Returned To Tennis
Capriati stayed away from tennis for the next year and a half. Her parents had divorced in 1995 and rumors began circulating about Capriati's stability and whether she would ever return to tennis. In August of 1996 Capriati did return to the tour, although her performance was lackluster. "If Capriati loves competitive tennis, she has a hard time showing it," wrote Ian O'Connor of the New York Daily News. "There were few expressions of misery in defeat, fewer signs of passion." Capriati lost in the first rounds of the French and U.S. Opens. She ended the 1997 season ranked 24 in the world.
Capriati continued to struggle for the next couple of years. She lost in the early rounds of the Grand Slam tournaments. In 1997 she was ranked only 66 in the
world, and by the end of 1998 her ranking slipped to 101. However, Capriati began to turn her game around by 1999 with the help of a new coach, Harold Solomon. She captured her first title in six years in Strasbourg, and followed up with another title in Quebec City by defeating Chanda Rubin. She also reached the fourth round at the French and U.S. Opens. Capriati's success landed her a lucrative endorsement deal with Fila.
Even though her career was picking up, the media continued to focus on her troubled past. During a press conference for the 1999 U.S. Open, Capriati read from a statement to the press apologizing for the troubles of her youth and requesting the media to focus on her current career rather than the past. The following year marked more successes for Capriati. In 2000 she reached her first Grand Slam semifinal in nine years at the Australian Open, although she lost to Lindsey Davenport. Capriati won a singles title in Luxembourg that year and played singles and doubles for the U.S. Fed Team. She ended the year ranked 17 in the world.
- Jennifer Capriati - Awards And Accomplishments
- Jennifer Capriati - Burned Out
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