Jennifer Capriati Elected to International Tennis Hall of Fame

Jennifer Capriati Elected to International Tennis Hall of Fame

American tennis star and former world No. 1 Jennifer Capriati has been elected to receive 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.

"I am thrilled to learn that I have been elected to the International Tennis Hall of Fame. This is a dream come true and an extraordinary tribute. I love this game and am incredibly honored by the Hall of Fame's vote. Tennis has been my passion and dedication for my entire life, and to be acknowledged for this passion and dedication is truly icing on the cake,” said Jennifer. “Finally, to all of my fans: You mean so much to me. I am, and have always been, blessed beyond words by your support both during and after my playing days. You unquestionably made this game so memorable for me and I miss you all so much. I can't wait to go to Newport to express my sincere appreciation to my fans, and celebrate with them, my family, my coaches, and everyone else in the tennis community. Thank you all from the bottom of my heart. I truly feel humbled to be a part of history and am honored to be considered among the greatest of all time."

Class of 2012 - Click to learn more about an inductee!

Jennifer Capriati

Former world No. 1, Olympic gold medalist & 3-time Grand Slam champion

Guga Kuerten

Former world No. 1 & 3-time French Open champion.

Randy Snow

Wheelchair tennis star & 3-time Paralympic medalist.

Manuel Orantes

Spanish tennis great
& US Open champion.

Mike Davies

Tennis industry
promoter and innovator.

Jennifer Capriati has been elected to the Hall of Fame in the Recent Player Category, and she is the final member of the Hall of Fame Class of 2012 to be announced. The previously announced members of the Class of 2012 are former world No. 1, Brazilian tennis star Guga Kuerten; Spanish tennis legend Manuel Orantes; tennis administrator and promoter Mike Davies; and wheelchair tennis star Randy Snow, who will be honored posthumously. The Class of 2012 Induction Ceremony will be held on July 14, 2012 at the International Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport, Rhode Island.

"Jennifer Capriati had one of the most accomplished and exciting tennis careers in recent years, and she is most deserving of the honor of Hall of Fame election. We look forward to celebrating this achievement with her and her fans,” said Christopher E. Clouser, chairman of the International Tennis Hall of Fame.

Jennifer, 36, is originally from New York, N.Y., but she has been a long-time resident of Tampa and West Palm Beach, Fla.

 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.

Eligibility & Voting
The International Tennis Hall of Fame elects people in three categories— Recent Player, Master Player, and Contributor. Jennifer Capriati has been elected in the Recent Player Category. Eligibility criteria for this category is as follows: active as competitors in the sport within the last 20 years prior to consideration; not a significant factor on the ATP World Tour or WTA within five years prior to induction; a distinguished record of competitive achievement at the highest international level, with consideration given to integrity, sportsmanship, and character. A panel of International Tennis Media vote on the Recent Player nominee. A 75% favorable vote is required for election.

Located in Newport, Rhode Island, the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum is a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving the history of tennis and honoring its greatest champions and contributors.

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About the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum 
Established in 1954, the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum is a non-profit institution dedicated to preserving the history of tennis, inspiring and encouraging junior tennis development, providing a landmark for tennis enthusiasts worldwide, and enshrining tennis heroes and heroines with the highest honor in the sport of tennis- induction into the International Tennis Hall of Fame.  In 1986, the International Tennis Federation, the governing body of tennis, officially recognized the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum as the sport's official Hall of Fame. The Hall of Fame is located in Newport, Rhode Island, USA, on a six-acre property that features an extensive Museum chronicling the history of the sport and honoring the 220 Hall of Famers; 13 grass tennis courts and an indoor tennis facility that are open to the public and to a club membership; a rare Court Tennis facility; and an historic 297-seat theatre. Annually in July, the venue hosts the Campbell's Hall of Fame Tennis Championships for the Van Alen Cup, an ATP World Tour event. The buildings and grounds, which were constructed in 1880 by McKim, Mead & White to serve as a social club for Newport's summer residents, are renowned for their incredible architecture and preservation. The facility was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1987. The International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum is supported by Official Partners including BNP Paribas, Campbell Soup Company, Chubb Personal Insurance, Kia Motors and Rolex Watch USA. For information on the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum and its programs, call 401-849-3990 or visit us online at www.tennisfame.com.


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