Capriati's Masterful Return

Sports often provide an opportunity to witness displays of such qualities as courage, stamina, and persistence.

One example is the career of Jennifer Capriati, who burst onto the tennis scene as a 13-year-old phenomenon in 1990, only to see fame and constant public attention take a toll. Her tennis game faltered. At her lowest point, she had a brush with the law for shoplifting, and entered drug rehabilitation. It seemed doubtful that she'd ever star on the court again.

But on Saturday she won the French Open, a tennis grand-slam event she last contended in 11 years ago. Earlier this year, she won the Australian Open, another grand-slam tournament. Ms. Capriati is now on the verge of making tennis history.

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The triumph over her own history, however, is perhaps the real story. Through determination, she regained a confidence and peace within herself. In accepting the French trophy, she thanked her family and others who had kept faith in her. Such triumphs usually have a element of teamwork.

Those who watched her defeat an equally determined opponent, Belgium's Kim Clijsters - the final set extended to 22 games - were given not just some memorable tennis, but a reminder that individuals can emerge from adversity even stronger.

(c) Copyright 2001. The Christian Science Monitor

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