In 1950, Althea Gibson made history when she became the first African-American to play in an international tennis tournament. Six years later, Gibson made history when she became the first person of color to win a Grand Slam title at the French Open.
In 1997, Venus Williams, had just begun her tennis career but also became the first woman athlete to sign a multi-million dollar contract for an endorsement deal.
Like Williams and Gibson, African-American woman have contributed greatly to the game of tennis. Whether they were breaking racial or gender barriers, African-American women on the tennis court has been remarkable.
As the reigning champion of the Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon, U.S. Open, WTA Tour Championships as well as the Olympic women’s singles and doubles, Serena Williams is currently ranked no. 1 in women’s singles tennis. Throughout her career, Williams has held this ranking on six separate occasions.
In addition, Williams holds the most major singles, doubles and mixed doubles titles for active players—regardless of gender. In addition, Williams, along with her sister Venus, have won all four Grand Slam women’s doubles titles between 2009 and 2010. Together, the Williams sisters have not been beaten in Grand Slam tournament finals.
Williams, was born in 1981 in Michigan. She began playing tennis at the age of four. When her family moved to Palm Beach, Fla. in 1990, Williams began playing in junior tennis tournaments. Williams began her professional career in 1995 and has gone on to achieve four Olympic medals, sign numerous endorsements, become a philanthropist and a business woman.
Venus Williams is the only female tennis player to win three career gold medals at the Olympic Games. As one of the top-ranking female professional tennis players, Williams’ record includes seven Grand Slam titles, five Wimbledon titles, and WTA tour victories.
She began playing tennis at the age of five became a professional player at the age of 14. Since then Williams has made major moves on and off