-4 on February 15th.
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old Mar 17th, 2002, 04:48 PM Thread Starter
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With Capriati Out, Graf-Sabatini; Florida Final to Mark End of German's Reign as No. 1
The Washington Post Mar 10, 1991;

Steffi Graf may win a tournament and lose her No. 1 ranking in a 24-hour span.

Graf beat eighth-seeded Nathalie Tauziat, 6-1, 6-2, and No. 2 seed Gabriela Sabatini eliminated No. 4 Jennifer Capriati, 7-5, 6-2, yesterday to reach the final of the Virginia Slims of Florida in Boca Raton.

Graf's record 186-week streak as No. 1 will end Monday - no matter what happens in today's title match. Monica Seles, not playing this week, will move up because her third-round loss last year in Boca Raton will be dropped from the year-long calculations.

Graf is seeking her first title in four months, Sabatini her second in two weeks, having beaten Graf in a quarterfinal in Tokyo to improve to 6-20 against the German.

Sabatini now is 4-0 vs. Capriati, who made her pro debut last year in this event, losing to the Argentine in the final. This time, Sabatini used repeated deep ground strokes, moving the 14-year-old from corner to corner. "I was always on the defensive," Capriati said.

Still, she broke serve in the opening game and took a 5-3 lead. But Capriati won only two points in the next three games, then Sabatini broke serve for the set.

Capriati broke to open the second set, but fatigue set in as Sabatini won the next four games. "I was hitting the ball very well to both sides," Sabatini said. "I saw she was getting tired, so I tried to keep her moving."

Tauziat lasted just 50 minutes, not surprising considering she hasn't won a set in 13 matches with Graf, who said, "I couldn't have played much better."


The LA times report said winds were up to 30mp in the Sabatini-JCap match

Boca Raton USA

WT 04 Mar 1991 - 10 Mar 1991 Hard (O)
Entry: DA Seed: 4
64 B BYE
32 W Karin KSCHWENDT (AUT) 6-7 6-1 6-1
16 W Gigi FERNANDEZ (USA) 6-3 6-2
QF W Claudia PORWIK (GER) 6-1 6-4
SF L Gabriela SABATINI (ARG) 5-7 2-6

Last edited by Rollo; Mar 17th, 2002 at 04:54 PM.
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old Mar 17th, 2002, 04:59 PM Thread Starter
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Key Biscayne USA

WT 15 Mar 1991 - 24 Mar 1991 Hard (O)
Entry: DA Seed: 6
128 B BYE
64 W Gigi FERNANDEZ (USA) 6-3 6-2
32 O Ann WUNDERLICH (USA) Walkover
16 W Barbara PAULUS (AUT) 6-1 6-3
QF L Monica SELES (USA) 6-2 1-6 4-6

TENNIS INTERNATIONAL PLAYERS CHAMPIONSHIPS Seles' Rally Beats a Tired Capriati; Agassi Loses
The Los Angeles Times Mar 21, 1991;

PHOTO: (A2) On to the Semifinals: Monica Seles, above, was pushed to the brink of exhaustion before beating Jennifer Capriati in the quarterfinals of the Players International Championships.; PHOTO: (Southland Edition) Tired, out-Jennifer Capriati tries to catch her breath during a loss to top-ranked Monica Seles at the Players Championships. / Reuters

Capriati, 14, gave top-ranked Monica Seles a scare in their quarterfinal match before tiring and losing, 2-6, 6-1, 6-4.

"You have to fight your guts out in a match like this," Capriati said. "I wanted it. I just think maybe she had a little more energy than I did."

Seles advanced to today's semifinals against fourth-seeded Mary Joe Fernandez, who beat wild-card Ginger Helgeson, 6-1, 6-0. Top-seeded Steffi Graf and No. 3 Gabriela Sabatini will play in the other semifinal.

Wheaton's victory over Agassi, the defending champion, left No. 1 Stefan Edberg and No. 7 Emilio Sanchez as the top-seeded men's players from the original 96-man field.

