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Beyond Center Court: My Story Hardcover – August, 1992

3.3 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Tennis celebrity Austin, raised in a California family of tennis devotees (her physicist father was the worst player in the house), won her first national title at age 11. She made her Wimbledon debut at 14 and turned professional a year later, immediately picking up $2 million in endorsement fees. She won the Italian and U.S. opens at age 16 in 1979, was rated the best woman player in the world in 1980 and reclaimed the U.S. Open crown in 1981. But Austin began to be plagued with injuries, including pulled hamstrings and sciatica, and she sat out the years from 1984 to 1988, occasionally working as a TV commentator. A near-fatal auto accident in 1989 halted her comeback and left her with a weakened leg. Coauthored with Washington, D.C., sportswriter Brennan, this upbeat account of Austin's career and family life includes almost-candid reports about fellow players and celebrities. Austin strongly believes that her success as a teenager set a terrible precedent, as she sees tennis-mad parents pushing their children hard at earlier ages. Photos not seen by PW.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

This is the autobiography of a child prodigy in women's tennis who reached her pinnacle early in life only to fall victim to injury, accident, and circumstance. Austin tells of growing up in the world of tennis and joining the professional tour at the tender age of 15. Her story of entering an all-adult world at such an immature and naive time is interesting, but her insights into how the sport has changed in the last ten years with the overwhelming influx of prize money, television, and sponsorship are more worthwhile reading. Austin suffered many injuries after winning her second U.S. Open in 1981, then attempted a comeback only to be sidelined by an automobile accident. She is currently doing television and promotional work and again attempting to return to professional tennis. One can feel the urgency and anxiety of her second comeback attempt, and if she makes it her perspective on the new game of women's tennis will be fascinating. However, at this point in her life she does not have enough of interest to say to justify an autobiography.
- Melinda Stivers Leach, Precision Editoral Svcs., Wondervu, Col.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow & Co; 1st edition (August 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0688099238
  • ISBN-13: 978-0688099237
  • Product Dimensions: 0.9 x 6.4 x 9.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,659,807 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I’ve read and reviewed a number of sports biographies and autobiographies and without exception found the latter more engaging and enjoyable. While I have little to fault the former it’s the personal perspectives and anecdotes provided by the athlete that make most of these autobiographies compelling. ‘Beyond Center Court – My Story’ by Tracy Austin and Christine Brennan is no exception.

Both as a tennis champion and now TV commentator for the sport Tracy Austin has always seemed to this reviewer real – that is without a lot of the pretension that sometimes defines athletes at the highest level of a sport. Granted there are real security concerns for these visible champions; witness the stabbing of Monica Seles during a change-over on court. Austin discusses this unfortunate incident at length as well as her characterization of life at an elite level of athletic performance. However, her personal demeanor always seems ‘approachable.’

Austin credits the grounding of her family and the normal life she tried to lead in California as a youngster while playing as an amateur and then as a professional tennis player. As is the case with any high-performance elite athlete the rigors of training, travel, playing and the attendant responsibilities of endorsement commitments, personal appearances and the like while seemingly glamorous take a toll.

Austin was the heir apparent to Chris Evert – another young blond, American player with a game Austin emulated and took to a higher level. It’s interesting to read about how Austin characterizes the games and personalities of other WTA players.
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Format: Hardcover
I was told by a friend this was the most horrible sports memoir he had ever read. Nothing could have been further from the truth. Tracy discussed how she gave her infinite best every tournament. She talks about how to consider her lob serve, one of the best in the game. Her tennis career ended in a car crash, a supposedly dumb thing, she'll never do again. This is Austin: Some shots, deliver on a significant occasion, an amount giving a lot of spin. Austin has brief interviews with hideous men like Dick Enberg and Bud Collins. Tracy describes how she beats Billy Jean King, causing the the pale King to consider retirement. Austin says she had no room for the system that other tennis girls played by. She goes in depth on how her tennis string theory helped her beat many opponents. I only wish everyone's biography was as good as Tracy Austins, although of course, you end up becoming yourself in the end.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I was hoping for a more in-depth look into Austin's life and career. This book readas like a grade school book. Terrible.
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