just a thought: so what did chris and martina think of tracy and andrea when... - TennisForum.com
 
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old Jan 17th, 2015, 01:23 PM Thread Starter
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just a thought: so what did chris and martina think of tracy and andrea when...

you know i've always wondered this and it's amazing to me that i don't remember much being said or quoted or wrote about in world tennis magazine or it's competitor tennis magazine about chris and martina's thoughts and opinions on when both austin and jaeger were injured and left the tour...

both when they left the tour for a bit and then eventually when it turns out they would both have to retire PERMANENTLY...

did evert and martina think say in 1984, 1985 that both jaeger and austin would be returning soon? did they know how bad it was for both of them? did they think that being gone from the tour for a year or two, that they would be returning or that they had a inkling that both were retiring?....

were evert and martina gearing up for their comebacks? were they wondering if austin and jaeger would be coming back older, wiser, presumably more mature and stronger and with a graphite racket and be tough competition for them?....

i just don't remember reading or hearing anything from chris and martina about who were seen as the 2 biggest (and youngest therefore they would presumably be around for a long long time longer then them even!) threats and their layoffs, or them coming back and tackling them or on what would be their eventual retirements.. and so on...

course evert i guess was concerned and focused entirely on martina how to combat her getting in stronger, faster better shape, the switch to graphite, the strategy of play to compete with super martina and so on... martina was concerned with keeping her place and putting evert in her place for all time and so on...in between they worried a bit about hana (but knew she was too inconsistent) and pam (but knew she was not quite champion material as she rarely rarely beat martina and it would take evert's very near retirement before pam would beat chris) and the others down the line....
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old Jan 27th, 2015, 07:25 AM
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Re: just a thought: so what did chris and martina think of tracy and andrea when...

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Originally Posted by laschutz View Post
you know i've always wondered this and it's amazing to me that i don't remember much being said or quoted or wrote about in world tennis magazine or it's competitor tennis magazine about chris and martina's thoughts and opinions on when both austin and jaeger were injured and left the tour...

both when they left the tour for a bit and then eventually when it turns out they would both have to retire PERMANENTLY...

did evert and martina think say in 1984, 1985 that both jaeger and austin would be returning soon? did they know how bad it was for both of them? did they think that being gone from the tour for a year or two, that they would be returning or that they had a inkling that both were retiring?....

were evert and martina gearing up for their comebacks? were they wondering if austin and jaeger would be coming back older, wiser, presumably more mature and stronger and with a graphite racket and be tough competition for them?....

i just don't remember reading or hearing anything from chris and martina about who were seen as the 2 biggest (and youngest therefore they would presumably be around for a long long time longer then them even!) threats and their layoffs, or them coming back and tackling them or on what would be their eventual retirements.. and so on...

course evert i guess was concerned and focused entirely on martina how to combat her getting in stronger, faster better shape, the switch to graphite, the strategy of play to compete with super martina and so on... martina was concerned with keeping her place and putting evert in her place for all time and so on...in between they worried a bit about hana (but knew she was too inconsistent) and pam (but knew she was not quite champion material as she rarely rarely beat martina and it would take evert's very near retirement before pam would beat chris) and the others down the line....
I think Chris and Martina were very aware that Andrea was burned out, and dealing with a lot of issues besides injuries. Andrea badly limped through the first half of 1984, and then essentially faded away, until a few not that successful comebacks.

Austin started out 1983 at #4, and had a win over the also slumping #3 Jaeger at the FCC. But after the French, Tracy was essentially done. She came back briefly in 1984, but most everyone realized that injuries and her frail body would mean she would never seriously threaten the top players.

1982 firmly established Martina and Chris as the best players in the game, with all the other women fighting for whatever wins they could eke out while not facing Chris or Martina. Martina and Chris were both able to up their level of training, and not suffer from any serious injury to keep them out of the game. While they may have wished Tracy and Andrea the best, I don't think they were looking over their shoulders with concern over the possibility of a Tracy or Andrea comeback. After some patches where Tracy (mostly) and Andrea (a little) were able to get the better of Chris and Martina in the early 1980s, that was all firmly settled for good in the latter half of 1982. I believe Evert's final 1982 win over Andrea was 6-1,6-0, and her final ever win over Tracy was 6-0,6-0 at the end of 1982.

Chris had Martina to deal with, who was always a bigger threat to her than Tracy or Andrea.
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old Jan 27th, 2015, 08:07 PM
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Re: just a thought: so what did chris and martina think of tracy and andrea when...

