View Full Version : Why didn't Tracy Austin ever really play the French?

Jun 23rd, 2003, 01:10 PM
I was just looking at Tracy Austin's career record on itftennis.com, and I saw that in her prime the only majors she played were the U.S. Open and Wimbledon. I know some players used to skip the Australian Open, but why was Tracy skipping the French Open?

How did she get to #1 (she did, right?) without playing 2 of the 4 majors?

darren cahill
Jun 23rd, 2003, 01:14 PM
I believe Tracy didnt play the french until she was out of school. she said something about that on the USA open coverage last year that she only played the summer grand slam events

i suppose she got to # 1 because she was great in what she did play...she didnt lose all that much

Jun 23rd, 2003, 01:38 PM
Darren is right. Tracy wanted to finish high school and decided the two weeks for the French was too much. In 1979 the French was just starting to make a comeback as a full fledged slam and just wasn't asn't important. Tracy didn't see how important it would become. She even tried to claim that her two "majors" (two tour ending events) were bigger than Evert's 2 slams in 1980. In Tracy's young and foolish mind the French just didn't count for much at the time.

The irony is Austin could have won the French. She stopped Evert's 125 clay match streak only weeks before the French and then skipped it.

darren cahill
Jun 23rd, 2003, 01:48 PM
hey Rollo!

yeah, i recall Tracy talking about this during the US open coverage last year when she was calling a match with John McEnroe, and john in his normal negative, hypocritical self was going on and on about how education was so important and more of the women players should finish school and blah blah...and then somehow the talk turned to Tracys record in majors and when the french came up, John was shocked that she hardly played it and when she said she was still in school he gave her a hard time and for once she gave him some flack back and said something like "John, first you preach education and then when someone says that school was a bigger deal, you tell me i should have played the french and forget school" he tried to fight back with "well you played the Italian Open all the time, if you were already in europe, why not stay" Her answer was the italian was during her easter/spring break most of the time and that was enough.

i agree with you though that she could have won it had she played it earlier than 1983

Jun 23rd, 2003, 02:00 PM
It's odd to think of how differently the majors were viewed then; we have these "historical records" but some of them are incomplete, in a sense, because players played fewer majors (did Borg play the Australian much? Surely he could have won at least 1 of them).

It was also interesting to see how often Tracy played Chris, Martina, Pam, etc. in tournaments. The top players played one another so often back then...