Tennis Great Tracy Austin Returns to West Virginia

Tracy Austin

Tennis Pro Tracy Austin returned to Charleston this week. It was her first visit since winning a tournament in West Virginia’s capital city in 1978.

The U.S. Open champ returned to stadium court at the Charleston Tennis Club.  She remembers being here as a teenager playing the Sweet 16 National Junior Women’s Tennis tournament.

“I remember the club, you know, just coming in I’m feeling a bit nostalgic,” Austin said.

“I remember this clubhouse and I remember the center court obviously and I remember certain other courts I played matches on and its great to be back to see all the names that are on the list of all the champions that have been here.  It’s got a great history at the Charleston Tennis Club.”

From 1970 to 1988, the club hosted the Sweet 16’s. Austin says it was the tournament to win in this teenage division.

“It was special here.  It was the tournament of the year. It was the national so it was the one to win and everybody knew about Charleston, West Virginia because it had such a terrific history and if you were seeded, if you were in the top 16 then you got the use of a car,” she explained.

“I think it was a red convertible for the week.  Obviously we couldn’t drive but our parents were here and they could drive.  So it was a big deal and the logo was on the side of the door and they
made you feel really special.”

The first winner of this national tournament was Chris Evert in 1970. After winning here in 1978,  Austin turned pro at the age of sweet 16.