I think one of the problems for Tracy and Andrea was that they were always battling to return to their previous forms. But all the time they were out with injuries, Martina and Chris were vastly improving their games and moving further and further ahead of the pack (especially Martina, but Chris also went into full Martina mode with all the weight training from 1984 onwards, Martina started earlier under Liebermann and Richards). The top two players were improving their games and evolving so fastly that it would have been hard for Tracy and Andrea to stay with them without injuries. And because they were not playing them, but taking time out to recuperate, they were less able to gauge just how far ahead these two women were. Tracy's game was much modelled on Chris Evert of the 1970s, but Evert herself had abandoned this hypostasis with the switch to graphite in 1984 and reinvented herself as a sort of Martina # 2.
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old Jan 29th, 2015, 01:24 PM Thread Starter
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Re: just a thought: so what did chris and martina think of tracy and andrea when...

thank you you 2 for replying to this post (out of nearly 300 views!)... i just find it looking back interesting and odd that when you watch a match let's say on tv with evert and navratilova in 83, 84, 85 austin and jaeger are never ever mentioned? not in any tennis articles in the tennis magazines? you would think they would have a frequently article update on both of them how their rehab is coming, their thoughts on the changing game, their thoughts on martina and chris, the game's change to faster, more athletic, harder hitting, graphite rackets, what their plans are,etcetera...

i mean it's almost like you would think austin and jaeger had been gone from the game for a decade or more OR that they never ever even existed...

i mean austin basically had to quit the game in the summer of 1983, jaeger at the beginning of 1984 but even DURING the declining years of 83,84 you didn't hear or read much about them. it was ALL about new super martina and chris playing catch up and their rivalry. in 84, 85 only a year or two removed from the game and austin and jaeger seemingly never existed?...
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old Jan 29th, 2015, 04:12 PM
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Re: just a thought: so what did chris and martina think of tracy and andrea when...

It was almost as if they were just a distant memory. The Evert thrashing of Austin in their last match in December 1982 is still one of my most shocking tennis viewing experiences. I felt as if my vision of what the 80's would be was completely shattered in that moment. The only other time I was that shocked were the Graf defeats to Sanchez Viccario and Pierce in the french semis of '91 + '94, but they were basically one off's with little to no repurcussions. Tracy and any foreseen reign at the top of the game—or even keeping up with Chris & Martina—was gone in a flash. Kaput. By the time Andrea started her decline I was much less interested in the game and pre-internet hadn't a clue as to what became of her.

Tracy was mentioned much more in the press (or at least I pricked up me ears at her mere mention) than Andrea. I think Chris and Martina were so self absorbed they never spoke of either after they were gone. When Evert spoke of anyone it was ALWAYS oddly in the plural...THE Grafs and THE Sabatinis, as if they were all just products of Westworld!
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old Jan 29th, 2015, 07:41 PM
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Re: just a thought: so what did chris and martina think of tracy and andrea when...

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Originally Posted by laschutz View Post
i mean austin basically had to quit the game in the summer of 1983, jaeger at the beginning of 1984 but even DURING the declining years of 83,84 you didn't hear or read much about them. it was ALL about new super martina and chris playing catch up and their rivalry. in 84, 85 only a year or two removed from the game and austin and jaeger seemingly never existed?...
It's the tennis media. I really don't have a concise way to explain it, but once you read through enough historical articles, it's just obvious that there is such a thing as political party line in tennis. Sometimes it's a result of a deliberate agenda, sometimes it's just a result of sheer laziness and/or a strong herd-mentality.
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old Jan 30th, 2015, 12:46 AM
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Re: just a thought: so what did chris and martina think of tracy and andrea when...

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I think Chris and Martina were so self absorbed they never spoke of either after they were gone. When Evert spoke of anyone it was ALWAYS oddly in the plural...THE Grafs and THE Sabatinis, as if they were all just products of Westworld!
Chris and Martina were self-absorbed, but that was almost their job. Navratilova was setting the standard and everybody else was supposed to chase her while with jostling with each other for position. "Any man who falls behind is left behind." There wasn't anything anybody could do about it, anyway. Nor was it like Navratilova and Evert were particularly friendly with Austin or Jaeger -- quite the opposite.

There is evidence that the tour management/tournament directors, much of the tennis media, and even many of the players at the time (Evert and Navratilova included) thought the Chris 'n' Martina Show was enough to sustain the game and would continue until the retirement of one or both of them or the end of the world, whichever came first. So there was a kind of ... dismissiveness, let's just say, concerning the other players, and especially the younger players since they already saw the first and second wave of challengers have problems.
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old Jan 30th, 2015, 03:40 AM
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Re: just a thought: so what did chris and martina think of tracy and andrea when...

Evert seemed to have Jaeger in high esteem - can't remember where I've heard her saying nice things about Andrea, but she did. I recall her saying she was impressed with her talent, among other things. I think Chris and Martina aknowledged the quality of Tracy Austin many times too.

On the other hand I've read weird things about Andrea. Was all the time threatened by a violent father, right?
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old Jan 30th, 2015, 04:16 PM
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Re: just a thought: so what did chris and martina think of tracy and andrea when...

I think they both spoke very highly of Austin and Andrea as they were coming up and then naturally curtailed those comments as they matured and became true rivals. But from my memory neither were mentioned very often a few years later, a period that many assumed would be Austin and Andrea's primes. It seems McEnroe truly missed Borg after his departure and spoke of him often. He never felt Connors or Lendl were rivals. I think by 1983 Martina and Chris felt the same about one another. No one really knew the extent of A + A's injuries (emotional and physical) but they were both so young that it wasn't out of the question that either could reappear as late as the 90's, which Austin sadly did.
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old Jan 31st, 2015, 03:17 AM
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Re: just a thought: so what did chris and martina think of tracy and andrea when...

