The Story Of Althea Gibson Breaking The Color Barrier Of Tennis

Althea Gibson, half-length portrait, holding t...

Althea Gibson, half-length portrait, holding tennis racquet / World Telegram & Sun photo by Fred Palumbo. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Posted by  on August 28, 2012 – World Tennis Magazine – excerpted below

It was 62 years ago on August 28, 1950, when the U.S. Championships – the modern-day US Open – broke the color barrier as Althea Gibson became the first black player to compete. As documented in my book ON THIS DAY IN TENNIS HISTORY ($19.95, New Chapter Press,, Gibson won her first round match at the West Side Tennis Club at Forest Hills, defeating Barbara Knapp of Britain 6-2, 6-2 and set up a second-round match with Wimbledon champion Louise Brough. Wrote Allison Danzig of the New York Times of Gibson’s win over Knapp, “Miss Gibson carried the attack forward continually to score on her volleys with a big crowd gathered around the court.”

Sidney Wood, the 1931 Wimbledon champion and long-time tennis entrepreneur and personality, described some of the back-room dealings that lead to Gibson being allowed to play in the U.S. Championships in his posthumously published memoir THE WIMBLEDON FINAL THAT NEVER WAS…AND OTHER TENNIS TALES FROM A BYGONE ERA ($15.95, New Chapter Press, available here on

Read the entire article in World Tennis Magazine – HERE


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