Capriati Elected Into Tennis Hall Of Fame
Published April 13, 2012 12:00
NEWPORT, RI, USA - Jennifer Capriati has been elected to receive the highest honor in tennis: induction to the International Tennis Hall of Fame. Capriati's career included three Grand Slam titles and reaching World No.1.
"I am thrilled to learn that I have been elected to the International Tennis Hall of Fame," Capriati commented. "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.
"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 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."
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 are former World No.1 Gustavo 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.
"We are delighted to hear Jennifer has been elected to the Hall of Fame," said WTA Chairman & CEO Stacey Allaster. "She indeed is one of our greatest players, known for her remarkable success and powerful style of play. Jennifer worked hard and fought hard. Congratulations to her on an honor well deserved."
Capriati made a splash in her first season on the WTA in 1990, reaching the finals of two of her first three pro events and the semifinals of the French Open, and later winning her first title in Puerto Rico. She ended the year in the Top 10.
The early 1990s would see her win five more WTA titles, most notably the gold medal at the Barcelona Olympics in 1992, beating the two favorites along the way - Arantxa Sánchez-Vicario and Steffi Graf. And in the late 1990s she began what would become a resurgence that would make headlines around the world, bringing her three Grand Slam titles - the Australian Open and French Open in 2001, and a title defense at the Australian Open in 2002 - as well as the World No.1 ranking, which she held for a total of 18 weeks.
In the 2002 Australian Open final, Capriati battled extreme conditions, came back from 64 40 down and saved four match points to beat Martina Hingis, 46 76(7) 62. The match is regarded as one of the greatest comebacks ever and named one of the 10 best matches of the decade by Tennis Magazine. It also earned her the 2002 ESPY Award for Comeback Player of the Year.
Capriati's last season on the WTA was 2004. She finished with a career record of 430-176, 14 singles titles and one doubles title (with Monica Seles).