The Seles-Capriati match took nearly two hours, and the 17-year-old Yugoslavian clearly had more energy at the end. Capriati won only one point in the final two games and made three unforced errors in the last game.

"One point would be so tiring, I had no energy left for the next point," Capriati said.

She wasn't the only weary one. Seles admitted to gasping for air.

"I was getting tired physically, and mentally, too," she said. "I couldn't understand why I couldn't close out the match."

Capriati has climbed to No. 11 in the rankings in about a year as a professional. But she's 0-10 against the four highest-ranked players-Seles, Graf, Martina Navratilova and Sabatini.

"Last year, getting that close was good for me," Capriati said. "This year, my goal is to beat some of these top players and to forget about coming close."
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old Mar 17th, 2002, 05:05 PM Thread Starter
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Hilton Head USA

WT 01 Apr 1991 - 07 Apr 1991 Clay (O)
Entry: DA Seed: 6
64 B BYE
32 W Audra KELLER (USA) 7-5 6-1
16 L Leila MESKHI (URS) 6-3 3-6 3-6
Period W/L: 7 - 4

Jen's tough sophomore year continues in the Family Circle Cup.

Meskhi's Rally Knocks Capriati Out in 3rd Round
The Washington Post Apr 5, 1991;

Ninth-seed Leila Meskhi rallied yesterday to upset Jennifer Capriati, 3-6, 6-3, 6-3, in the Family Circle Magazine Cup in Hilton Head Island, S.C.

With her first win over a top-10 player, ninth-seeded and 17th-ranked Meskhi earned a quarterfinal meeting with top-seeded Martina Navratilova, who advanced past Petra Langrova, 6-3, 6-4.

No. 2 Gabriela Sabatini gained the quarterfinals, 6-3, 6-2, over No. 10 Helen Kelesi. No. 7 Helena Sukova beat Mercedes Paz, 6-4, 6-0; Jana Novotna breezed by Florencia Labat, 6-1, 6-1; No. 3 Aranxta Sanchez Vicario won by forfeit when unseeded Halle Cioffi became ill; No. 8 Natalia Zvereva downed Sandra Cecchini, 6-4, 6-0, and unseeded Federica Bonsignori stopped No. 16 Sabine Hack, 6-2, 6-4.

Capriati, 15, who lost last year's final to Navratilova, said, "Of course you're disappointed, but . . . hopefully I've got a lot of time in front of me."

Seeded sixth and ranked 10th, she rallied from 0-3 to win six straight games for the first set. With Capriati making uncharacteristic errors, Meskhi broke twice to win the second set. Down 5-2 in the third set, Capriati survived three match points. She rallied to hold serve, but was unable to break Meskhi.
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old Mar 17th, 2002, 05:10 PM Thread Starter
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Rome ITA

WT 06 May 1991 - 12 May 1991 Clay (O)
Entry: DA Seed: 7
64 B BYE
32 W Cristina TESSI (ARG) 7-5 7-6
16 W Julie HALARD-DECUGIS (FRA) 6-2 6-4
QF L Gabriela SABATINI (ARG) 0-6 2-6
Period W/L: 9 - 5

German Open GER

WT 13 May 1991 - 20 May 1991 Clay (O)
Entry: DA Seed: 7
64 B BYE
32 W Stacey MARTIN (USA) 6-2 6-4
16 W Natalia ZVEREVA (BLR) 6-2 6-3
SF L Arantxa SANCHEZ-VICARIO (ESP) 5-7 7-5 4-6
Period W/L: 12 - 6

Arantxa Sanchez Vicario, defeated Jennifer Capriati, 7-5, 5-7, 6-4, to move into the final of the $500,000 Lufthansa Cup at Berlin, where she will meet top-seeded Steffi Graf.

Graf breezed to a 6-1, 6-2 victory over Jana Novotna of Czechoslovakia in the other semifinal, which lasted only 59 minutes.

Sanchez Vicario had a much tougher time against 15-year-old Capriati.

The American's two-fisted backhand and change-of-pace play had the Spanish player on the defensive through the first two sets.

