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Tracy Austin

From Academic Kids

Tracy Ann Austin (b. December 12 1962, in Palos Verdes Peninsula, California) is a former World No. 1 woman tennis player from the United States. She won the women's singles title at the US Open in 1979 and 1981, and the mixed doubles title at Wimbledon in 1980, before a series of injuries cut short her very promising career.

As a junior player, Austin won 21 age-group titles including the US national 12s title at age 10 in 1972. In 1977, she became the youngest player to win a professional tournament, capturing the title in Portland, Oregon aged 14 years and 28 days. Later that year, she made her Grand Slam debut at the US Open and reached the quarter-finals.

Austin became the youngest-ever US Open champion in 1979, aged 16 years and 9 months. In the final she faced World No. 1 Chris Evert (who was bidding to win the title for the fifth consecutive year) and beat her in straight sets 6-4, 6-3. Earlier that year, she had also ended Evert's 125-match clay court winning streak by beating her in three sets in the semi-finals of the Italian Open.

Austin won the US Open again in 1981 in a thrilling final against Martina Navratilova in which she prevailed 1-6, 7-6(7-4), 7-6(7-1).

In 1980, Austin won the Wimbledon mixed doubles title partnering her brother John Austin. She was a singles semi-finalist at Wimbledon in both 1979 and 1980.

Austin was briefly ranked the World No. 1 singles player in 1980, breaking a six-year stangle-hold that Evert and Navratilova had held on the top spot.

After a fleeting period of great success, back injuries began to impair Austin's effectiveness and sidelined her for long stretches. She won her 29th and final top-level singles title at San Diego in 1982. By 1983, before her 21st birthday, she was virtually finished.

Austin had a near-fatal motor accident in 1989, but survived. She attempted a brief comeback on the tour in 1993-1994, but was not particularly successful.

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

Since retiring as a player, Austin has frequently worked as a commentator at televised tennis matches.


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