The Jennifer Capriati Appreciation Thread - TennisForum.com
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post #1 of 72 (permalink) Old Feb 25th, 2009, 03:51 PM Thread Starter
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The Jennifer Capriati Appreciation Thread

I know that a lot of BFTPers aren't exactly keen on Jen, but I'm hoping there are enough fans to get some discussion about Jen going and continuing for years to come, as in other players' threads. Granted, she's not officially retired, but she'll turn 33 in a month and I don't wait for some spectacular return the way many did with Seles for years on end.

I got involved with tennis at the very time Jen made her pro debut, so it's safe to say I truly grew up with her. I can remember her 1990 Grand Slam matchups against Graf all the way to her 2004 Philadelphia loss (body breakdown) against Zvonareva shown on Eurosport. I was fortunate enough to see Jen play live multiple times and take in her magnetic smile. I find Jen to be one of those people who look much, much better in person than in photos and on TV.

I feel that starting in 2002, Jen switched from being an aggressive player to relying on her grit and hustle to win matches. It's always stunned me that none of her coaches (if they ever suggested it) succeeded in getting her to step INTO her backhand as she did as a teenager instead of almost ALWAYS hitting off her back foot (and losing matches because of it) in her final 3 years on tour. In fact, pre-1996, Jen had a better backhand than forehand as well as one of the best serves on tour. 1996-2004, Jen struggled with her serve and used her forehand as a weapon! Have any other players shifted in strengths/weaknesses so dramatically?

In thinking about American media coverage of the Jennerator, I am stunned that no one wrote fast-cash biographies (as they did for Nancy Kerrigan/Tonya Harding in 1994, Monica Seles in 1996, to cite a few) during her grand successes of 2001. I would have thought there would be several. Now that Jen is wondering what to do with her life, maybe someone can convince her to write her autobiography... it could get her over her depression. Also- does anyone else think there might have been a TV movie about her life? Just wondering

I hope that there are others who are willing to share their thoughts about this Floridian. Peace to all
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post #2 of 72 (permalink) Old Feb 25th, 2009, 07:11 PM
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Re: The Jennifer Capriati Appreciation Thread

I don't know about others, but I'm one of those who appreciated Jennifer's abilities as a tennis player, and was also appealed by her personality. There was something about her that made her always one of my favorites, maybe because she was so young when she first hit the scene and had to face so much pressure and hype from American media; it was surely hard for her to have to redimension her objectives provided she beat many top players since her first tournaments, but had to deal with some of the greatest tennis players ever and really could not overcome the top 3 of 4 players in early 90s, that lead her to too much distress I guess.
But her fight to get back to the top of tennis ten years lates was very exciting to watch, and she finally got the success due to her skill as a tennis player. Yet she is not the same league tennis-wise as some others IMO, she is dephinitely a great player and I enjoyed her game and her great shots. Yet I am curious about your comments, as I always remembered her forehand to be her main weapon since early 90s, but it's true her serve was the other big weapon at her disposal when she started her career and not so much so by the end of it, when it also her backhand was a liability to some extent. I completely agree with what you say about her hitting her BH off her back foot and the problems it brought to her.

I've read she is not in a good spirit lately, and I hope she finds a way to deal with her retirement and grow to be a happy woman in her 30s. I know it is usually hard for top sportspeople to deal with retirement, but some others have adapted beautifully seemingly (for instance,Graf and Sabatini comes to my mind).

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post #3 of 72 (permalink) Old Feb 26th, 2009, 01:06 PM
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Re: The Jennifer Capriati Appreciation Thread

finally a jencap thread! one of my faves if not favorite of all time! i grew up with her as well! wish she would play just 1 more year to see her play some good matches win or lose (hopefully win more than lose!) and see her smile on the court and having fun out there!

speaking of her game, yeah, i noticed the change as well especially her backhand...

to me it always looked like she was hedging herself to hit a forehand all the time and then when a ball came to her backhand she was almost late getting over there and that is why she hit off her backfoot... her backhand became almost a "get the ball back"defensive shot until she could hit a forehand...

her dad or somebody must have said "big forehands are the name of the game now" so try to rip a forehand whenever you can.

granted in some aspects that's true most of the top players weapons groundstroke wise have been the forehand,(besides the one handed strokes of henin, etc), however all the other top baseliners of the past 10 plus years or so (davenport, the williams sisters,seles) still had great backhands and none of them were ever hitting off their backfoot and almost out of position like jennifer.

i don't think it was a matter of fitness either, i mean surely jen has and always will be faster than for example davenport, so i think it was just drummed into her head over and over to rely on a ripped forehand and so she became psychologically not physically almost lazy in getting to her backhand side in time to hit off her front foot, ...

also, if you noticed when she hit her backhand she would also let go of one hand midway thru her follow thru and when she continued to finish off the shot...

back in the early days she would have both hands on her backhand throughout the entire stroke and could rip them.

