Andy, what you say is true. I guess I meant that I thought that 83 was a worse year for Chris than 84, rather than it being her worst year. I started getting into tennis and becoming a Chris fan in 81. After a great 81, and a good 82, 83 was a real disappointment. The lowpoint was Wimbeldon (obviously), and the poor USO final. 84 seemed a much more positive year. By the 84 AO, I really felt that Chris could beat Martina in the final. 83 was even a worse year for me as a Hana fan, but I was pretty happy by the end of 85 on both counts!
As to whether Tracy would have been a force in the 80s had she remained healthy, I definitely think so!. Tracy's success was based on her mental stregnth, hunger, and determination. I don't see that waning during her career had she played out the 80s. I look at all of the significant players until 88, and I think that she would definitely have been up there. Let's break it down a bit:
Martina, Chris and Hana- Tracy definitely belongs in this group, competing for multiple GS titles. I think that she would have been more successful than Hana.
Shriver, Jaegar, Turnbull, Kohde-Kilsch, Hanika- I think that Tracy has proven that she is the measure of these players more often than not.
Sukova, Garrison, McNeil, Jordan- I think that she is more than a match for these players. Tracy loves a target, and these players never ereally bothered Chris (though they each have a couple of wins over her). Plus, these players are quite mentally fragile. Sukova is the only one of this group with decent groundies, and McNeil probably has the most flair.
Manuela Maleeva- probably the only other decent baseliner of the time. Tracy is a better baseliner, more aggressive, and mentally stronger. I don't think that players like Bassett, Bonder, temesavari, Rinaldi et al would have really bothered Tracy.
Sabatini, Graf- this is where things get a bit tougher. Gaby was still developing in the 80s. I don't think that she peaked until 90-92. I think that Tracy's experience and mental toughness would have seen her through on most occassions, though some of the matches would have been tight, and Sabatini would have a few wins.
Graf I think would have been too tough by 87 for Tracy.
Arantxa Sanchez- Really didn't come to prominence until 89. I still think that Tracy is a better baseliner than Arantxa, and older posters also know that i controversially think that Tracy ended up with the better career (addressed in an old thread)
From 89 onwards, Tracy would have been in her late 20s. Seles, Novtna and Martinez would be emerging and Tracy would probably still be good enough to be a rgular in the top 10.
Sigh, I so wish Tracy and Andrea could have played out their careers. How exciting 87 would have been with Martina, Chris, Hana, Tracy, Andrea, Steffi, Gaby, and to a lesser extent Pam, helena, Manuela contending for GS!!!