The Tracy "AWESOME" Austin Thread -
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post #1 of 102 (permalink) Old Apr 9th, 2002, 10:14 PM Thread Starter
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The Tracy "AWESOME" Austin Thread

Who knows how many more slams Tracy could have won if injury had not interfered.

For her first US Crown she killed Evert.

For her second US Crown she came from behind to defeat Navratilova.

Her Wimbledon mixed doubles Crown was amazing considering she played with her much less talented brother.

Why won't ESPN replace Pam Shriver and put Tracy on?
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post #2 of 102 (permalink) Old Apr 10th, 2002, 09:27 AM
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I was very young when Tracy was winning those US titles and in those days UK tv only showed Wimbledon and Eastbourne so we never really got to see Tracy at her best. I know she really concerned Martina and Chris, though it was probably Chris who felt more unde ssiege due to the similarities in their game. Are there any heyday Tracy videos floating around out there? I feel like watching a bit of nostalgia.
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post #3 of 102 (permalink) Old Apr 10th, 2002, 01:46 PM
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While I prefer Pam over Tracy as a commentator, I'm glad she's finally got her own thread.
She was a little killer in pigtails-no doubt about itI'm convinced a healthy Tracy may well have challenged for the top-certainly she would have cost Chris and Martina some slams. Like a lot of "what-if's" in tennis, we'll never know, but it makes a fun debate!

There are lots of funny Austin stories floating around-especially some of the ones concerning Pam!
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post #4 of 102 (permalink) Old May 2nd, 2002, 01:10 AM
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I have noticed

that they always misprint the winners of the year end championships saying that Navratilova won in 1981. It was Austin who won the 1981 Toyota Championships as they were called that year. Austin defeated Navratilova in 3 sets as she had at the US Open. Austin also won the 1980 year end event over Jaeger.
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post #5 of 102 (permalink) Old May 7th, 2002, 12:40 AM
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Despite her injuries, Tracy Austin is still one of the all time greatest and one of my three all time favorites. I loved her and she is my favorite tv commentator!

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post #6 of 102 (permalink) Old May 9th, 2002, 01:32 PM
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I read all over this board the respect people have for Tracy Austin. And this is even taking into accopunt that there are a number of players who have won more slams than her. But the fact that for a period of time she dominated the game over some genuine champs in Martina and Chris (she outplayed them not overtaken them thru injuries or anything) indicates a special player. Her end-of-year champs wins are also very notable when during the late 70's they were probably held in higher regard than the Aus Open.
The likes of Hana, Arantxa won more slams but thinking beyond the numbers game, Tracy reached number one thru domination not thru injuries and had the players around her initimidated.

I wonder what you guys think.... does the things I mention above mean anything when determining whose better than who.... or is the grand slam numbers game simpler and a more effective reasoning?????

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post #7 of 102 (permalink) Old May 9th, 2002, 04:01 PM
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That's a tough question Louloubelle!
While I also feel Tracy was a genuine threat to Martina and Chris to be #1(me and Zummi had a running debate on that , I'd still have to rate Hana and Sanchez a step higher. In my heart I know she was "better" than those two, but it's so like Mo Connolly or Seles IMO, in that you can't just award them slams they didn't win.

is the grand slam numbers game simpler and a more effective reasoning?????
I think it is, if you "weight" the slams. These days the slams are more or less equal, but in Tracy's days we know 2 counted much more, Wimbledon and the US Open. So if I take your argument and give the year-end events near slam status (say, half a slam) , Tracy gets close to the 4 slams because she won 3 series finales(79 Avon and the
1980-81 Colgate). So it all comes down to how important you think those events Tracy won were.

Tracy DID get to #1(unlike Hana), a point in her favor. And of course her head to head vs. the top guns is much more impressive than Mandlikova or Sanchez.

It's debatable either way I'll be interested in what others think.
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post #8 of 102 (permalink) Old May 9th, 2002, 04:40 PM
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Hi everyone

I'm glad, too, about a n Austin thread!

As to my opinion, some of you already know:
i agree with Rollo about her being the biggest (yes, bigger than Seles) whatif in the history of the game.
We had long debates in here with good Philbo, Jrj, me and Zummi.
(good ol'times, ah?)

I remember when she came around we all felt she was going to be the new sensation.
Nobody doubted she was overcoming Navratilova and Evert.

As for game quality, i'll always prefer Navra, but that's another story.
She was a SteffiGraf in embryo, in my opinion.

and yes, she could have gotten up to ten slams.