as far as her serve, i don't know what happened, i think thru the years everyone's serve got better, so her serve wasn't as penetrating as say in the early 90's, when besides graf and a few lower ranked players hardly anyone had a hard serve, also she ALWAYS ALWAYS RUSHED HER SERVES, FIRST AND SECOND! i'll never know why...

i know she like to play fast but slow it down on your serve jen, i always thought when i saw her on tv, it's one thing to quickly serve if your blasting 115 mile per hour serves consistently IN THE BOX but if your not and missing them, perhaps you should take your time and concentrate!
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post #4 of 72 (permalink) Old Feb 26th, 2009, 02:45 PM
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Re: The Jennifer Capriati Appreciation Thread

Really true about her serve. It's amazing how much one observes in some favorites players and, hopefully, try to copy when one is playing some tennis. I always noticed how Jennifer would rush into her serve, not taking the time to reagroup herself some times. Graf sometimes did it, especially when she was angry for having a bad day, but in some moment she used to stop and settle down again. I try to do that, as I'm not the biggest server but it's pretty decently average, and sometimes I rush when I'm angry but most of the times I take a good moment before serving at important points, especially when facing break points. Well, I might have copied my shots and style from Gabriela Sabatini, but when it comes to time between points, I'm totally a Graf clon !

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Last edited by gabybackhand; Feb 26th, 2009 at 07:10 PM.
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post #5 of 72 (permalink) Old Feb 26th, 2009, 04:46 PM Thread Starter
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Re: The Jennifer Capriati Appreciation Thread

What about Jen's low title count? I was always well aware of it and wanted her to break away from the bad trend of not racking up titles. In early 2001, I almost willed her to capitalize on her Australian Open title to show the other players that she could close out events, but she lost to Seles in Oklahoma City, made my birthday agonizing by blowing all those match points to Venus in Miami, and slowly lost her edge in many rivalries. She had Clijsters' and Mauresmo's numbers but then racked up many losses against them. She was a better athlete than Davenport by a long ways but never got any momentum head to head. She played Henin so tight on so many occasions but faltered most of the time.

Then there is the issue of all those near-misses at majors. How crazy is it to think that in two of her last three majors (ever, if she doesn't return) she beat Serena Williams, was in the semifinals, and was the favorite to win? She wasn't a clear top 2-4 player when she stopped, but she wasn't far from holding two Slam titles when leaving the game! It's also amazing to factor in that for all her inconsistencies and multiple comebacks (Philly 1994 and then 1996-1998 all seeming like 3 comeback "years" with stops and starts), her career started with a Slam semifinal and ended with a Slam semifinal. Incredible bookends, though heartbreaking to think of three US Open SF losses ending 7-6 in the third.
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post #6 of 72 (permalink) Old Feb 26th, 2009, 07:32 PM
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Re: The Jennifer Capriati Appreciation Thread

Heartbreaking indeed, especially when she had so many opportunities during those matches. I didn't see the Seles SF drama in 1991, until very recently, so I couldn't feel the tension of a live match, but it was a tremendous battle that was announcing a whole new picture for women's tennis, but sadly this current picture is far from nice. The one match I watched while jumping on my seat was the SF against Henin, such an incredible battle, probably the best match of their generation not only for the drama but for the quality of tennis; so bad Jennifer again failed to overcome the SF barrier in her home event.
Well, the match against Dementieva is one of those I "cannot" accept of my favorite player of a given match up to lose, as it was Capriati who was supposed to win that SF and finally play for the championship in my favorite Slam.

It's interesting she lost her last Slam match in the same round as in her first. Sabatini did the same, a much earlier round, as she lost in the 3rd round both times at the USOpen, in 1984 and 1996.

Witness of an Era of Grandeur
Chris the Ice Lady - Martina Grace&Power
Fraulein Forehand - The Divine Argentine
Merciless Monica - Barcelona Bumblebee

Last edited by gabybackhand; Feb 26th, 2009 at 07:44 PM.
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post #7 of 72 (permalink) Old Feb 26th, 2009, 09:35 PM
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Re: The Jennifer Capriati Appreciation Thread

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Well, the match against Dementieva is one of those I "cannot" accept of my favorite player of a given match up to lose, as it was Capriati who was supposed to win that SF and finally play for the championship in my favorite Slam.
Ditto for the semi loss to Myskina at the French. That defeat made me want to hurl myself out a window.
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post #8 of 72 (permalink) Old Jun 19th, 2010, 04:08 PM
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Re: The Jennifer Capriati Appreciation Thread

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Ditto for the semi loss to Myskina at the French. That defeat made me want to hurl myself out a window.
yes. Where is she now? What she doing now?

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post #9 of 72 (permalink) Old Jun 20th, 2010, 02:57 AM
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Re: The Jennifer Capriati Appreciation Thread

Hi R-K-M


For a few years there was talk she was coming back, but by now I think it has to be seriously doubted. Things have been very quiet on the Jen front these days.

For some strange reason I was fated to to see Capriati in her last ever match in Philadelphia.


