Tracy Austin

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Tracy Austin
Austin 2009 US Open 02.jpg
Country  United States
Residence Rolling Hills, California
Born (1962-12-12) December 12, 1962 (age 51)
Palos Verdes Peninsula, California
Height 5 ft 5 in (1.65 m)
Turned pro October 23, 1978
Retired July 1994
Plays Right-handed
(two-handed backhand)
Prize money US$2,092,380
Int. Tennis HOF 1992 (member page)
Singles
Career record 335–90 (78.82%)
Career titles 30
Highest ranking No. 1 (7 April 1980)
Grand Slam Singles results
Australian Open QF (1981)
French Open QF (1982, 1983)
Wimbledon SF (1979, 1980)
US Open W (1979, 1981)
Other tournaments
Tour Finals W (1980)
Doubles
Career record 13–16
Career titles 5
Mixed Doubles
Grand Slam Mixed Doubles results
Wimbledon W (1980)
US Open SF (1988)

Tracy Ann Austin Holt (born December 12, 1962, in Palos Verdes, California) is a former World No. 1 professional tennis player from the United States and holds three Grand Slam titles, winning the women's singles title at the US Open in 1979 and 1981, and the mixed doubles title at Wimbledon in 1980. Additionally, she won the WTA Tour Championships in 1980 and the 1981 year end Toyota Championships, both in singles, before a series of injuries cut her career short. Since 1979, she has held the record as youngest ever US Open female singles champion and is the youngest inductee of all time in the International Tennis Hall of Fame. Austin won singles titles on all playing surfaces: clay (both red clay and green clay), indoor carpet, grass, and hard courts.

Playing style[edit]

Austin possessed a solid baseline game with a strong forehand and reliable two-fisted backhand. She struck the ball deep, with substantial pace (given the wooden racquet era of her prime), and with pinpoint accuracy, hitting on or near the lines. Often this aspect of her game has overshadowed her solid net game which resulted in a Wimbledon mixed doubles title with her brother John. Austin's first serve was a mid-paced high percentage shot that functioned well on all playing surfaces, and although her second serve has been described as lacking penetration, she rarely double faulted.

Career[edit]

1979 to 1980[edit]

Austin defeated 35-year-old Billie Jean King in the quarterfinals of Wimbledon in 1979 before losing to Martina Navrátilová in straight sets in the semifinals. Austin then became the youngest ever US Open champion, aged 16 years and 9 months, defeating Navratilova in the semifinal and winning the championship match against Chris Evert, who was bidding to win the title for the fifth consecutive year. Earlier that year, Austin had ended Evert's 125-match winning streak on clay by beating her in three sets in a semifinal of the Italian Open. The Associated Press named her female athlete of the year for 1979.

Austin lost in the semifinals of both Grand Slam tournaments she played in 1980. Evonne Goolagong Cawley, seeded fourth and the eventual champion, defeated Austin at Wimbledon. As the top seed and defending champion at the US Open, Austin was expected to extend her five-match winning streak against third-ranked Evert. Austin raced to a 4–0 lead in the first set before Evert won 18 of the final 20 games to take the match. Evert went on to beat Hana Mandlíková in the final, thus securing for herself the year-ending World No. 1 ranking. Austin was ranked the World No. 1 singles player at times during 1980, partly because she captured the two sponsors' tour-ending events, defeating Navrátilová to win the Avon Championships in March and Andrea Jaeger to capture the Colgate Series Championships in January 1981. In 1980, Austin won the Wimbledon mixed doubles title with her brother John, becoming the first brother and sister team ever to win a Grand Slam title together.

1981 to 1983[edit]

During the first four months of 1981, Austin played only two events because of chronic injuries. On grass, she won the tournament in Eastbourne, United Kingdom without losing a set before Pam Shriver beat her in a Wimbledon quarterfinal. Austin then won 26 consecutive matches and four consecutive tournaments. She defeated Shriver in the final of the tournament in San Diego and, three weeks later, she beat both Navrátilová and Evert in straight sets to win the Canadian Open in Toronto, it is fair to mention that Evert was under a death threat in the final. As the third-seeded player at the US Open, Austin defeated fourth-seeded Navrátilová in the final Navrátilová, however, ended Austin's winning streak in the final of the U.S. Indoor Championships. In Europe during the autumn, Austin lost to Sue Barker in the quarterfinals of the tournament in Brighton, United Kingdom, but recovered the following week to defeat Navrátilová in the final of the tournament in Stuttgart, West Germany. At the final Grand Slam tournament of the year, Austin was seeded second but lost to sixth-seeded Shriver in the Australian Open quarterfinals. The 1981 year-ending Toyota Series Championships featured two matches against Evert and one against Navrátilová. Evert won her round robin match with Austin, before Austin demolished Evert in a baseline slugfest in their semifinal. Austin then won the tournament with a three-set defeat of Navrátilová. The Associated Press named her female athlete for the second time in 1981.

