Learn About New York Native Jennifer Capriati


About Jennifer Capriati

One of the best things about New York for tennis fans was that many of the players were from there. On March 29, 1976, Jennifer Maria Capriati was born in New York, New York. Denise, her mother, is a native of New York and a former flight attendant for Pan Am. Professional soccer player Stefano’s career ended early due to a knee injury. He afterward learned how to play tennis by himself. To pursue a career as a stuntman, he also relocated to Spain. He performed in movies including Patton, The Last Run, and 100 Rifles. Denise was in Spain during a layover when she met Stefano Capriati. Two years later, they got married and had a boy named Steven and a daughter named Jennifer.

Stefano and Denise agreed that they would like their kids to play tennis when they had kids because they both enjoyed the sport. Jennifer Capriati was raised in a tennis-centric environment. Capriati started hitting balls with her father when she was three years old. She learned how to return the balls even though she had no idea how to play tennis. Capriati was raised in Spain throughout her early years while being a New York native. To advance Jennifer’s tennis career, the family relocated to Lauderhill, Florida, a city close to Fort Lauderdale, in 1980. At the age of five, Capriati started receiving lessons from Jimmy Evert, the father of Chris Evert, an American tennis star, at Holiday Park. Although Evert was hesitant to accept such a young student, he rapidly became pleased with her abilities.

Jennifer Capriati’s Early Career

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Shortly after turning fourteen, Jennifer Capriati made tennis history by becoming the youngest player to ever make it to a professional tennis event final. She was the youngest player ever to place in the top ten and the youngest player ever to advance to the semifinals of a major tournament. However, Capriati’s first success was fleeting. At age 17, the disobedient adolescent gave up tennis. At age 20, Capriati returned to tennis in 1996 after overcoming her drug use, legal issues, and parental divorce. Capriati dominated women’s tennis by 2001, winning two Grand Slam championships and climbing to the top spot. Capriati continued to be a top player in women’s tennis in 2002 by adding a third Grand Slam championship to her resume.

Capriati began taking lessons from Rick Macci at the International Tennis Academy in Grenelefe, Florida when she was nine years old so that she could compete against other kids. Her parents would travel three and a half hours on the weekends to take her to train with Macci. They decided to move to Grenelefe after a year. Capriati started going to public school every day from 8:00 a.m. up until noon. and started playing tennis from 2:30 p.m. to 6:30. Unless she was participating in a tournament, she had the weekends to herself.

Youth Sensation

Before enrolling at the Hopman Tennis Academy at the Saddle-brook resort in Wesley Chapel, Florida, at age 13, Capriati had her training from Macci. Her following coach was Tom Gullickson. Capriati was already receiving a lot of notice in the tennis community at this point. She won the junior championships for ages 18 and under on the US Hard Court and Clay Court in 1988 when she was just 12 years old. She won the junior singles championships in the French Open and the U.S. Open the following year. Junior doubles championships at Wimbledon and the U.S. Introduce Meredith McGrath first.

Capriati began discussing becoming a pro at the age of 13. The Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) regulations, however, did not permit females to compete in professional competitions until the month after they turned fourteen. Capriati had already agreed to a multimillion-dollar contract with the Italian shoe and apparel giant Diadora before she even competed in her first professional match. Just before turning fourteen, Capriati made her professional debut at the Virginia Slims tournament in Boca Raton, Florida, in March 1990. Even though she lost the competition, she made history by becoming the youngest player to ever compete in a professional final. Gabriela Sabatini, the third-ranked player in the world, defeated her.

Capriati, a teenage phenom who stood five feet seven inches tall and weighed 130 pounds, was capable of defeating ladies who were older and more skilled than she was. She made her WTA debut at position 25. Jennifer’s tenacity, unpredictable nature, and power make her a strong player, according to Charles Leerhsen and Todd Barre of Newsweek in May 1990.

Olympic Gold

The tennis world was changed by Capriati’s breakthrough year. Like how the NBA’s most unexpected playoffs in the previous ten years occurred, the tennis world experienced the same thing. She advanced to her first-ever French Open semifinal at Roland Garros, and she received the youngest-ever seed at Wimbledon. At the $150,000 San Juan Open that same year in Puerto Rico, she also won her first WTA singles championship. She was eighth in the world at the end of the 1990 season, making her the youngest player to ever reach the top ten at the age of 14. She secured a million-dollar contract with the racquet brand Prince and received $80,000 in prize money.

Success for Capriati persisted the next year. She started defeating the best women’s tour competitors in 1991, including teenage wonder Monica Seles and tennis icon Martina Navratilova. Capriati advanced to the Wimbledon and U.S. semifinals. Open. She advanced to the Wimbledon semifinals at the youngest age ever at 15. Sixth in the world at the end of the 1991 season.

Capriati kept up her tennis prowess in 1992. She earned a gold medal at the Olympic Games in Barcelona, Spain, and advanced to the quarterfinals of three Grand Slam competitions.

Grand Slam Comeback

When Capriati won the Australian Open in 2001, her dream of winning a Grand Slam champion was finally realized. Martina Hingis, the top player in the world, was defeated by Capriati by a score of 6-4, 6-3. Capriati was devoted to getting into excellent form and maintaining her concentration on her game to win the big ones. 

Capriati won another Grand Slam at the French Open to follow up her victory at the Australian Open. In the championship match, she defeated Kim Clijsters of Belgium and honored American competitor Corina Marariu, who was battling cancer, by doing so.

After winning the first two major championships of the year, rumors started to circulate that Capriati would complete the Grand Slam in 2001 by winning the following two major championships. Sadly, that didn’t come to pass. On October 15, 2001, Capriati attained the top spot for the first time, ending Martina Hingis’ 73-week reign as the best. She achieved her first top ten finish since leaving the WTA tour in 1993 by finishing the season in second place.

Jennifer Capriati has gone through all the highs and lows at age 26. As the youngest professional tennis player, she accomplished many firsts at the age of 14. She participated in a lot of successful tournaments, but in the beginning, she was unable to win a Grand Slam championship. By the time she was 17, she had given up on the professional tour due to burnout. Beginning in 1996, Capriati slowly made a comeback to professional tennis after overcoming family and legal issues. She succeeded in winning a Grand Slam championship in 2001 and is still among the best female players.

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