My views on Tracy Austin have really changed over the years. When I first saw her as a teenager I was no fan of hers. I just saw her as this pesky, cocky teenager who broke my heart when she beat Martina Navratilova at the US Open in 1981.
I hated her for that.
Now that she's older I've gotten over it and think she's a very lovely woman and it's a shame we couldn't see her play more. Anyway, with Tracy I think what helped her at the start was the fact that like so many really young players she just had no fear of these champs. Tracy could play with abandon and just go for it. Chris had already been on the tour for years and then she found herself being seriously challenged by Martina who was forcing Chris to make changes in her game. By that I mean develop a better serve. And then along comes Tracy to put even more pressure on her. I forget which player said it, but I recall a few years ago a player pointing out how different it is when a player first comes on tour and is making their way up. As opposed to the player who's been on tour a while and is standing out there on court with all of those points to defend and realizes the importance's of the match. Whereas a kid doesn't.