Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Capriati Facing Glare of Publicity in Her Return Teen Plays Tonight; First Tourney since Sept. '93

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Capriati Facing Glare of Publicity in Her Return Teen Plays Tonight; First Tourney since Sept. '93

Article excerpt

No questions about anything but tennis, Jennifer Capriati says. No chatting about life, especially the recent past. Or the near future.

But Capriati is coming back to play tennis - tonight against No. 6 seed Anke Huber in the Virginia Slims of Philadelphia tournament - and this is what she will have to face:

More than 250 media organizations from all over the world have requested credentials.

For a time Monday, a television show called "American Journal" was promoting Wednesday's edition, which will start at the same time Capriati hits her first tennis ball in public since September 1993 and which was supposed to include videotape of Capriati smoking and drinking at a Halloween party two weeks ago.

"Shot over a week's time in Palm Springs," an "American Journal" statement says, "the exclusive video shows Capriati in training on the tennis courts and relaxing by playing pool. It also shows her preparing for a Halloween party, and smoking and drinking."

That was early Monday night. Later in the evening, a spokeswoman for the show said that perhaps the promo hadn't been quite accurate.

"It will be a very upbeat piece of Jennifer at practice," Sheri Goldberg said. "Our lawyers say there will be no video of a Halloween party after all."

This will be her life for a while if Capriati returns to professional tennis full time - tabloid TV shows rushing to promo video that may not exist or may have been obtained illegally.

Capriati, 18, has said she will not answer questions this week about her time away from the tour - she was arrested on shoplifting charges once and drug possession charges once, and checked herself into a 28-day in-patient drug rehabilitation program in Miami Beach after the drug arrest.

Nor will she answer questions about what brought back her desire to play the game that made her a multimillionaire before she turned 14 and then made her so unhappy that she quit. …

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