But, as happened several times during the past week, rain interrupted play. The third set was delayed at 4-4, and Sanchez Vicario came back after a 30-minute break to win the next two games and the match.
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old Mar 17th, 2002, 05:12 PM Thread Starter
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French Open FRA

GS 27 May 1991 - 09 Jun 1991 Clay (O)
Entry: DA Seed: 10
128 W Katia PICCOLINI (ITA) 6-2 7-5
64 W Andrea TEMESVARI (HUN) 6-2 6-1
32 W Maya KIDOWAKI (JPN) 6-3 6-0
16 L Conchita MARTINEZ (ESP) 3-6 3-6
Period W/L: 15 - 7

1st round:

In a match that was low on excitement but high on camp, No. 10 Capriati prevailed in straight sets despite the unsettling moon-balling style of Katia Piccolini.
Capriati almost lost her second set, saving three set points before closing out Piccolini, 6-2, 7-5. The Italian employed a strategy of looping the ball skyward and hoping for the best.

"I think this is the first time I have been slow-balled this much," Capriati said. Gabriela Sabatini "hits a lot of topspin but no one has done that many slow balls."

A semifinalist here last year when she played in her first Grand Slam event, Capriati said she is both troubled and encouraged by her play. "I just want to do as well as last year," she said. "I am trying not to think about last year. Maybe there is more pressure on me this year. I can't forget how well I did last year, though."
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old Mar 17th, 2002, 05:17 PM Thread Starter
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TENNIS FRENCH OPEN Veteran Capriati Rolls Into Third Round
The Los Angeles Times May 31, 1991; THOMAS BONK;

Was it merely a year ago that wide-eyed, 14-year-old Jennifer Capriati wondered where the football field was at Notre Dame, referred to Napoleon as "that little dead dude" and reached the semifinals of the French Open?

Last year, Capriati stormed Paris as they did at that old Bastille place. She hummed rap "tunes," shopped along the Champs Elysees while accompanied by camera crews and rolled through the world's premier clay court tennis tournament like a runaway skateboard.

A gritty, veteran 15-year-old Thursday moved smoothly into the third round of the French Open, the scene of her Grand Slam debut last May. Capriati bumped off Andrea Temesvari, 6-2, 6-1, in 55 minutes to keep alive a potential quarterfinal date with another prolific shopper, Monica Seles.

Maybe Capriati and Seles should meet instead in some Parisian shop and see whose credit card melts first.

Actually, Capriati is just as happy that the spotlight here this year is trained on Seles, Steffi Graf and Gabriela Sabatini-anybody but her.

"It's a lot of relief off me," Capriati said, twirling her hair as she met the media in her postmatch interview. "Because, you know, the focus is more, uh, you know, there's more going on, you know, than just on me, you know."

We know now. Capriati, seeded 10th, led a charge of seeded women into the third round with convincing straight-set victories. The group included top-seeded Seles, who beat 20-year-old South African Mariaan De Swardt, 6-0, 6-2.

The third-seeded Sabatini dusted off Emanuela Zardo, 6-1, 6-1, and advanced along with sixth-seeded Jana Novotna and seventh-seeded Conchita Martinez, who eased past Stephanie Rehe, 6-1, 7-6 (7-3).

Meanwhile, the Capriati show continued with a great deal less fanfare than was showered on her here a year ago. In fact, after consecutive crush jobs in Capriati's two opening matches, the most compelling story emerging from her week in Paris is how she lost her passport.

Her passport and dad Stefano's passport were in the elder Capriati's bag, which he apparently left unattended for a few moments as they went jogging in a park. When Stefano checked his bag that night, the passports were missing. "I did get a new one, though," Jennifer said.

Other than that, there have been no losses charged to Capriati. Before she gets a chance at Seles, Capriati must get past Maya Kidowaki in the third round and either Martinez or Carrie Cunningham in the fourth round.

But whatever happens, Capriati says that she is going to be able to spend her time here, at least for a while, as part of the chorus.

"You know, I feel I'm playing pretty good," Capriati said. "I really don't feel like there's a lot of pressure on me, so it's a little easier. I'm just happy to be here."

