August 2019

This Day in History: Althea Gibson Becomes First African-American on US Tennis Tour

August 22, 1950. Gibson was accepted  by the U.S. Lawn Tennis  Association into the annual  Forrest Hills championship. Six days later, Gibson  would defeat Barbara Knapp  in straight sets to clinch  her first USLTA match. It took Gibson a few years  to find her footing on the tour.  Her first major victory came  in 1956 at the French Open. The next year, Gibson would  command at both Wimbledon  and the U.S. Open, winning the  tournaments at the age of 30. In the 1960s, Gibson also became  the first African American to compete on the women's golf tour. Elected to the International  Tennis Hall of Fame in 1971,  Gibson died from illness in  2003 at the age of 76