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Capriati's Masterful Return

June 11, 2001



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

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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.

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