As for any extension of off-court activities relative to her continuing education, Capriati said she might well repeat what she did a year ago when she wrote a paper for a ninth-grade social studies class.

"I saw a lot of things last year, maybe I will go see them again," she said. "Maybe I'd want to do other things. Go to movies? I've seen a lot of movies here."

From 3-1 in the first set, Pete Sampras dropped 10 consecutive games and his second-round match to Thierry Champion, 6-3, 6-1, 6-1.
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old Mar 17th, 2002, 05:19 PM Thread Starter
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Top Female Players Are Finding Early Rounds Mean Easy Going
The Los Angeles Times Jun 2, 1991; THOMAS BONK;

Memo to the Grand Slams: Anybody thought of starting the women's singles at, say, the fourth round?

So far, it's been almost embarrassingly easy for the top women's players at the French Open, where eight of the first 10 seeded players are in the fourth round. For her third consecutive match, top-seeded Monica Seles needed less than an hour to win, beating Karine Quentrec, 6-1, 6-2, on a cool, breezy Saturday. Seles has lost only eight games.

Gabriela Sabatini upheld her third seeding with a 6-2, 6-1 victory over Mary Pierce that lasted 80 minutes, a marathon by current women's standards. Sabatini has lost seven games.

Joining the group was 10th-seeded Jennifer Capriati, who defeated Maya Kidowaki, 6-3, 6-0, in 57 minutes, and seventh-seeded Conchita Martinez, a 6-1, 6-4 winner over Carrie Cunningham.

Other than the upsets of Zina Garrison and Manuela Maleeva-Fragniere, none of the other top 10 seeded players have lost a set. These matches have included 14 games won by 6-1 and seven by 6-0.

In contrast, there has been only one 6-0 victory by any seeded player in men's singles-Andre Agassi's third set against Patrick McEnroe.

The ease with which the top women have advanced has not impressed Sabatini, who contends there is equal depth in women's tennis and men's tennis.

"I think there is not much difference between two or three players and the others," Sabatini said. "They are getting closer. You have to watch out for many players. That is why tennis for women has improved."

Capriati said that the top players actually have had difficulty winning.

"I don't think it has been easy," she said. "(Women's tennis) has just got better. Maybe they are just playing well here."
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old Mar 17th, 2002, 05:22 PM Thread Starter
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Not in Clay Mold, Capriati Falls; Martinez Tops Teenager as Women Follow Form
The Washington Post Jun 3, 1991; Sandra Bailey;

CAPTION:Jennifer Capriati frustrated by her opponent's change of pace, wallops backhand against Conchita Martinez in straight-set loss.

Just when Jennifer Capriati was beginning to feel comfortable with center court at Roland Garros and life as a professional tennis player, along comes a move to little old Court 11 and a match with a clay-court specialist who can read her game easily. And there goes Capriati, ousted in the fourth round of the French Open by Conchita Martinez, 6-3, 6-3.

"She doesn't change her way of playing at all," said Martinez, the seventh seed. "All her shots are the same. They are dangerous, but you have to know how to play her."

Martinez did that, sending the ball high and looping frequently, a style that bothered No. 10 Capriati when it was employed by Katia Piccolini in the first round.

"We knew I shouldn't play the same way as others play against her," Martinez said. "I knew I had to change the rhythm, play high shots and come to the net."

"I guess today was not a good day and unfortunately it came against a good player," said Capriati, close to tears during her postmatch press conference. "It's not the end of the world. There's always next time."

It was a busy day for the women, as the entire fourth round was played and went according to form. No. 1 Monica Seles became distracted early and dropped her first set of the tournament, to Sandra Cecchini, but rallied for a 3-6, 6-3, 6-0 victory.

Also gaining the quarterfinals were No. 2 Steffi Graf, No. 3 Gabriela Sabatini, No. 4 Mary Joe Fernandez, No. 5 Arantxa Sanchez Vicario, No. 6 Jana Novotna and No. 13 Nathalie Tauziat.

Expectations have been high for 15-year-old Capriati since she burst on the tour a full-blown media star last year. She said she doesn't resent the expectations because "I'm the one who caused it."

