Jennifer Capriati: A Celebratory Cautionary Tale

“When the apple is ripe, you eat it.”
               (Jennifer’s father, Stefano). 

1989:  Five million in endorsements before turning pro.  “And she’s only 13!” (Sports Illustrated Cover). 

1991: Capriati’s US Open semifinal vs. Monica Seles–the birth of power tennis in the women’s game–“a slugfest conducted by a pair of teenagers whose strokes defied age, gender and the legal speed limit” (New York Times). 

1994: In medias res, shoplifting, drugs.  Capriati’s very public mugshot at a very public 18 years old. 

1994: Four months after she’s arrested, the “Capriati Rule”: No more girls allowed on the women’s tour.

1996-1999:  10 first round losses in grand slam tournaments. 

2001-2002: Capriati trains with a female bodybuilder, wins three grand slam singles championships.  Career record in grand slams singles finals: 3-0.

Jennifer Capriati, Mugshot. Coral Gables Sheriff’s Department. The original uploader was AnonEMouse at English Wikipedia., Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

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