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Sept. 07, 2009
Sept. 07, 2009

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Sept. 7, 2009

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This is an article from the Sept. 7, 2009 issue

EXCERPT | Sept. 17,1979

PonytailExpress

Tracy Austin becametennis's newest teen queen

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

FEATUREDSTORIES

MICHAELROSENBERG'S
Viewpoint
Now is not the time for Rick Pitino to take the moral high ground. Louisville'sembattled basketball coach might gain more sympathy if he stayed quiet

STEWART MANDEL'S
Inside College Football
After only two seasons as a starter, Florida's Tim Tebow already ranks as oneof the top three quarterbacks of all time and is well-positioned to become thebest

ANDREW PERLOFF'S
Inside the NFL
Michael Vick only participated in six plays for the Eagles in their preseasongame against the Jaguars, but we got a glimpse of what he might become thisyear

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• "BrandonMarshall stuns me with his lack of intelligence. He thinks he ups his chancesof getting dealt by acting like an ass."
—SI_PeterKing after Denver suspended its disgruntled, fourth-year receiver lastFriday for conduct detrimental to the club

• "I have beenboth drunk and stupid on occasion, but when has VY shown us he's got what ittakes to play some quality QB in NFL?"
—DonBanks on why he thinks Vince Young is not mentally prepared to resume hisjob as starting quarterback for the Titans

• "This Rioskid from Chula Vista [Calif.] Little League is unreal. If the Mets are smart,they'll sign him up now. Oh, never mind."
—SI_JonHeyman on California shortstop Andy Rios after Rios and his team beatTaoyuan, Chinese Taipei, 6--3 on Sunday to win the Little League WorldSeries

PHOTOPhotograph by WALTER IOOSS JR. AUSTIN'SPOWER The 5'4" high school junior drilled her signature two-fistedbackhands past Evert-Lloyd at Forest Hills.PHOTONEIL LEIFER (ROBINSON)PHOTOHEINZ KLUETMEIER (PLUNKETT)PHOTOMIKE POWELL/ALLSPORT/GETTY IMAGES (POWELL)PHOTOCHUCK SOLOMON (HALLADAY)PHOTOCHUCK SOLOMON (SABATHIA)PHOTOGARY BOGDON (GUILLEN)PHOTOJOHN BIEVER (MCCOY)PHOTODARRYL DENNIS/ICON SMI (PARKER)PHOTOAL TIELEMANS (RIOS)PHOTOED REINKE/AP (PITINO)PHOTOBOB ROSATO (TEBOW)PHOTOHOWARD SMITH/US PRESSWIRE (VICK)