Jennifer Capriati



Born on March 29, 1976 in Wesley Chapel, Florida, Jennifer Capriati is a former world number 1 tennis player who has won three grand slams in her career, on top of the gold medal during the 1992 Olympics. She was taught tennis by her Italian-American boxer turned tennis coach, who would eventually be her full-time coach. Her family moved to Florida to enroll her in an intense training program run by the father of Chris Evert when she was 10. In 1989, Capriati became the youngest player to win the French Open junior singles title at age 13, to be beaten by 12-year-old Martina Hingis four years later. She also bagged the US Open and Wimbledon junior doubles titles. She made her professional debut a few weeks before she turned 14 in a Boca Raton, Florida tournament, where she defeated four seeded players, to lose to Gabriela Sabatini in two tight sets. Despite the loss, she made the cover of Sports Illustrated the following week. A few months later, she became the youngest-ever semifinalist at the French Open at 14 years and 2 months, to lose to eventual winner Monica Seles. The same year, she reached the fourth round at both Wimbledon and US Open. That year ended with Capriati ranked eighth in the world. In 1991, Capriat reached the semis at both Wimbledon and US Open, giving defending champion Martina Navratilova her earliest exist in 14 years. The following year, she won the singles gold medal at the Barcelona Games, beating Seoul’s winner Steffi Graf. Her career when on a downward spiral after a slew of personal and legal troubles. She took a leave from professional tennis in 1993 and was involved in a shoplifting incident in late December that year. She was also arrested for marijuana possession not long after. In 2001, Capriati made a comeback, culminating in her first slam – the Australian Open title, where she beat Monica Seles, Lindsay Davenport, and then world number 1 Martina Hingis in straight sets. The same year, she won the French Open, beating Belgian Kim Clijsters in the finals, on top of semifinal stint at both Wimbledon and US Open.

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