Now Capriati, a semifinalist here last year, is left to wonder what she could have done differently and what to do in the future. She began making the right moves too late, holding her serve and saving two match points when she was trailing 0-5 in the second set.

She broke Martinez on a forehand winner for 5-2, then held for 5-3. But Martinez closed the door on her next match point, with a forehand down the line.

Seles also relied on a big forehand when it counted. She blamed her first-set loss on lack of focus, saying that when she was up 2-0, 40-0, she began to wonder about the leg injury her opponent suffered Saturday against Anke Huber. "I lost my concentration," she said. "You can't think too much on the court."

Sanchez Vicario, the women's champion here in 1989, routed American Tami Whitlinger, 6-2, 6-1; Novotna beat Leila Meskhi, 6-0, 7-6 (9-7), and Sabatini dropped Australia's Rachel McQuillan, 6-3, 6-0.

In the most notable women's match, Tauziat emerged victorious over Naoko Sawamatsu, 7-5, 2-6, 12-10.
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old Mar 17th, 2002, 05:27 PM Thread Starter
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Wimbledon GBR

GS 24 Jun 1991 - 07 Jul 1991 Grass (O)
Entry: DA Seed: 9
128 W Shaun STAFFORD (USA) 6-0 7-5
64 W Radka ZRUBAKOVA (SVK) 6-2 6-3
32 W Wiltrud PROBST (GER) 6-3 1-6 6-3
16 W Brenda SCHULTZ-MC CARTHY (NED) 3-6 6-1 6-1
QF W Martina NAVRATILOVA (USA) 6-4 7-5
SF L Gabriela SABATINI (ARG) 4-6 4-6
Period W/L: 20 - 8

No Grand Slam for Capriati Means She's Right on Schedule
The Washington Post (Pre-1997 Fulltext); Washington, D.C.; Jun 30, 1991; Alison Muscatine;

For the past week, 15-year-old Jennifer Capriati has practiced here with Steffi Graf and Gabriela Sabatini, hoping to learn something about the way Grand Slam winners tune up their games.

There is a certain irony to this arrangement. When she turned pro 16 months ago, Capriati was anointed the greatest female tennis player ever at her age, attracting so much attention that her first tournament was dubbed the Virginia Slims of Capriati. According to the hype, the precocious eighth-grader was on the verge of plucking off the Grafs and the Sabatinis of the tour with a rock 'em, sock 'em style.

Much has changed since then. Capriati has never beaten top-ranked Monica Seles, second-ranked Graf, third-ranked Sabatini, or fourth-ranked Martina Navratilova. She has yet to win a major tournament. She is ranked only 12th.

"I think I'm fine the way I'm doing it," said Capriati, whose ever-present Walkman and girlish white tennis culottes are helpful reminders of her youth. "I'm not playing too much. And maybe my matches haven't shown it, but I think I've really learned a lot."

After making it to the finals in two of her first three tournaments as a 14-year-old pro, Capriati won only one tournament in her first year, in Puerto Rico over Zina Garrison in October.

If the statistics are disappointing to those who saw in Capriati an immediate Wimbledon champion, they must be put in perspective. She is the only top player still in school (she's a high school sophomore), albeit a student who frequently faxes her homework to her teachers from tournaments around the globe. She is the first player to have been labeled a champion before playing a professional match and, despite that pressure, still managed to accomplish more in her first year than Graf, Sabatini, Seles, Navratilova or Chris Evert did in theirs. So far she has been injury free, and her natural ability and usually cheerful temperament continue to promise great things.

"A lot of people put unrealistic goals on Jennifer," said her coach, former player Tom Gullikson. "Everybody expects her to be winning all these tournaments and to be in the top three or four or five in the world when she is playing against older players who are more experienced and are giving 100 percent of their life to tennis. There is only so much you can do when you're 15."

Tracy Austin, the teenage phenom whose career ended abruptly in her early twenties because of injuries, said the expectations of Capriati are out of proportion. "She's only 15," said Austin. "Give her time."

