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|edHelper's suggested reading level:||grades 5 to 6|
|Flesch-Kincaid grade level:||6.33|
By Jennifer Kenny
1 Is there a sport you like to play? Did you ever wonder what it would be like to be a star athlete? Well, Tracy Austin could tell you. She was one.
2 Tracy Austin was born on December 12, 1962, in Palos Verdes, California. She was the youngest of five children. By the age of 2, she was hitting tennis balls at the tennis club where her mom worked. She was a normal little girl in pigtails who liked bouncing the ball around. Her older siblings played tennis and she followed them into the game. Her parents were supportive of her enjoyment, but no one came before anyone else in her family.
3 By the age of 4, Tracy appeared on the cover of World Tennis. In 1977, at the age of 14 years and 28 days, Tracy became the youngest winner of a pro tournament. At the Avon Futures of Portland, Oregon, she won her first title. That same year she became the youngest player to enter Wimbledon and the U.S. Open. She also became the youngest person to be ranked among the top U.S. tennis players.
4 Tracy turned pro in 1978. In that year, she was ranked among the top ten players in the world. In 1979, she won her first major title at the Italian Open. This winning was especially significant because she beat Chris Evert in the semifinals, and Chris had had a 125 match clay court winning streak until that point! Then Tracy went on to win the U.S. Open and was the youngest player ever to do so. She was only 16 years, 9 months. By 1980, she ranked first in the world. At this point, she had already won one million dollars in prize money, too!
5 Things changed, though, when Tracy began experiencing back pain. It was caused by sciatic nerve damage. She had to stop competing for eight months.
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