Tracy Austin, whose full name is Tracy Ann Austin Holt, is an American former World Number One professional tennis player. Tracy Ann won three Grand Slam titles namely the women’s singles titles in 1979, US Opens in 1981 and the mixed doubles title at the Wimbledon Championships in 1980. In addition, Tracy Ann also won both singles of the WTA Tour Championships in 1980 and the year-ending Toyota Championships in 1981. Her career was cut short due to a series of injuries and a serious automobile accident. Tracy has been the youngest US Open female singles champion, in history, since 1979. Tracy Ann is still the youngest inductee of all time at the International Tennis Hall of Fame at the age of 29. Tracy Austin won singles titles on all playing surfaces which include clay (red and green clay), indoor carpet, grass and even hard courts.
She possessed a solid baseline game, with a strong forehand and reliable two-fisted backhand and therefore, Tracy struck the ball deep, with substantial pace and with pinpoint accuracy, hitting on/near the lines. Often this aspect of Tracy’s game has overshadowed her solid net game which resulted in a Wimbledon mixed doubles title along with her brother John. Tracy Ann’s first serve was a mid-paced high percentage shot that functioned well on all playing surfaces. Her second serve, although, has been described as lacking penetration, Ann rarely double faulted. At the age of 12, Tracy played an exhibition doubles match in Claremont, Ca with Elgin Baylor, Lawrence Mc Cuthcheon and Lea Antonoplis.
Tracy Ann was born on December 12th, 1962, Palos Verdes, California, USA.
Tracy is the sister in law of Denise Austin (fitness author), who got married to Jeff. Tracy Ann got married to Scott Holt and the two have been blessed with three sons namely Sean, Brandon and Dylan.
In October 1978, Austin turned professional and won her first professional singles title in the same month same year, beating Betty Stöve in the final of the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix in Filderstadt, in West Germany.
She beat a 35 year old Billie Jean King in the quarterfinals of the 1979 Wimbledon Championships before beaten by Martina Navratilova in straight sets in the semifinals. Then she became the youngest ever US Open champion, at age 16 and 9 months, by beating Navratilova in the semifinals and Chris Evert in the final. Chris Evert had been attempting to win the title for the fifth consecutive year and earlier that year, Tracy ended Chris’s 125-match winning streak on clay by beating Chris 6–4, 2–6, 7–6 in the Italian Open semifinal. The Associated Press named Austin Bolt its Female Athlete of the Year for 1979.
She played in 1980 and lost in the semifinals of both Grand Slam tournaments. She was defeated at the Wimbledon Championships by Evonne Goolagong Cawley, seeded fourth and the eventual champion. Tracy was expected to extend her five-match winning streak against third-ranked Evert, as defending champion at the US Open. She took a 4–0 lead in the first set before Chris Evert won 16 of the final 20 games to win the match. Chris went on to beat Hana Mandlíková in the final, hence securing for herself the year-ending World No. 1 ranking. Tracy was ranked the World No. 1 singles player in 1980 for two weeks that’s from April 7th to 20th and then for nineteen weeks that’s from July 7th to November 17th, partly because Tracy captured the two sponsors’ tour-ending events. Austin Bolt defeated Navratilova to win the Avon Championships and in January 1981, Andrea Jaeger to capture the 1980 Colgate Series Championships. Tracy won the Wimbledon mixed doubles title with her brother John in 1980, becoming the first brother and sister team ever to win a Grand Slam title.
Austin played only two events due to chronic injuries during the first four months of the year 1981. She won the BMW Championships in Eastbourne on grass, UK without losing a set before Pam Shriver beat her in a Wimbledon quarterfinal. Tracy then won twenty six consecutive matches and four consecutive tournaments. Austin defeated Shriver in the Wells Fargo Open final, San Diego. She beat both Navratilova and Evert in straight sets to win the Canadian Open in Toronto three weeks later. Austin defeated fourth-seeded Navratilova in the final, as the third-seeded player at the US Open. However, Navratilova ended Tracy’s winning streak in the US Indoor Championships final. In Europe, Tracy lost to Sue Barker in the quarterfinals of the Brighton International in Brighton, UK, during the autumn but recovered the following week to defeat Navratilova in the final of the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix in Stuttgart, in West Germany.
