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Original Issue

The open was kids' stuff

Past, present and future tennis came together in 1979. From out of history came Billie Jean King to win a record 20th All-England title, in women's doubles. Wimbledon also featured the No. 1 contemporary stars-Martina Navratilova, who defeated a new bride, Chris Evert Lloyd, in the women's finals, and Bjorn Borg, who won his fourth straight men's title. The U.S. Open was a preview of coming attractions. At 16, Tracy Austin, bless her pigtails, became the youngest Open champ by beating Evert Lloyd, while John McEnroe, 20, alias The Kid, dispatched Queens neighbor Vitas Gerulaitis. The match over, McEnroe hurled his racket into the night. Nobody knows how high it went, or how far The Kid will go.

A local boy, John McEnroe, made good In the U.S. Open at Flushing Meadow.

It was indeed a sweet-16 year for Austin, who won her first of what may be many Opens.

Spurred by the arrival of her mother from Czechoslovakia, Navratilova won her second straight Wimbledon and reaffirmed her No. 1 ranking.

Chrissi lost 15 pounds, but her newlywed game was too thin; Bjorn didn't have to stoop to conquer his fourth consecutive Wimbledon.