Jennifer Marie Capriati (born March 29, 1976) is an American professional tennis player, currently living in Saddlebrook, Florida.
The 5' 8½" Capriati plays right-handed, with a two-handed backhand.
Born in Long Island, New York, Capriati was taught to play tennis at a very young age by her father, Stephano Capriati, who continues as her coach. As a youth she was coached by Jimmy Evert, father and coach of Chris Evert. Turning pro on March 5, 1990 at age 13, in her WTA Tour debut at Boca Ranton, she became the youngest-ever player to reach a pro final, aged 13 years, 11 months. She defeated 4 seeded players on the way including world number 10 Sukova. In her third Tour event, she reached the final of Hilton Head, upsetting world no. 5 Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario and losing to Martina Navratilova. On April 9, 1990 she debuted on WTA rankings at no. 25. Later that year, she became the youngest ever semifinalist at Roland Garros aged 14 years, 2 months losing to Monica Seles. This led her into the WTA top 20. At Wimbledon that year, she became the youngest woman ever to be seeded. She was seeded 12th. She won her first title at Puerto Rico defeating Garrison in the final becoming the fourth-youngest ever to win a title. This led to her entering the WTA top 10 becoming the youngest ever to be ranked in the top 10 of the world at 14 years, 235 days. In the same year, she stretched World No. 1 Steffi Graf to 3 sets and finished the season ranked no. 8 in the world.
In 1991, she reached her second consecutive Grand Slam semifinal aged 15 years, 95 days becoming the youngest-ever semifinalist at Wimbledon defeating defending champion Martina Navratilova in the quarter-final forcing her earliest exit in 14 years. She defeated world No. 1 Monica Seles that year as well as defending champion Gabriela Sabatini at the US Open. In 1992, she reached 3 Grand Slam quarterfinals. She won the singles gold medal at the Barcelona Olympics defeating world no. 1 Steffi Graf in gold medal match.
After some disappointing losses in 1993, Capriati took a break from the tour to concentrate on her high school studies, and later ran into personal and legal troubles. Nabbed for shoplifting in December 1993, Capriati was also arrested for marijuana possession in May 1994. She returned to the tennis tour in November of that year, but played in only one match, which she lost, and again went on sabbatical, this time for fifteen months. She fell out of the top 10 in January 1994 and did not play on the WTA tour in 1995.
Returning to the tour in 1996, Capriati again had several false starts, finally winning the singles title in Luxembourg on September 25, 2000. In 2001 she began an earnest comeback, winning both the Australian Open and the French Open, and she successfully defended her Australian Open title the following year.
Capriati lost in her first match defending the Australian Open title in 2003. However, she won the singles title in New Haven, Connecticut on August 18 of that year finishing the year in the WTA top 10 for the sixth time. She won 42 out of 60 matches winning nearly 2 million US dollars in prize money.
As of 2003 she has 14 career singles wins, and also one in doubles with Monica Seles in the 1991 Italian Open. She has garnered almost $8 million in career prize money, and was ranked #1 in the world for brief periods in 2001 and 2002.
In January 2004, she withdrew from the Australian Open due to a back injury. In August, she was forced to withdraw from the the US Olympic tennis team with a hamstring injury and was replaced by Lisa Raymond.