Austin was seeded second, at the final Grand Slam tournament of the year, though lost to sixth-seeded Shriver in the Australian Open quarterfinals. The 1981 year-ending Toyota Series Championships featured two matches against Chris Evert and another one against Navratilova. Chris Evert won her round robin match with Tracy Ann, before Tracy Ann defeated Chris Evert in their semifinal. Tracy then won the tournament with a 3-set defeat of Navratilova. The Associated Press named Austin Bolt its 1981 Female Athlete of the Year for the second time. Tracy Ann was the first opponent of Steffi Graf when the German made her professional debut at the 1982 Porsche Tennis Grand Prix in Stuttgart. Tracy Ann beat the 13-year-old Graf 6–4, 6–0.
Austin’s effectiveness was impaired due to back injuries and recurring sciatica which sidelined her for long stretches. Billie Jean King who seeded twelfth, upset third-seeded Tracy Austin in the 1982 Wimbledon quarterfinals. However, several weeks later, Tracy Ann won her 30th and final top-level singles title in San Diego. At the 1982 season-ending Toyota Series Championships, Austin had a good showing where she defeated Jaeger, the World No. 3, in straight sets to reach the semifinals. She, however, was not able to repeat 1981’s victory over Chris Evert, who double bageled her in the semifinals.
Tracy was the runner-up at the Family Circle Cup in 1983, losing the final to Navratilova in three sets. She also reached the French Open quarterfinals, but by the end of 1983, she was essentially finished as a top ten player.
In 1988, Austin began her first comeback on the tour, when she played in seven doubles tournaments and also in 1989, when she played in one doubles and two singles tournaments. Her comeback included a semifinal showing in the 1988 US Open mixed doubles with partner Ken Flach which was ended by a near-fatal motor vehicle accident on 3rd August, 1989.
She became the youngest person to be inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame, at the age of 29, in 1992. Between 1993 and 1994, Austin attempted a second comeback but was not particularly successful. In 1993, she upset Renee Stubbs and Katerina Maleeva at the Evert Cup in Indian Wells, California where she reached the round of 16 before beaten by Stephanie Rottier. She upset both Gigi Fernández and Elena Likhovtseva at the WTA Manhattan Beach event before losing to Gabriela Sabatini in the round of 16. The wins over Maleeva, Fernandez, and Likhovtseva began a buzz that Tracy might become at least a top twenty player again. In 1994, however, Austin’s results were not as promising and at the Evert Cup in Indian Wells, California, she lost in the second round in two bagel sets to Steffi Graf, and in June 1994, Austin retired.
Pam, Austin Holt’s older sister, and her brothers namely Jeff, Doug and John, were professional tennis players too. Austin Holt is the sister-in-law of fitness author Denise Austin, who got married to Jeff. Tracy Ann got married to Scott Holt and the two have been blessed with three sons namely Sean, Brandon and Dylan. Her son, Brandon, is now a member of the USC Tennis team, recruited by Coach Peter Smith. Austin Holt lived next door to Air Force Colonel Keith Lindell, as a child, who was responsible for the training of the original seven Project Mercury astronauts. She has worked as a commentator for NBC and the USA Network for the French Open and the US Open since retiring as a player. Austin worked for the Seven Network, who broadcast the Australian Open and usually participates in the BBC’s Wimbledon coverage during the 2000s. In 2010, Austin Bolt began working for Tennis Channel and joined their US Open team and then their Australian Open team in 2012.
Since 2004, Tracy Ann has worked for Canadian television for their coverage of the Rogers Cup. She is the focus of David Foster Wallace’s ‘How Tracy Austin Broke My Heart’ (1992), a book review of Austin Holt’s memoir Beyond Center Court, critiquing the work for using the generic, bland clichés of sports autobiographies to hide the genuinely compelling and tragic story of her career.
-In 1979, she won the US Open Championship on Hard surface against the US Chris Evert by 6–4, 6–3
-In 1981, Austin won again the US Open Championship on Hard surface against US Martina Navratilova by 1–6, 7–6(7–4), 7–6(7–1)
-In 1980, Tracy and US John Austin won the Wimbledon Championship on Grass surface against Australia Dianne Fromholtz and Australia Mark Edmondson by 4–6, 7–6(8–6), 6–3
-In 1981, Tracy and US John Austin were runners-up at Wimbledon Championship on Grass surface against Netherlands Betty Stöve and South Africa Frew McMillan by 4–6, 7–6(7–2), 6–3
-In 1979, Austin was a runner-up at New York City Championship on the Carpet surface against US Martina Navratilova by 6–3, 3–6, 6–2
-In 1980, she was the winner at New York City Championship on the Carpet surface against US Martina Navratilova by 6–2, 2–6, 6–2