Austin was the first opponent of Steffi Graf when the German made her professional debut at the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix in Stuttgart in 1982. Austin defeated the 13-year-old Graf.

Back injuries and recurring sciatica then began to impair Austin's effectiveness and sidelined her for long stretches. King, seeded twelfth, upset third-seeded Austin in the 1982 Wimbledon quarterfinals. Several weeks later, however, Austin won her 30th and final top-level singles title in San Diego. Austin had a good showing at the 1982 season-ending Toyota Series Championships where she defeated Jaeger, the World No. 3, in straight sets to reach the semifinals. However, she was unable to repeat 1981's victory over Evert, who crushed her in the semifinals (a reversal of the 1981 result where Austin dominated). In 1983 she was a finalist at the Family Circle Cup losing to Navrátilová in three sets. She also reached the quarterfinals of the French Open. But by the end of 1983, before her 21st birthday, Austin was essentially finished as a top ten player.

1988 to 1989[edit]

Austin began her first comeback on the tour in 1988, when she played in seven doubles tournaments, and in 1989, when she played in one doubles and two singles tournaments. A highlight of this comeback included a semifinal showing in the 1988 US Open Mixed Doubles with partner Ken Flach.[1] This comeback was ended by a near-fatal motor vehicle accident on August 3, 1989.

1992[edit]

In 1992, Austin became the youngest person to be inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame, at the age of 29.

1993 to 1994[edit]

She attempted a second comeback in 1993 and 1994 but was not particularly successful. In 1993, Austin upset Renee Stubbs and Katerina Maleeva at the Evert Cup in Indian Wells, California where she reached the round of 16. At the WTA Manhattan Beach event she upset both Gigi Fernandez and Elena Likhovtseva before losing to Gabriela Sabatini in the round of 16. The wins over Maleeva, Fernandez, and Likhovtseva began a buzz that Austin might become at least a top twenty player again. However, in 1994, her results were not as promising and at the Evert Cup in Indian Wells, California, Austin lost in the second round in straight sets to Steffi Graf, and Austin soon retired in June 1994.[1]

Family life and work as a tennis commentator[edit]

Tracy's older sister, Pam, and her older brother, Jeff, were also professional tennis players, as were brothers Doug and John. She is the sister-in-law of fitness author Denise Austin. She is married to Scott Holt and is the mother of three sons, Sean, Brandon, and Dylan.

As a child, Tracy lived next door to Air Force Colonel Keith Lindell, who was responsible for the training of the original seven Project Mercury astronauts.

Since retiring as a player, Austin has worked as a commentator for NBC and the USA Network for the French Open and the US Open. She worked for the Seven Network, who broadcast the Australian Open and usually participates in the BBC's Wimbledon coverage. She began working for Tennis Channel in 2010 and joined their US Open team and later their Australian Open team in 2012. Austin has also worked for Canadian television for their coverage of the Rogers Cup since 2004.

Major finals[edit]

Grand Slam finals[edit]

Singles: 2 (2 titles, 0 runner–ups)[edit]

Outcome Year Championship Surface Opponent Score
Winner 1979 US Open Hard United States Chris Evert 6–4, 6–3
Winner 1981 US Open Hard United States Martina Navrátilová 1–6, 7–6(7–4), 7–6(7–1)

Mixed doubles: 2 (1 title, 1 runner–up)[edit]

Outcome Year Championship Surface Partner Opponents Score
Winner 1980 Wimbledon Grass United States John Austin Australia Dianne Fromholtz
Australia Mark Edmondson
4–6, 7–6(8–6), 6–3
Runner-up 1981 Wimbledon Grass United States John Austin Netherlands Betty Stöve
South Africa Frew McMillan
4–6, 7–6(7–2), 6–3

Year-End Championships finals[edit]

Singles: 2 (1 title, 1 runner–up)[edit]

Outcome Year Location Surface Opponent Score
Runner-up 1979 New York City Carpet (I) United States Martina Navrátilová 6–3, 3–6, 6–2
Winner 1980 New York City Carpet (I) United States Martina Navrátilová 6–2, 2–6, 6–2