Jen's second premature xit left a void in women's tennis. Who can ever forget her clashes with Serena, or the 2003 semi with Henin at the US Open. Others may have had more talent or weapons, but no one else left it out there on the court like Jen did.

She earned her 3 slams IMO.
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post #10 of 72 (permalink) Old Jun 20th, 2010, 09:25 AM
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Re: The Jennifer Capriati Appreciation Thread

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Hi R-K-M


For a few years there was talk she was coming back, but by now I think it has to be seriously doubted. Things have been very quiet on the Jen front these days.

For some strange reason I was fated to to see Capriati in her last ever match in Philadelphia.


Jen's second premature xit left a void in women's tennis. Who can ever forget her clashes with Serena, or the 2003 semi with Henin at the US Open. Others may have had more talent or weapons, but no one else left it out there on the court like Jen did.

She earned her 3 slams IMO.
RolloI agree and see her as one of the greatest players of her generation, even if that was not fulfilled in her tally of titles. Here was a young woman who really managed to carve out two careers. The first when she was a child and didnt really want to be a tennis player, the second when she was notorious as a rebel( I would call it a normal teenager) and no one thought she could do it. And you know there are very few players apart from the all time greats who played such great matches so far apart as for example the Henin semi in 2003 all the way back to that classic with Seles in 1991. And you know it wasnt until Schiavone won the French Open that I have had such pleasure watching a GS womens winner since Capriati won her three GS finals. I am so glad she did to cement her place in the history of the game.
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post #11 of 72 (permalink) Old Dec 28th, 2010, 09:48 AM
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Re: The Jennifer Capriati Appreciation Thread

Hello guys!! I just found this tread!

I'm a huge Jennifer's fan since the 2002 Australian Open final.

Tennis wasn't very popular in Italy when I was young and I never watched it.
When Jennifer turned pro in 1990, I was only 7 years old and I didn't have any occasions to watch a tennis match. In the following years it was the same, until 2002.

In January of that year by pure chance I watched a couple of points of the Australian Open and I liked it. The women's final was on Saturday night Italian time and I recorded it on tape. I wanted Jen to win even if I had never seen her before, because I didn't like Hingis at all.
I was so impressed by Jen! I liked her way of playing, her fighting spirit, her attitude to never give up and I absolutely loved when hers screaming "C'mon" and hers yelling at the chair umpire or complaining about line calls.
At the end of 2002 I created her fansite at www.jennifercapriatitennis.com, since I didn't find any Italian website about her (later on I added the English version, too).

In these years thinking about her has helped me to overcome some adversities and that's why I'm very grateful to her.
I really do hope that she could overcome her demons since, even if I'd love to see her back on the court, the most important thing is her happiness... she absolutely deserves it!!!

"Tennis is what I do and is part of who I am"
Jennifer Capriati


Proud to be one of Jen's Hell's Angels!


www.jennifercapriatitennis.com

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post #12 of 72 (permalink) Old Dec 28th, 2010, 01:22 PM
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Re: The Jennifer Capriati Appreciation Thread

does jennifer have a website or a message board we can send her personal good wishes too? hope she is recovered from her last episode/scare!
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post #13 of 72 (permalink) Old Dec 28th, 2010, 07:12 PM
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Re: The Jennifer Capriati Appreciation Thread

Well, she looked fine in this pic together with Majoli and Sabatini in Croatia this last August, I don't remember if that was before or after Jenn's last chemical episode:
http://www.jutarnji.hr/gabriela-saba...a-hvar/879178/

I really hope she's doing better about these problems.

Witness of an Era of Grandeur
Chris the Ice Lady - Martina Grace&Power
Fraulein Forehand - The Divine Argentine
Merciless Monica - Barcelona Bumblebee
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post #14 of 72 (permalink) Old Dec 29th, 2010, 07:28 AM
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Re: The Jennifer Capriati Appreciation Thread

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Well, she looked fine in this pic together with Majoli and Sabatini in Croatia this last August, I don't remember if that was before or after Jenn's last chemical episode:
http://www.jutarnji.hr/gabriela-saba...a-hvar/879178/

I really hope she's doing better about these problems.

Thanks for posting it... I'd never seen that one before!!!
It was taken in August, after Jenny's chemical episode.

"Tennis is what I do and is part of who I am"
Jennifer Capriati


Proud to be one of Jen's Hell's Angels!


www.jennifercapriatitennis.com

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post #15 of 72 (permalink) Old Dec 29th, 2010, 03:15 PM
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Re: The Jennifer Capriati Appreciation Thread

Jennifer was such an inspiration for many. After phase one of her career she could have just packed it up and gone on to other things. Instead she poured out her heart and guts. The Capster throughly deserved her 3 slams-and all of those 3 set tiebreakers at the US Open provide plenty of great moments. At the time the 1991 semi with Seles was the hardest hitting match I had ever seen.


Welcome to the Blast Laura JC!
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