Originally Posted by NadalAgassi
When I watch tapes of Austin play I am amazed she achieved all she did so young, and had the great success vs prime Evert and Navratilova as she did. Sorry she just doesnt impress me much, even for the time frame. I even find Jaeger had a better game, but I guess she didnt have as strong a mind. I dont think she would have achieved all that much after 1981 even without her health problems. Her game was incredibly limited, what she excelled at she did very well but that was all she could do. Her serve was pitiful even for 70s standards, her volleys or attempts at them, lol, she had absolutely no variety, no real feel for the ball or any finesse shots, and her hitting patterns from the baseline were so unoriginal, the same crosscourt or down the line drills repeatedly. She makes Evert who some suggest is limited look like an incredibly complete player with so many dimensions by comparision. OK I admit I might be a bit biased since I really hate watching Tracy play in any of the old videos I saw, I find her game incredibly numbing and boring. I actually love her as a commentator today, way better than Evert or Navratilova IMO, I think I am a big fan of Tracy the person but not Tracy the tennis player, even though I acknowledge she was a great and unfortunate one.
I guess she could have won a few hard court slams spread out over time and ended up with say 5 slams or something in that area had she stayed healthy, but she would have never had the serious challenge to being #1 like she did in 1980 and 1981 ever again IMO. Her game just didnt have much capacity for growth at all, and I think that was part of her decline in 1982 and 1983, it wasnt just her health problems, she couldnt keep up with the new athletic standard Navratilova was setting, Evert was trying to follow, and the improvements Mandlikova, Jaeger, Shriver, and others were making. Plus people figured out how to play her, her game was so simplistic in nature, it was only a matter of time that happened. I think Evert cracked the code on how to play Austin in that 1980 U.S Open upset over Tracy who was starting to be considered the dominant player at the time, and other players started to follow suit.