WTA Career Finals[edit]

Singles: 44 (30–14)[edit]

Winner — Legend
Grand Slam tournaments (2–0)
WTA Tour Championships (1–1)
Virginia Slims, Avon, Other (27–13)
Titles by Surface
Hard (11–3)
Grass (2–0)
Clay (3–2)
Carpet (14–9)
Outcome No. Date Tournament Surface Opponent Score
Winner 1. January 10, 1977 United States Portland Hard (I) United States Stacy Margolin 6–7, 6–3, 4–1 ret.
Runner-up 1. March 6, 1978 United States Dallas Carpet (I) Australia Evonne Goolagong Cawley 4–6, 6–0, 6–2
Runner-up 2. October 2, 1978 United States Phoenix Hard United States Martina Navrátilová 6–4, 6–2
Winner 2. October 23, 1978 West Germany Filderstadt Carpet (I) Netherlands Betty Stöve 6–3, 6–3
Winner 3. November 21, 1978 Japan Tokyo Hard (I) United States Martina Navrátilová 6–1, 6–1
Winner 4. January 1, 1979 United States Washington Carpet (I) United States Martina Navratilova 6–3, 6–2
Runner-up 3. January 29, 1979 United States Chicago Carpet (I) United States Martina Navrátilová 6–3, 6–4
Runner-up 4. March 21, 1979 United States Avon Championships Carpet (I) United States Martina Navrátilová 6–3, 3–6, 6–2
Winner 5. April 10, 1979 United States Hilton Head Island Clay Australia Kerry Melville Reid 7–6, 7–6
Winner 6. May 7, 1979 Italy Rome Clay West Germany Sylvia Hanika 6–4, 1–6, 6–3
Winner 7. July 30, 1979 United States San Diego Hard United States Martina Navrátilová 6–4, 6–2
Runner-up 5. August 20, 1979 United States Mahwah Hard United States Chris Evert-Lloyd 6–7(2–7), 6–4, 6–1
Winner 8. August 28, 1979 United States US Open Hard United States Chris Evert-Lloyd 6–4, 6–3
Winner 9. November 5, 1979 West Germany Filderstadt Carpet (I) United States Martina Navrátilová 6–2, 6–0
Winner 10. December 15, 1979 Japan Tokyo Carpet (I) United States Martina Navrátilová 6–2, 6–1
Runner-up 6. January 2, 1980 United States Landover Carpet (I) United States Martina Navrátilová 6–2, 6–1
Winner 11. January 7, 1980 United States Cincinnati Carpet (I) United States Chris Evert-Lloyd 6–2, 6–1
Winner 12. January 28, 1980 United States Seattle Carpet (i) United Kingdom Virginia Wade 6–2, 7–6
Runner-up 7. February 4, 1980 United States Los Angeles Carpet (I) United States Martina Navrátilová 6–2, 6–0
Winner 13. March 10, 1980 United States Boston Carpet (I) United Kingdom Virginia Wade 6–2, 6–1
Winner 14. March 17, 1980 United States Avon Championships Carpet (I) United States Martina Navrátilová 6–2, 2–6, 6–2
Winner 15. March 29, 1980 United States Carlsbad Hard United States Martina Navrátilová 7–5, 6–2
Winner 16. April 7, 1980 United States Hilton Head Island Clay Czechoslovakia Regina Maršíková 3–6, 6–1, 6–0
Runner-up 8. April 29, 1980 United States Orlando Clay United States Martina Navrátilová 6–2, 6–4
Winner 17. June 16, 1980 United Kingdom Eastbourne Grass Australia Wendy Turnbull 7–6, 6–2
Winner 18. July 28, 1980 United States San Diego Hard Australia Wendy Turnbull 6–1, 6–3
Winner 19. September 29, 1980 United States Minneapolis Carpet (I) United States Martina Navrátilová 6–1, 2–6, 6–2
Winner 20. November 3, 1980 West Germany Filderstadt Carpet (I) United States Sherry Acker 6–2, 7–5
Runner-up 9. November 10, 1980 United States Tampa Hard United States Andrea Jaeger w/o
Runner-up 10. November 22, 1980 Japan Tokyo Carpet (I) United States Martina Navrátilová 6–4, 6–3
Winner 21. December 15, 1980 United States Tucson Carpet (I) United States Peanut Louie 6–2, 6–0
Winner 22. January 7, 1981 United States Landover Carpet (I) United States Andrea Jaeger 6–2, 6–2
Winner 23. June 15, 1981 United Kingdom Eastbourne Grass United States Andrea Jaeger 6–3, 6–4
Winner 24. July 27, 1981 United States San Diego Hard United States Pam Shriver 6–2, 5–7, 6–2
Winner 25. August 17, 1981 Canada Toronto Hard United States Chris Evert-Lloyd 6–1, 6–4
Winner 26. September 1, 1981 United States US Open Hard United States Martina Navratilova 1–6, 7–6(7–4), 7–6(7–1)
Winner 27. September 21, 1981 United States Atlanta Hard United States Mary-Lou Piatek 4–6, 6–3, 6–3
Runner-up 11. September 28, 1981 United States Minneapolis Carpet (I) United States Martina Navratilova 6–0, 6–2
Winner 28. October 26, 1981 West Germany Filderstadt Carpet (I) United States Martina Navratilova 4–6, 6–3, 6–4
Winner 29. December 14, 1981 United States East Rutherford Carpet (I) United States Martina Navratilova 2–6, 6–4, 6–2
Winner 30. July 26, 1982 United States San Diego Hard United States Kathy Rinaldi 7–6, 6–3
Runner-up 12. October 18, 1982 West Germany Filderstadt Carpet (I) United States Martina Navratilova 6–3, 6–3
Runner-up 13. December 6, 1982 United States Richmond Carpet (I) Australia Wendy Turnbull 6–7(3–7), 6–2, 6–4
Runner-up 14. April 4, 1983 United States Hilton Head Island Clay United States Martina Navratilova 5–7, 6–1, 6–0

