Tennis pioneer Althea Gibson to be honored with statue at U.S. Open site

Althea Gibson
Althea Gibson (Getty Pictures)

Althea Gibson, the primary African American tennis participant to win a Grand Slam singles title, will be memorialized with a statue in her honor on the grounds the place the U.S. Open is performed, the USA Tennis Affiliation introduced Tuesday.

Gibson, an inductee into the Worldwide Tennis Corridor of Fame in 1971 who died in 2003, gained the 1956 French Open to make historical past and the subsequent yr she gained the ladies’s singles titles at Wimbledon and the U.S. Nationals, the precursor to the U.S. