Althea Gibson Story
Meet Althea Gibson. She was an amazing tennis player for her time and could very likely take on the Williams sisters. She also became the first Black player to win the French, Wimbledon, and US Open singles championships!
Althea Gibson – The Tennis Allstar
In 1958 she won Female Athlete of the year.
Throughout her career she won 11 Grand Slam tournaments: five singles titles, five doubles titles, and one mixed doubles title.
Gibson’s road to a Tennis all-star was not without roadblocks. What Jackie Robinson did for baseball Althea Gibson did for tennis. In the beginning she was barred from attending any tennis tournaments which often took place in Whites-Only clubs. It wasn’t until some heavy pressure and petitioning by the ATA and a former tennis player that got Althea into competition.
But once she was in you couldn’t stop her from winning!
She had an outstanding eight year career where she ranked #1 in Tennis and most of her major championships were during 1956 to 1958, where she appeared in 19 major finals and won 11 titles. Five were in singles: the French in 1956, Wimbledon in 1957 and 1958, and the U.S. Nationals in 1957 and 1958; five in women’s doubles: the French 1956, the Australian in 1957, Wimbledon in 1956, 1957, 1958 and one in mixed doubles, at the U.S. in 1957. After tennis she wasn’t done. In 1960 she became the first African-American to compete in the women’s professional golf tour.
In 1971 she was elected to the International Tennis Hall of Fame.
After retiring from tennis she helped to bring nets to underprivileged communities. She always remained involved in the sports community.
Her achievements continue long after she’s gone. In 2007 she was inducted into the US Open Court of Champions.
Read more about Althea Gibson here.