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It seems McEnroe truly missed Borg after his departure and spoke of him often. He never felt Connors or Lendl were rivals.
The Borg-McEnroe rivalry was more obvious. It's actually as if Chris or Martina had suddenly retired and left the other alone.

Lendl certainly reminded McEnroe there were other rivals out there, and that times were going to change fast in a new era of power hitters!
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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old Jan 31st, 2015, 02:43 PM
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Re: just a thought: so what did chris and martina think of tracy and andrea when...

The thing is Austin and Jaeger were written about CONSTANTLY in 84-86 by the press, but mainly in relation to the buzzword of the moment, "burnout". Jaeger and Austin were exhibits A and B as far as the press was concerned regarding burnout. and there were tons of articles and television pieces done on this "new, insidious malady that was infecting tennis" (Borg was not immune from these articles, though cited much less frequently) which was, no doubt, the consequence of turning pro too young. Hence the age limitations that were put into effect, not only in terms of when an athlete could start playing professionally, but how many events they would be allowed to play in a calendar year.

Austin and Jaeger were considered casualties of "burnout," although the term itself as the press put it forth in relation to tennis had no real definition; they kind of made it related, sort of, to physical injury (which is not really how the term "burnout" is understood in the non-tennis world) and kind of also related it to emotional and mental fatigue. An extensive article written in Sports Illustrated in early 1984 went to great lengths in exploring the Jaeger situation and speaks of an unhealthy and rather sad situation, and one would surmise after reading that article that Jaeger's competing with Chris and Martina was the last of her, or anyone else's concerns.

So Austin and Jaeger were sort of treated like sociological specimens by the press, a thing to be studied, and their competing with Chris and Martina wasn't so much a concern so much, as either of them ever competing again. I also think that because of the whole "burnout" issue, Jaeger and Austin were delicate subjects for the WTA as well as Chris and Martina, and as such were not voluntarily brought up by them. The reason being that it could be thought that the tour was at fault for demanding too much of them too young (which could very well be true) and as such, I don't think they were voluntary brought up by Chris or Martina or the WTA in general, as they were thought of as something that could reflect negatively on the gleaming, healthy image of women's tennis that they were trying to project. This also explains the hyper-emphasis on the Chris-Martina rivalry, which really was something that shouldn't have existed the way it did by 1984-85--that is as the sole show of women's tennis, both women were pushing 30 and had been around the block for well over a decade, and while their rivalry was incredible, it had more to do with losing a generation (Austin, Jaeger, Mandlikova) than it had with their overarching dominance of the sport.

I also suspect that there were other variables to the stories of Austin and Jaeger that went on behind the scenes that we'll never know about which might also provide a means of explaining why their absence wasn't addressed in a more optimistic light.

Here's the article on Jaeger: http://www.si.com/vault/1984/04/09/6...nly-the-racket

That's what she said!!!

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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old Jan 31st, 2015, 04:59 PM
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Re: just a thought: so what did chris and martina think of tracy and andrea when...

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On the other hand I've read weird things about Andrea. Was all the time threatened by a violent father, right?
The connection between Turnbull and Jaeger was even weirder. Whatever was going on there would probably be strongly advised against today, at least until Jaeger turned 18.

Tennis players are real, live people, and thus things like genuine psychological disorders and various types of abuse are delicate subjects. There are some players who demonstrably have an emotional instability that goes beyond the "under pressure" explanation. When those players are further exposed to the sometimes psychopathic psychological warfare and predatory ruthlessness that happened/happens behind the scenes (and not just on the players' part) in women's tennis, the results are usually appalling and predictable.

There was a big debate in 1985 (continuing a little into 1986) about re-doing the age restrictions, even going so far as to apply them retroactively, meaning youngsters like Graf, Sabatini, MJ Fernandez, would suddenly find themselves unable to play on the tour until they turned 16. Of course, it didn't happen, and the minimum age was kept pretty low (don't kid yourself that Big Things were not Already Planned for Jennifer Capriati even this early).
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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old Feb 19th, 2015, 01:56 AM
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Re: just a thought: so what did chris and martina think of tracy and andrea when...

I get the impression from Martina's biography which stopped describing in real time at the end of 1984 (I think it was published in 1985, but never spoke into 1985) that she fully expected both Austin and Jaeger were done. She did not sound particularly fond of either player though.
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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old Feb 19th, 2015, 01:58 AM
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Re: just a thought: so what did chris and martina think of tracy and andrea when...

I agree with DennisFiz they were also long past being much worried about Jaeger or even the more threatening Austin by then. Their injuries and other problems aside the game had passed them by somewhat (well mostly just an improving Martina and Chris, the depth of the game was quite bad around then so I am sure both could have easily stayed top 5 healthy quite awhile).
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