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August 27, 2002

Tracy Austin


WTA: Thank you all for coming. I want to introduce -- obviously, I don't think these women need introduction, Gabriela Sabatini, Tracy Austin, Alexandra Stevenson. We're here to honor Tracy for her mentor award today. I'd like to let Gabriela Sabatini say a few words about this program.

GABRIELA SABATINI: Thank you all for coming here and thanks for making me a part of this award. I think you all know what it's all about. I'm just here to let you know that I have experienced the same thing. I worked with a player in the past. I just want to tell you that it has been a great experience. I wish I had that when I started to play tennis. It's just a great guidance, someone with whom you can build a relationship, that can talk to you and ask you questions and you can give advice. I hope you experienced the same thing. It's great. I have to congratulate the Sanex WTA Tour for having this Partners for Success Program. You know, I hope it continues. It's a great thing. You guys, go ahead.

ALEXANDRA STEVENSON: Well, Tracy is my mentor, as you all know. She actually helped me win my first $50,000 challenger in Midland, Michigan.

TRACY AUSTIN: Yeah, baby.

ALEXANDRA STEVENSON: She has the winning record so far. This is before I got assigned to her. She just helped me a lot. She's a great champion. I wish I could be like her someday. We have a lot of history going back. We both played at the Jack Kramer Club. We're both from California. Our moms are very similar. They have the same values, they're friends. John Austin was here with me this week at the US Open. It's a whole family affair. It's just great that the Sanex WTA assigned me Tracy. She's been a wonderful mentor. I know it's going to keep continuing even though I've graduated. She'll always be there for me. So thank you very much.

TRACY AUSTIN: Thank you. Well, when the WTA came to me talking to me about being a mentor, I thought it would be such a unique experience and such a fulfilling experience. When they came to me and talked about Alexandra, I thought it would be a perfect fit because Alexandra, as she mentioned, had been coming to our area in the South Bay in California for many, many years. I always loved her game. I really liked her personality, her bubbly personality. I thought that she had a strong desire to learn about the game of tennis, the history, and particularly about her game. She always seemed to want to get more information to try to make her game better. That was so enjoyable. We actually worked together for a little bit, a little bit of coaching, whatever. That was very pleasurable because she worked a hundred percent every single time that we worked. She wanted to learn. It's been a very enjoyable experience watching her go from a young kid out there on the court trying to find her way, has had some successes, now more successes in the last year, improving her game so much. It's really been a very fulfilling experience. I've enjoyed it. As she said, I expect this to fully continue. I feel like we've graduated in the Partners for Success Program on the WTA, but I hope to continue to work with Alexandra on the phone. You know, it's fun to have somebody that you're working with. You're always looking in that paper, always making sure how her scores are, how her results are. It's a great thing. I came up at 14, you know, with my mom. She talks about my mom. We had no idea what we were doing. We had no idea which tournaments to enter, how many tournaments to play. There's a zillion and one questions that you would love to be able to ask somebody that's already been there, somebody that you trust. So I think it's a terrific program. I'm available for the next one now.

WTA: We'll be calling.

TRACY AUSTIN: I understand now that the WTA is the first one to instill the Partners for Success Program. Now the NBA, men's basketball, is starting to do that as well. It's a terrific thing. If you haven't been there, you don't have the confidence, it's great to have somebody to ask those questions. I feel that we've been successful and I hope we continue our great relationship for all of Alexandra's career. Thank you very much.

End of FastScripts….

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