The great black tennis players of history
Do you know the great black tennis players in history? Talented, persevering, courageous, these black tennis players shone and distinguished themselves on the world tennis courts. Serena Williams, Althea Gibson, Yannick Noah, Venus Williams, Arthur Ashe, these players have made us dream in demonstrating that nothing is impossible for the one who grows.
- Arthur Ashe (1st great black tennis player)
In 1968, Arthur Ashe was the first African-American to win a Grand Slam (US Open) tournament. He won two more (the Australian Open in 1970 and Wimbledon in 1975) before joining the International Tennis Hall of Fame, the 1985 World Tennis Hall of Fame.
He remains to this day the only black player to have won all three Grand Slam tournaments. In 1983, Yannick Noah, a young French native of Cameroon won the tournament at Roland Garros.
In 1985, he was inducted into the Tennis Hall of Fame. She was named Sports Illustrated Sportsman of Year in 1992 and received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1993 for her tireless struggle against South African apartheid. In 1993, he died of AIDS-related pneumonia at the age of 49 after a defective blood transfusion.
- Althea Gibson
Born in 1927 in South Carolina, in the heart of segregationist America, “Ally”, as she was known, was the first black player to become a professional player and win a Grand Slam tournament at Roland Garros in 1956.
In 1957 and 1958, she won at Wimbledon and the US Open, where she won the No. 1 position in the world before retiring and becoming, in 1964, the first black golf player of the Ladies Professional Golf Association.
The big champions Serena and Venus williams
Williams sisters are true seeds of talent. Coming from a poor family in Los Angeles, they are trained by their father, who wishes to get them out of their social condition. He personally takes them to a dilapidated tennis court from childhood and they start winning their first tournaments.
- Serena Williams
At just 35 years old, Serena Williams has won 39 Grand Slam titles and four gold medals at the Olympic Games (2000, 2008, 2012). She is also world number one in 2002. With an offensive technique and powerful strikes, she is one of the great champions in the history of women’s tennis. She is one of the first players in history to have won everything in her career, Grand Slam and Olympic Games, singles and doubles.
- Venus Williams
As talented as her sister Serena, Venus has won 23 Grand Slam titles. Specifically, she has won seven singles, fourteen ladies in doubles with her sister Serena Williams and two in mixed doubles. We can add to that five Olympic gold medals. Number one worldwide for the first time on February 25, 2002, she is the first African-American in history to reach this rank.
Involved in social causes, she worked with UNESCO to promote a better quality of life for people around the world. Venus graduated in fashion, set up a sports brand and also specializes in interior design. He faces Sjogren’s Syndrome, an autoimmune disease that affects the lachrymal and salivary glands, has come out of tournaments but is back on the circuit and competition between the peaks.
- Yannick Noah
Yannick Noah marked his career by becoming the first Frenchman in 37 years to win the Roland-Garros tournament in 1983. He is the only French player of the modern era to have won a Grand Slam singles tournament. As captain of the French team, he led the French to victory in 1991. Yannick is also a member of the Tennis Hall of Fame.
After his sporting retirement, he will pursue a musical career with albums such as “Charango” and “Destination Ailleurs”.
- James Blake
Five years ago, James Blake was the benchmark for American black tennis. Fourth World Player, he won ten individual ATP World Tour (ATP) titles, and seven doubles between 2002 and 2007 to reach 4th place worldwide.
Injured in 2010, he fell to 171st place. At 31, he is now 154th and no longer seems able to compete with players in the top 10. His last match was at the US Open 2013. He is now retired.
- Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
With his imposing size (1.88m – 90kg), the French Jo-Wilfried Tsonga is ranked 17th in the world, and has reached the top 5 in the list of the best tennis players ATP. Nicknamed Ali, because of his physical resemblance to legendary boxer Muhammad Ali. Tsonga won 10 ATP titles and nearly won a Grand Slam in 2008 at the Australian Open against Djokovic.
Power of striking, mental strength, Jo Wilfried Tsonga is a very talented player, who has a bright future ahead of him. He is also the first player to beat Federer in Grand Slam by being led 2 sets to 0 – Wimbledon 2011.
- Gaël Monfils
Aged 25, Gael Monfils is a remarkable player in French tennis. Nicknamed the Monf or Sliderman, he is known as one of the best defensemen thanks to his speed, his athletic strengths, his two-handed backhand and his atypical physical rubber man. It measures 194 cm for 80 kg.
Irregular, Monfils is nevertheless able to dominate largely good players like Hewitt, Ljubicic, Roddick.
- Donald Young
Nicknamed the “phenomenon”, Donald Young is an American tennis player, specialist on hard surfaces. At the age of 16, he is the youngest junior world champion in tennis history thanks to his qualification for the quarterfinals of the Key Biscayne tournament.
“Everybody’s light comes on their own time,” says the 22-year-old. “Hopefully, mine is coming on now.”
His record is impressive:
He has won seven Challenger tournaments (Aptos in 2007, Sacramento in 2008, Calabasas in 2009, Carson in 2010, Tallahassee in 2011, León and Napa in 2013).
In January 2005, he won the Australian Open.
- Taylor Townsend
Taylor Townsend is an American tennis player, who won the 2012 Australian Junior Open in the individual tournament and doubles. With her extraordinary physique and generous form, she has won three junior tournaments: the Australian Open, Wimbledon and the US Open. She receives the ITF junior world champion title.
His qualities are heavy strikes and displacements full of fuels. In 2014, she participated in her first Grand Slam tournament at Roland Garros with a wild card. She is noticed by beating Alizé Cornet in the second round (6-4, 4-6, 6-4).
Despite her undeniable talents, she is involved in controversy when she lost the support of the American Federation because of her weight. Indeed, she has an atypical physique of 167 centimeters for 80 kilos, the champion explains:
“I’m not built like all those tall and thin girls, I can not do anything about it, so people can think or say what they want, today I do not care because I’m going to on the court every day and I move my ass! “
The American federation threatened to stop helping him finance his travels, or to provide wild-card invitations for US tournaments, as long as it did not lose weight. At Flushing Meadows where the US Open is taking place, Taylor Townsend’s mother had to finance her daughter’s tournament herself.
Humiliated by her own federation, that did not disturb her, she became professional and reached the peaks of world tennis with her atypical physique.
“Everyone is built differently, I want to inspire and encourage girls who do not have the perfect body of Sharapova to believe in them, and to love that body that they can not change, and I say to them, ‘Hey, you do not have to look like a toothpick to see your name at the top of the poster! ‘”
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