Tracy was great and would have been greater. Tracy suffered a back injury in 83. While having dinner, just before one of her comeback attempts, a waiter tripped and spilled scalding hot water on her back. In 89 she broke her leg in a car accident. She had terrible luck, but was a very vicious hard hitting baseliner. The late great Ted Tinling said of Tracy's hitting ability " It was as if she had poison written on every ball" <img src="smile.gif" border="0">
[ November 30, 2001: Message edited by: Big Lindsay ]</p>
Tracy actually started suffering from sciatica in the winter of '81. the injury kept her out for a few months and by September she took her second, and final, Grand Slam at the US Open. She suffered from the injury off and on for a few years and then just disappeared in 83/84, I believe. I am not sure about the scalding hot water. It sounds like something that would plague Tracy. She actually made a comeback in 1993 and I saw her play Zina Garrison in Oakland. She lost poorly and pretty much left the tour as soon as she reappeared.
I think Tracy is a great commentator now on USA. She has a good sense of humor and is quick to point out everybody's flaws! Her voice is really high but kinda cute. USA sampled it into a great rap "hit forehands, hit backhands" for their US open promos this year.
My fav Tracy win was the '79 US Open final. She beat Chris Evert in straights by playing a slightly more powerful version of Chris's own game. Chris had won the US 4 times in a row so it was great to see a pig-tailed brace face win for once!!!
I remember watching Tracy play and was amazed at her power inspite of her double pony tailed pixie appearance. She is a really good commentator with a fair and unbiased view. Unlike her counterpart Chris Everett. Everett is so biased when doing a Hingis match, that once I thought she would run on the court, raise Hingis' tennis skirt and kiss her on the butt. <img src="cool.gif" border="0">
Her mental toughness was the key to her game when at her best. No mercy.
She used to erk Evert by saying that she modelled her game on no one!! despite the obvious similarities. That fact that she started to beat Evert consistently, at one stage many times in a row, increased their rivallry.
Evert rates the win over Austin in the 80 US Open semis 46 61 61, as one of the greatest wins of her career.
She also had a interesting relationship appartently with Pam Shriver starting from their junior days!
Austin is often classed as a 'burn out' victim, however injuries probably by playing many matches on hardcourt, and the fact that she came back from injuries to soon shortened her career.
Good to see Tracy isn't forgotten <img src="smile.gif" border="0"> Big Linds, Mary Linda, and louloubelle(where's the name from loulou?") ) have covered her well.
I think it's fair to say Austin's injuries helped the slam totals of Navratilova and Evert, just as Graf's totals were higher due to Seles' stabbing in 1993. She gave both women fits, and was younger as well. I think she would have always had problems on grass like Seles, because if Austin had one weakness it was her serve. Evert had a better serve by far.
Louloubelle noted Tracy's one big advantage, her brain. She was a shark mentally. Jack Kramer said of her, "All that stuff about cute adorable little Tracy, with her pigtails and braces. Watch her face, she's ready to go for the jugular". A killer in pigtails. I can't recall a match she lost afterholding match point. She won many a match she should have lost, like the 1981 US Open final.
Tracy was never popular in the locker room, being aloof by nature(much like Venus Williams). Besides, she was a "threat" even at 14. Shriver hated Austin's guts, throwing 4 letter words at "the twerp"(one of Pam's few printable names for Tracy)<br />after a really hard fought match in the 1981 Canadian Open. Tracy broke down in tears at the net, claiming she had never heard such language. <br />Yeah <img src="graemlins/angel.gif" border="0" alt="[Angel]" />
Evert saw Austin as a threat, and made fun of her for being such a goody-goody(Chris joked about the fact that Tracy had never smoked a cigarette, let alone marijuana, a habit Chris indulged in). It was Tracy who ended Evert's incredible 126 straight clay court streak in 1979. Too bad Austin never played the French Open in her prime(1979-1981) because she went to high school. Her first French was in 1982, when she was badly injured.
One thing I admired about Tracy was her relationship to Billie Jean King. Tracy learned a lot from being on King's Fred cup teams, and litle conservative Tracy defended Billie Jean in several letters to the press after the infamous lesbian King-Navratilova scandal in 1981.
I really like her commentating. She is very straightforward and insightful. I just got her book out of the library for some off-season reading. <img src="smile.gif" border="0"> It's called "Beyond Center Court" (from 1992, so it's a bit old).
Why was she treated so bad?? From my sketchey knowledge back in the early 80's she seemed to be on the wrong side of catty behaviour because of her singleminded attitude on court. Reputations counted for nothing with Tracy and her opponents knew that when she was blowing them away. <br />Does anyone think that a teenage Seles had the same problem??
Rollo - my name is not from Bananas in Pyamas!!!, but a nick name of a not-so-legendary Aussie soapy actress whom not-so-many adore, but obviously some like me do!!!!
LLG is a "cute" name no matter it comes from Louloubelle. It was a name for a pet pig on an old TV show here in the States----.
I don't think Tracy was treated THAT poorly. For one thing, she wasn't really outgoing, and she was a girl among women. Another factor was she was constantly with her mother, making it hard to others to know her even if they tried. Every young champ, from Evert and Seles to Graf and Venus-has had the same frosty reception from tour veterans. After all, these teens are threatening to cut your paycheck by beating your brains out on court! Had she lasted longer, I think Tracy would have become "one of the girls".
The 70's was a lot more relaxed about drugs. The 1973 book "A Long Way Baby" shows a lot of the women pros smoked marijuana. Evert was raised a good Catholic, and like many women of the day experimented a bit. No big deal. She didn't ASK for the all-American girl image-it was thrust on her, just as Lindsay Davenport is tagged as "sweet".
Austin herself spoke of Chris' making fun of her. I believe that's in "Beyond Center Court".
I tend to doubt ' a few times". It's been written about more than once and is fairly old news. One reporter was certain Chrissie was stoned during one of the Slims events in Madison Square Garden. Not on court though <img src="smile.gif" border="0">