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EXCERPT | Sept. 17,1979
Tracy Austin becametennis's newest teen queen
September 6, 2009
After reaching thesemis at Wimbledon, Austin made history by winning her first Grand Slam titleat the U.S. Open, as Barry McDermott reported.
Magnificentlyfulfilling her boundless promise, Tracy Austin became a legend. By winning thewomen's title at the tender age of 16, she is now the youngest champion—male orfemale—in the history of the U.S. Open.
This was a titlethat Austin was destined to win, but even so, her 6--4, 6--3 triumph over ChrisEvert-Lloyd was startling not only because it came a trifle sooner than anyoneexpected, but also because it snapped Evert-Lloyd's Open championship streak atfour and dashed any hopes she had of regaining the domination of women's tennisthat she enjoyed as recently as last year.
The unrelenting andunflappable Austin was three months younger than Maureen Connolly was when shewon in 1951. And, indeed, Austin is still a kid. After winning, she gave herbouquet of roses a couple of twirls and went off to telephone her friends andrelatives. "I can't believe it," they all said. "I can'teither," said Austin.
When Austin looksacross the net, she sees two opponents: whomever she is playing and history.She relishes the fact that she is the youngest ever to play at Wimbledon. Shealso knows that Billie Jean King was 23 years old before she won her first U.S.Open title, and Evert-Lloyd was 20. Austin's second-round opponent at the Open,Andrea Jaeger, who is only 14, even called her "an older woman." She ishardly that, although at 5'4" and 110 pounds Tracy is no longer atoddler.
Austin won the U.S.Open again in 1981 before injuries cut short her career. In 1992 she became theTennis Hall of Fame's youngest inductee.
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TIME TO DEEP-SIXTHE FIVE-MAN ROTATION
SI's Chris Ballardquestions the reasoning behind one of baseball's age-old tactics: In an era ofsabermetrics, biomechanics and advanced baseball thinking, why does every teamdeploy its starting pitchers in essentially the same fashion? Each franchisestill primarily uses a five-man rotation. (When one doesn't, the impetus forrejiggering is based on injury prevention.) It doesn't seem likely, or evenpossible, that every starter would be most effective on the same amount ofrest. That's like expecting everyone to function equally well on five hours'sleep. I'm thinking guys like Roy Halladay (32) and CC Sabathia (above, right)are just as effective on three days' rest as they are on four—with nodeleterious affect on their health—provided they are on a pitch count.
Read more of ChrisBallard's Viewpoint at SI.com, plus:
• Ted Keith's Best 1--2 Punch: The most prolific pitching duos in the majors
• Tom Verducci on why the Rangers' Michael Young might be the greatest activeplayer never to reach the postseason
Check it all out atSI.com/bonus
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