MIAMI – Former world number one tennis player Jennifer Capriati was recovering in a Florida hospital Monday following a drug overdose, a family spokeswoman said.
Capriati’s family declined to identify the drug involved but said that the 34-year-old American was in stable condition and expected to make a full recovery.
Lacey Wickline said a number of physicians are treating Capriati for the same condition but she declined to go into details.
“It is for the same treatment. They (doctors) are all on the same page,” Wickline said.
Wickline denied reports in the American media that it was a possible suicide saying “that is inaccurate. True speculation.”
Wickline said the family is at Capriati’s bedside and they plan to release an update on her condition either later Monday or Tuesday.
“In response to an outpouring of concern and support shown by Jennifer’s fans and friends worldwide, we would like to acknowledge that Jen is recuperating at a South Florida hospital from an accidental overdose of medication prescribed to Jen by her personal physicians,” Wickline said.
“The Capriati family asks that you respect our privacy at this time. As we will provide updates when available.”
Paramedics responded to a call from a hotel in Riviera Beach early on Sunday morning in what is the latest in a long line of incidents concerning the troubled former child prodigy.
The family did not say who called 911 or how Capriati was discovered.
The West Palm Beach Post said a source told them Monday that Capriati swallowed a handful of prescription pills after having an argument with another person. The newspaper did not name the person or the source.
Pushed to play tennis at a young age she eventually burned out as a teenager and retired several times.
Capriati won the French Open junior title aged 13 in 1986, and 14 titles during her career including three Grand Slams – the Australian Open in 2001 and 2002 and Roland Garros in 2001 – and an Olympic gold medal in 1992.
But her career was overshadowed by personal problems, including incidents of shoplifting and drugs, and she struggled with weight problems.
She was charged with cannabis possession in 1994 and spent time in a drug rehabilitation clinic before struggling to return to the game.
She finally battled her way back at age 25 and in October 2001 she claimed the world number one ranking.
Her last hurrah was reaching the US Open semis in 2003 where she lost to Justine Henin. She never regained her form since that defeat and has not played following a shoulder injury suffered in 2004.
Meanwhile, fellow American tennis star Serena Williams said she was saddened to hear the news and said she would “pray for everyone involved.”
“If there’s any way I can do anything to help, reach out, I definitely will do that,” said Williams, who is competing at the Wimbledon tournament this week.
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