14 Jul Althea Gibson’s amazing win at Wimbledon in 1957 paved the way for Venus and Serena
When Venus Williams steps onto Centre Court at Wimbledon on Saturday to vie for her sixth title, she will be following in the footsteps of a black tennis pioneer.
Sixty years ago this month, Althea Gibson became the first African American to win a championship at Wimbledon. With a powerful serve and an astonishing reach, Gibson dominated the court at the All-England club, defeating Darlene Hard in straight sets, 6-3, 6-2, despite 96-degree heat.
Gibson, who began playing tennis in Harlem as a child, had broken tennis’s color barrier.
“At last! At last!” she shouted, before accepting the coveted trophy from Queen Elizabeth II.