Skip to main contentAccess keys helpA-Z index

[an error occurred while processing this directive]
watch listen BBC Sport BBC Sport
Low graphics|Help
Last Updated: Monday, 3 July 2006, 15:12 GMT 16:12 UK
Q&A: Tracy Austin
BBC commentator Tracy Austin
Former US Open champion and BBC commentator Tracy Austin answers your questions.

Austin was a tennis prodigy and became the youngest ever US Open champion when she beat Chris Evert at Flushing Meadows in 1979.

She took the US title again in 1981 and also won the mixed doubles at Wimbledon with her brother John in 1980 before injuries brought her career to a premature end.

She now works as a commentator and is part of the BBC's team at SW19.

Thanks for all your questions - Tracy answers a selection of the best below.

Interview by Joe Speight

What do you think of the state of British women's tennis and what would you say needs to change in order for it to improve?
Kris Doorga, UK

I'm sure that Britain would like to have more top players like Virginia Wade and Sue Barker of the past - I think it has to come from the kid within and from a love and desire to really want to play the sport. They also need very encouraging, but not pushy parents.

It takes a lot of time these days to be committed to the sport so there has to be a real hunger to succeed.

Are you concerned over the future of women's tennis in America considering the fact that the Russians and Europeans have dominated the WTA over the past few years?
Brendan Dsouza, Dubai, UAE

I'm definitely concerned our TV ratings will go down if we don't have some Americans in the mix.

We still have Venus Williams in there, but Lindsay Davenport and Serena Williams are not playing this year and we need our Federation Cup team to be good enough to compete.

I don't see anybody young on the horizon with tonnes of promise - maybe some that might make the top 30 or 40 but not the top ten right now.

Where are the next generation of younger players? Are there any young superstars out there we need to watch?
Jason Ng, Australia

I think Nicole Vaidisova made a big splash at the French Open and it's a question of how far she can push it.

She is thirteenth in the world at the moment but I think she needs to break into the top five to become a superstar.

At this Wimbledon I see more new names than ever and they are all hungry, strong and athletic and committed to having big careers.

I think in the next three years there will be someone we are not even talking about right now who comes through, but Vaidisova certainly has some big weapons.

We have heard a lot about equal pay recently, should women get the same as men?
Steven MacDonald, Scotland

I think it would be nice if it were equal, but I hate all the bad publicity for tennis. Everyone is focussing on men getting paid more and women getting paid less.

I'd love to make it equal like the US Open has but in the end its not about the money, its just the concept really.

Is Justine Henin-Hardenne going to be more hungry with a few less meals than the men? No.

Do you think that Serena Williams will ever play again? I miss her fighting attitude on the court.
Dixie Browne, Nevis West Indies

She's supposed to be playing in Cincinnati I think but I think within 18 months we'll know whether she is going to make a big comeback or not. It's been a year and a half of spluttering since she won her last Grand Slam at the Australian Open.

It's a question of getting fit and she is still overweight, she needs to decide whether she really wants to be the best in the world again.

She's 24 she's got a good five or six years in her if she wants to.

How do you think that Amelie Mauresmo can win here?
Rachel Horsfield, England

She's got a tough draw here and she will have to play Venus Williams in the quarter finals if the seeds were to hold true to form, then Maria Sharapova in the semis.

She always looks extremely fit and she is moving extremely well so I'd take her defeat at Eastbourne with a grain of salt.

After recently winning her first Grand Slam I think now she has in the back of her mind, 'I can do this'.

What is your proudest achievement as a player?
Ian Smith, UK

Probably winning the US Open twice.

Is it natural that most world class players become commentators when they retire?

No, there are a few that like to go away from the game altogether, like Gabriela Sabatini and you hardly tend to see the likes of Steffi Graff unless Andre Agassi is playing.

Also there aren't that many vacancies. I feel very lucky to be working for the BBC.

I always think you look fab, so do u have any style tips for looking good on court and off?
Kiran, Glasgow

Thank you very much. I try to make an effort and I dress for the day. Like today, I have tried to dress as summery as possible.


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Daily and weekly e-mails | Mobiles | Desktop Tools | News Feeds | Interactive Television | Downloads
Sport Homepage | Football | Cricket | Rugby Union | Rugby League | Tennis | Golf | Motorsport | Boxing | Athletics | Snooker | Horse Racing | Cycling | Disability sport | Olympics 2012 | Sport Relief | Other sport...

Help | Privacy & Cookies Policy | News sources | About the BBC | Contact us