Austin's game has always mirrored Lloyd's, but now, it seems, she has Chris's grit as well. And Lord knows, she's still unaffected. "See you Monday," Jerry Diamond, the head of the Women's Tennis Association, said to her after the championship match.
"What for?" asked Tracy.
"You know, at the White House."
"Oh yeah," Tracy said, and ran off to her supper.
And if once Austin was Evert Lloyd redux, the Open showed that more of the same keep coming. And coming. There was a 17-year-old amateur named Barbara Gerken who got to the quarters. She had never seen a pro tournament before, much less played in one. One day a 16-year-old played, and she was two years older than her opponent, another pro. Another day dandy little Andrea Jaeger, only 16 but already No. 2 on the computer, got eliminated. She was up 6-1, 5-2, 30-love against a 17-year-old amateur from Baltimore named Andrea Leand, who had never before even qualified for a pro tournament.
But suddenly it came together for Andrea L. Her powerful ground strokes found safe harbor, and she began to press. Andrea J, with her one-note style, had nothing to fall back on, and she grew frustrated and bewildered. Five straight games for Leand: 7-5. Then a break for the amateur in the third set, which she ran out 6-3. Andrea J couldn't fathom how another kid could beat her. She talked to herself and choked back tears. Bad calls! It must be bad calls! More than that: It was the whole umpiring system!
Unlike Jaeger, Leand has continued to play junior tournaments, maintaining a regular school regimen, gaining acceptance to Princeton, studying computers instead of residing in one. Maybe that's what hurt Jaeger the most, that she lost to a girl who had had a childhood.
An official, Lee Jackson, was rushed courtside as Jaeger's defeat seemed imminent, and she escorted the broken-winged little bird away. All the time Andrea kept sobbing and whining to Jackson about the bad calls. Finally, kindly but firmly, the grownup turned to the pro and said, "But, dear, don't you see, I just can't do anything about that." Andrea stared back at Jackson through her tears. It was horrible to see. This had nothing to do with growing up. This was about growing old, and no 16-year-old should have to experience that.
But there also was an especially lovely match late one day. It paired McEnroe and Peter Fleming against fiery Fred Stolle and John Newcombe, two old U.S. champions, aged 42 and 37, respectively, who somehow had got themselves to the semifinals of the doubles against the top seeds. They had a glorious time; once Stolle ended up on the other side of the net, with McEnroe and Fleming. The whole stadium was rollicking, cheering and laughing to beat the band. Only the top seeds, the winners, didn't seem to be enjoying themselves. In close, McEnroe slammed a forehand into Stolle's neck.
Afterward, Stolle said, "We always had a fair bit of fun playing doubles in my day. I don't think you'll find any of the Top 10 today playing doubles when they're 42."