Originally Posted by Robert1
Really Andy? I wouldn't necessarily see her in the league of Evert, Court etc. but definetely ahead of Sanchez, Sabatini, Mandlikova etc. Don't you think the new rackets would have helped her as well? And with her style of game she might have adapt even better to "modern" Tennis than Evert.
An interesting quote by Evert in 1988: She was asked what she thinks about Monica Seles (who had just played 1 tournament as a 14year old amateur), well, Evert said "I see Seles in the same league as Austin and Graf." Also when Tracy made an attempt of a comeback in 1993 Evert spoke very highly about Austin. Well, in a way, she has to, I mean, you don't put down an opponent's abilities that has beaten you so many times.
I think (am not sure) that Austin also played doubles with a Fernandez (not Gigi nor Mary-Joe) in the early 80s.
To use tennivideo's approach, which is the one I like best too, I'd have tiers and I'm only dealing here with 1959 on because I don't know enough and haven't seen enough about the periods before to decide.
In my top tier, there would be (in no particular order) Graf, Court, Navratilova and Evert, with King and Seles narrowly behind. After them, I'd have Bueno, Goolagong and Hingis.
For me Austin comes in the next bunch, along with Hana, Arantxa, Ann Jones and Virginia Wade, and possibly Darlene Hard.
As for the other active players except Monica, AT THE MOMENT, I'd put Serena with Bueno, Goolagong and Hingis for the moment, making a top 10. Venus, Capriati and Henin would be in Austin's group, making a second 10.
In mid 1988, Chrissie was not able to know what either Monica or Steffi would become, so I don't think it is fair to her to read too much into that comment. The implication is that she didn't consider any of them equal to herself and Martina at that point because she leaves those two names, plus those of Court and King, Goolagong and Bueno out of the comparison. If she meant the Monica would make #1, like Steffi and Tracy, then she was right!
As far as her ability to adapt to the modern racquets is concerned, maybe yes, and it would have given her more power of the ground (which she wasn't short of anyway), but personally I feel that she would have had to widen her repertoire of shots, develop her tactical game and drastically improve her serve if she had wanted to challenge into the mid and late 80s. Both Steffi and Monica would have murdered her serve and put her under tremendous pressure. Plus, while everyone points to her excellent record against Chris, you should also turn it around and see that Chris, Martina and Evonne all had very good records against Tracy and, each in her own way, exposed the limitations of Tracy's game.
Tracy's doubles results were not bad when she came back in 88-89. She reached the sf of the mixed at the US Open in 1988, in partnership with Ken Flach. They beat a top pair - Sherwood Stewart and Zina G - in the qf 75 75 but were hammered by Pat McEnroe and Liz Smylie 62 61 in the semis. In the women's doubles, Tracy played with MJF and they were beaten in round 2 by Anne Smith and Ann Henricksson 62 26 75. Someone should get her complete doubles record from the ITF site, as it would make interesting reading, I'm sure.