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1990s / Tennis Prodigy Jennifer Capriati
Tennis prodigy Jennifer Capriati was just shy of her fourteenth birthday when she graced the cover of Sports Illustrated in 1990. Her father and one-time coach, Stefano, wanted Jennifer to turn pro at 13 but the WTA's rules would not allow for anyone to play in a professional event until the month of her fourteenth birthday. (Jennifer's birthday is March 29, 1976.) With much fanfare she reached the final of her first two pro tourneys and was ranked eighth in the world by the end of the year. She won a gold medal at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics and things looked totally promising. However, Capriati had a disappointing 1993. By 1994 she had been arrested for shoplifting a $35 ring and marijuana possession. To prevent further 'burn-out cases' among young players, the WTA instituted rules restricting the number of events players under 16 could enter. A Capriati comeback had moderate success, but Capriati was out of tennis by 2004 at age 28. On June 28, 2010, Capriati was recovering from an overdose of prescription drugs, according to a family spokesman.