The big stars of the tennis world have been arriving in Britain for the Wimbledon championships to the usual fanfare of publicity -- but they've almost been upstaged by a 14-year-old girl called Tracy Austin from the United States.
CU Tracy Austin of the United States practising on indoor court and using two-handed smash
LV Tracy serves again, runs forward and returns ball and continues practice (2 shots)
SV Tracy seated with reporter
CU Tracy speaking to reporter (2 shots)
TRACY AUSTIN: "I started picking up a racket and carrying it around and batting balls when I was two but I really started when I was five."
REPORTER: "When you were two? You started playing seriously when you were five? How many competitions have you won in the States?"
TRACY AUSTIN: "I don't have any idea how many. I'm not keeping track."
REPORTER: "Do you lose a lot?"
TRACY AUSTIN: "I don't know."
REPORTER: "Somebody told the secret that you haven't lost for quite a long time in your age group in America."
TRACY AUSTIN: "Well I lost when I was eight and (indistinct) and that's the last time that I lost in my age division."
REPORTER: "Who do you admire most all the players in the tennis world?"
TRACY AUSTIN: "Well, I think Chris Evert has a nice (indistinct) but I like Billie-Jean King because she is very quick."
REPORTER: "So you'd like to become another Billie-Jean King perhaps?"
TRACY AUSTIN: "I don't know."
Tracy has lost to no one of her own age for seven years. If she won the women's singles this year she would finally smash the record established in 1887 by Lottie Dod of Cheshire, England who became the youngest women's champion at 15 years and 10 months old.
REPORTER: IAN AGNEW
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Background: The big stars of the tennis world have been arriving in Britain for the Wimbledon championships to the usual fanfare of publicity -- but they've almost been upstaged by a 14-year-old girl called Tracy Austin from the United States. She's only five feet and one inch tall (1.55 metres) and weighs just 90 pounds (about 41 Kgs) but she's won 128 tournaments and eleven U.S. Tennis Association titles.
SYNOPSIS: Tracy, who'll be exactly 14-and-a-half when she makes her first Wimbledon appearance next Tuesday (21 June), is believed to be the youngest competitor in the 10-year history of the famous championships. she's nicknamed 'Superstarlet's in the United States, and if she keeps up her current progress she's certain to follow in the footsteps of the best American female players. Tennis fans see definite similarities in style with the United States' Chris Every -- for instance, the two-handed smash.
Observers predict the little Californian girl could become just as good as America's Billie Jean King, who holds six Wimbledon singles titles. Tracy, who had to take time off school for the championships , is in Britain with her mother, and coach Robert Landsdorf. She says her biggest problem could be adjusting to the fast grass courts at Wimbledon but facing the big stars doesn't seem to bother her.
This week she talked to a reporter about how it all started.