Newport, RI – Three-time Grand Slam champion Jennifer Capriati has been elected to the International Tennis Hall of Fame.
Capriati was a 14-time winner with major championships at the Australian Open in 2001 and 2002, as well as the French Open in 2001. She also captured Olympic gold at the 1992 Barcelona Games and was the No. 1 player in the world for 18 weeks, completing her career with a match record of 430-176.
"I am thrilled to learn that I have been elected to the International Tennis Hall of Fame," Capriati said in a statement. "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."
Capriati's career included notable accomplishments and controversy.
Now 36 years old, Capriati made her much-ballyhooed WTA debut in 1990 at the tender age of 13 and reached the final at her first event in Boca Raton. She was the youngest semifinalist at that year's French Open after turning 14 and also won her first title in Puerto Rico later that year.
More success followed the next couple of years, highlighted by a quarterfinal win over defending champion Martina Navratilova at Wimbledon in 1991 and the Olympic gold medal the following year.
Capriati won six titles between 1990-93, then took most of the next two years off. She played just once in 1994 and not at all the following year while struggling through personal issues that included arrests for shoplifting and possession of marijuana.
A slow comeback began in 1996 and she ended a six-year title drought in 1999 before a strong 2000 campaign set Capriati up for her best season ever in 2001.
Capriati captured her first Grand Slam crown with a victory over world No. 1 Martina Hingis in the Australian Open final, then beat Kim Clijsters for the title at the French Open in the spring. A 19-match Grand Slam winning streak ended with a loss to Justine Henin in the Wimbledon semifinals and she also lost in the semis at the U.S. Open.
After becoming the top-ranked player in the world in October 2001, Capriati began 2002 with another win over Hingis in the Australian Open final.
Injuries began taking their toll in 2003 and she stopped playing at the end of the 2004 season.
Capriati, elected to the Hall in the Recent Player category, will join a 2012 Class that includes former men's 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.