Doubles: 7 (5–2)[edit]

Winner — Legend
Grand Slam tournaments (0–0)
WTA Tour Championships (0–0)
Virginia Slims, Avon, Other (5–2)
Titles by Surface
Hard (3–1)
Grass (0–0)
Clay (0–0)
Carpet (2–1)
Outcome No. Date Tournament Surface Partner Opponents Score
Winner 1. October 2, 1978 United States Phoenix Hard Netherlands Betty Stöve United States Martina Navrátilová
United States Anne Smith
6–4, 6–7, 6–2
Winner 2. October 23, 1978 West Germany Filderstadt Carpet (I) Netherlands Betty Stöve Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Mima Jaušovec
Romania Virginia Ruzici
6–3, 6–2
Runner-up 1. November 21, 1978 Japan Tokyo Hard (I) United States Kathy May United States Martina Navrátilová
Netherlands Betty Stöve
6–4, 6–7, 3–6
Runner-up 2. January 8, 1979 United States Oakland Carpet (I) Netherlands Betty Stöve United States Rosie Casals
United States Chris Evert
6–3, 4–6, 3–6
Winner 3. January 22, 1979 United States Hollywood Carpet (I) Netherlands Betty Stöve United States Rosie Casals
Australia Wendy Turnbull
6–2, 2–6, 6–2
Winner 4. August 20, 1979 United States Mahwah Hard Netherlands Betty Stöve Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Mima Jaušovec
Czechoslovakia Regina Maršíková
7–6, 2–6, 6–4
Winner 5. July 28, 1980 United States San Diego Hard United States Ann Kiyomura United States Rosie Casals
Australia Wendy Turnbull
3–6, 6–4, 6–3

Grand Slam singles tournament timeline[edit]

Tournament 1977 1978 1979 1980 1981 1982 1983 1984–
1993
1994 Career SR
Australian Open A A A A A QF A A A 2R 0 / 2
French Open A A A A A QF QF A 1R 0 / 3
Wimbledon 3R 4R SF SF QF QF A A A 0 / 6
US Open QF QF W SF W QF A A A 2 / 6
SR 0 / 2 0 / 2 1 / 2 0 / 2 1 / 3 0 / 3 0 / 1 0 / 0 0 / 2 2 / 17
Career Statistics
Year end Ranking 12 6 3 2 2 4 9 NR

A = did not participate in the tournament.

SR = the ratio of the number of Grand Slam singles tournaments won to the number of those tournaments played.

Note: The Australian Open was held twice in 1977, in January and December.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Statistics. "Tracy Austin". International Tennis Federation. Retrieved 03/09/2013.  Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)

External links[edit]

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Martina Navratilova
Martina Navratilova
World No. 1
April 7, 1980 – April 20, 1980
July 1, 1980 – November 17, 1980
Succeeded by
Martina Navratilova
Chris Evert
Awards
Preceded by
No award
WTA Newcomer of the Year
1977
Succeeded by
Pam Shriver