"This wasn't a debut," said tennis great Ted Tinling. " Within months, Capriati won her first professional tournament, the 1990 Puerto Rico Open.
"She was beating every player in town," Evert recalled later, including skilled adult men. Open and Wimbledon junior doubles titles in the same year.She was 16 years old, had appeared on the cover of But she was also beginning to feel overwhelmed by the pressures and temptations of being a teenage sports phenomenon. Open that fall, she went on hiatus from the pro tennis tour. In December, she was arrested in a mall for shoplifting a bracelet, and several months later she was arrested again for possession of marijuana.By 1993, Capriati's career and life started spiraling out of control. Her now-infamous mug shot depicts a baggy-eyed, sullen and depressed 17-year-old nearly unrecognizable from the fist-pumping, smiling teen who had taken the world by storm a few years earlier.In 1990 she made her professional debut at just 13 years old, winning her first professional tournament in Puerto Rico later that year.After several personal struggles including drug possession she took a break from the sport, returning in 2001 with an incredible comeback.Her mother, Denise, was a flight attendant, and her father, Stefano, was a former Italian professional soccer player turned movie stuntman turned tennis instructor.