Jennifer Capriati

Born:
March 29, 1976
Place of Birth:
New York City, New York
United States
Citizenship:
United States
Induction Category:
Recent Player
Year of Induction:
2012
Highest Ranking
No. 1 on October 15, 2001

American tennis star and former world No. 1 Jennifer Capriati received the highest honor in the sport of tennis- induction to the International Tennis Hall of Fame. In addition to her world No. 1 status, Jennifer's successful career featured an Olympic gold medal, three Grand Slam titles, a Fed Cup title with the United States team, and an ability to stage remarkable comebacks. Jennifer cracked the world top-10 in 1990, her first season on tour, and in October 2001, she became the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) World No. 1, a position she held for a total of 18 weeks.

When young Jennifer first stepped on the professional tour at the age of 13, she wasted no time in showing the world that a star had arrived.

In her first season on the WTA, Jennifer reached the finals of two of her first three pro events, and she advanced to the semifinals of the French Open before falling to eventual champion Monica Seles. She captured her first tour level victory in her first season on tour, which propelled her into the world top-10 at just 14 years old – the youngest player to ever accomplish this feat. Jennifer closed out her first pro season at world No. 8, a fresh, young name etched among an elite group of veteran tennis stars including Steffi Graf, Monica Seles, Gabriela Sabatini, and Martina Navratilova.

Braced by powerful groundstrokes, a gutsy playing style, and fierce determination, Jennifer established herself as a consistent top-10 player in the years that followed. In 1992, she captured the Olympic gold medal at the Barcelona games, defeating both the second-seeded Arantxa Sánchez-Vicario and the top-seeded Stefanie Graf.

After taking a break in the mid to late 1990s, Jennifer came back in full force in 1999, recommitted to the game, stronger than ever, and driven by a competitive spirit that elevated her to untouchable. In 2000, she added to her growing list of tennis achievements as an integral player on the championship United States Fed Cup team.

Jennifer’s comeback kicked into full gear when she overcame top seed and world No. 1 Martina Hingis at the 2001 Australian Open to capture her first Grand Slam title. Having entered the tournament seeded No. 12, she was the lowest seed to ever win the title, a record that still stands today. She then entered the French Open seeded No. 4, and defeated No.1 seed Hingis in the semifinals and No. 12 seed Kim Clijsters in the final to win her second consecutive Grand Slam title. She was the only player that year to reach at least the semifinals of all four of the Grand Slam tournaments.

The tennis world was already giving Jennifer high marks for a stellar comeback when she went ahead and clinched the image as one of the toughest competitors on tour at the 2002 Australian Open. Once again she faced Hingis in the final. In brutally hot weather, the score read 6–4, 4–0 in favor of Hingis, when Jennifer’s fighting spirit kicked in. She saved four championship points to eventually prevail 4–6, 7–6, 6–2, to claim her third Grand Slam title. The match was widely regarded as one of the greatest comebacks in tennis history, and it was named one of the ten best matches of the decade by Tennis magazine. The dramatic match earned her the 2002 ESPY Award for Comeback Player of the Year, for which the other nominees were Hockey Hall of Famer Mario Lemieux and Basketball Hall of Famer Michael Jordan.  To this day, the match is widely regarded as one of the greatest comebacks in tennis history.

Jennifer stopped playing at the end of the 2004 season, having compiled a career record of 430-176 and having won 14 career singles titles and 1 doubles title.

Strong. Talented. Inspirational. The International Tennis Hall of Fame is proud to salute one of the most dynamic women in the game, 2012 Hall of Famer, Jennifer Capriati.

Grand Slam Record

Australasian Championship

  • Singles Champion- 2001, 2002

French Championship

  • Singles Champion- 2001

Career Achievements

  • Singles Gold medal winner- 1992 (Barcelona)