It's interesting also what DisposableHero said once, about her possibly being a threat deep down into the eighties/nineties, thus stealing not only to Navra/Evert but also to Graf and even Seles, maybe.
(in 1991 she was 30, wasn's she?)
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post #9 of 102 (permalink) Old May 9th, 2002, 06:44 PM
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Disposable's take on that was interesting Way. BTW, while Tracy is a big "what if" I'm not sure I'd say she was the biggest question mark

Tracy and Seles shared one thing in common-problems on grass!
Had Austin stayed healthy Wimbledon would have always been a test. I've read early reports that say she could volley better than Evert, but I don't remember her coming in as much as Chris. Besides, Tracy had a horrible serve. Pam Shriver couldn't touch Austin on other surfaces, but torpedoed Tracumms twice on grass
in 1981 at majors. I don't see Austin getting Martina on grass unless her serve got better or Martina was off.

Hard courts were a different matter. She proved herself there, and on hard courts Martina and Chris were both at a disadvantage.

The real question mark would be the French. Tracy WAS a baseliner, and did end Evert's clay streak, but as a Californian
she liked hard courts better.

BTW- Tracy was never a fav of mine when she played, but she got very pretty aftter she lost those ugly braces and pinafore dresses. For some reason I found those pom-pom cherrleader socks she wore sexy!
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post #10 of 102 (permalink) Old May 9th, 2002, 08:40 PM
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I would definitely place Tracy ahead of Aranxa and Hana. The only reason she never won the French is because she didn't play there (or not until much later in her career)

It's a shame what happened to Tracy when you think about it. Her career was pretty much over at 20. Sad. Very sad.
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post #11 of 102 (permalink) Old May 10th, 2002, 02:27 PM
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Yes way too many variables now!!!! I'm, totally confused to make a decision. But the fact that ASV and Hana were proficient on all surfaces (both being Wimbledon finalists) is a big and good point.

Isn't it unthinkable that many years back the players preferred WTT over the French???!!!

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post #12 of 102 (permalink) Old May 10th, 2002, 08:43 PM
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Dr. Appleby,

No. Martina "DID" win the 1981 season-ending Championships. It was held in March and she beat Jaeger in the final in straights. Austin won the Toyota Championships which was held at the end of the year but that event was discontinued after 1982. The WTA's season-ending championship was moved from March to November in 1986.
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post #13 of 102 (permalink) Old May 11th, 2002, 08:21 AM
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Appleby and Zummi-both of you are right in a sense

The history of "Series" finales is a confused one. First, there was a series finale only for the Virginia Slims from 1971 to 1976. By 1974 it was being promoted as part of a "Triple Crown", with Wimbledon and the US Open.

The problem for the women was that when the Slims circuit started, it was year-round on all surfaces. Starting in 1975, however, it was only indoors and ended in April.

Colgate stepped in to sponser a world-wide tour in 1977. Thus, from 1977 to 1982 the women had TWO "season ending" finales.
As the longer and larger circuit, the Colgate-Toyota finales had a bit more prestiege.

When Toyota pulled out we once again had a unified tour. Since the 1983 "season" was so short, the 83 Slims was an invitational rather than based on qualifying.

As Zummi said, the women switched dates in 1986, when there were 2 Slims finales. That was a good year to change as the Aussie wasn't held that year. The tour as we know it today more or less looks like 1987, except for less US indoor events.

Personally, I think some of these season ending events counted for a lot more than they do today. With 4 slams of near equal importance, the WTA finals just don't mean as much as they did in the 70's and 80's.

Hope I didn't add to any confusion
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post #14 of 102 (permalink) Old May 11th, 2002, 06:01 PM
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Dr. Appelby said that Martina being listed as the winner of the 1981 Ch'ships was a misprint. That is quite obviously a bunch of balderdash. The current season-ending Ch'ships is the same tournament as the one Martina won in 1981 so I don't see what the confusion is all about. The Colgate/Toyota Ch'ships took place over a six-year period and have not been on the calendar since 1982.
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post #15 of 102 (permalink) Old May 12th, 2002, 01:49 AM
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Well, obviously Martina's 81 win wasn't a misprint Zummi, but it's not the same EXACT event as today's year-end finals, simply because the New York event Martina won that year was from points earned only in 11 or so indoor events. The Toyota finals was more prestigious since points were earned from over 30 or 40 events, on all surfaces, including the slams. THAT sounds more like today's Sanex finals.

When Virginia Slims took over again in 1983 it was convenient to make it appear like one uninterrupted event, since the Slims didn't sponsor the others. The truth is more complex.

The Colgate/Toyota finales were big, so big that the players and press considered Evert in 78, Navratilova in 79, and Austin in 81 to be the undisputed #1(as Martina was in 79) or have a claim to
it. Martina conceded the #1 to Tracy after losing the 1981 Toyota final. In other words, she thought if she won she was entitled to the #1 spot. Martina herself considered it to be more important than the Avon event she won early in the year, otherwise she would claimed the top spot based on that.
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