Navratilova, who beat Capriati last year in their only meeting, agrees. "The hype isn't winning her any matches," Navratilova said. "She's still trying to finish school. When she's out of school, her life will be simpler."

The attention lavished on Capriati may have served her well at the outset, but it also has had its costs. There was something too perfect about this round-faced teenager with a floppy ponytail, toothy grin and tennis connections that seemed handed to her on a silver platter. Evert was a surrogate big sister. Evert's brother, John, was her agent. Evert's father, Jimmy, was her first coach. She was featured on the covers of Sports Illustrated and Newsweek. And she made millions of dollars in endorsement contracts before she hit her first ball as a pro.

Ultimately she had to live with the reality that the expectations would be too hard to fulfill. "I think they expected a lot," she said. "Maybe it got to me a little bit, but now a lot of the attention is off me, so I'm really happy with that."

The respite from attention has been a blessing, giving Capriati time to focus on her game and on growing up. From a somewhat unworldly adolescent - at her first French Open she described Napoleon as "that little dead dude" - she has begun to mature on and off the court. She retains a playful irreverence - during an interview last year she cut off a commentator by saying "I'm not finished yet" - and shows frustration only when the subject of "burnout" comes up. "Everyone is so worried about burnout," she said yesterday. "I think it's {ridiculous}. I don't know why everyone wants to nail me on it."

With superb ground strokes, a better-than-average serve, and a go-for-it attitude, Capriati already is a dangerous player on any surface. But to compete more evenly with players such as Seles, Sabatini and Graf, she is developing a volley, more topspin on her ground strokes, a bigger serve and more mobility. Practicing this week with Graf and Sabatini, Gullikson said, was designed to let Capriati "see and feel the intensity that Steffi puts into her workouts.

"Jennifer hits the ball well enough to beat 90 percent of the players playing exactly the way she played last year," Gullikson said. "But to beat the top five, to do well in the Grand Slams, she needs to have a little more variety."

And she has to work on fitness. With a penchant for junk food - hot dogs, brownies, and ice cream in particular - she has added some unwanted flesh to her 5-foot-8 frame. To trim down, she works with light weights, runs and performs on-court conditioning drills, and in the past few months has become more disciplined about her diet.

Now she is waiting - patiently, she says - for her breakthrough against a top player. In Berlin this spring, she narrowly lost a three-set semifinal to fourth-ranked Aranxta Sanchez Vicario. She has taken sets from Graf and Sabatini. But in Paris, she endured her most painful loss since turning pro, a fourth-round defeat at the hands of eighth-ranked Conchita Martinez, who frustrated Capriati with a barrage of unexpected moon balls. "We had a good talk afterward about it," Gullikson said. "We looked at it as a learning experience."

She also was homesick after nearly three months in Europe, and her mother suggested she go home to Florida to practice on grass courts before coming here. Capriati did, and seems to have gotten the emotional recharging that a teenager needs. "I worked on my tan. I called up all my friends. I think it was good for me," she said.

At Wimbledon the pressure is off. She seems eager to use opportunities like her easy second-round victory yesterday over Radka Zrubakova to practice her grass-court technique and enjoy herself.

"I'm in no hurry," she said philosophically. "I think I have plenty of time and every match is just learning. You can't do it all in the second year. I figure I have a couple of years ahead of me. I'll have my chances."
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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old Mar 17th, 2002, 06:24 PM
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she has added some unwanted flesh to her 5-foot-8 frame
ugh. that is SO offensive. She's 15. Doesn't need to be told that.

and where they produce desolation, they call it peace
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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old Apr 18th, 2003, 07:52 PM
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*bump* - These are vital reads for any Jen fan, so if you're new to these boards and haven't seen these before. You should give them a read

I was going to bump these at some point. I actually wanted to "sticky" them, but I think 7 sticky threads are a bit much. Rollo, thanks for reminding me today

and where they produce desolation, they call it peace
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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old Apr 21st, 2003, 08:27 AM
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i believe too much pressure is totally bad...she couldnt handle it...wasnt mature enough..too bad. Trish Stratus
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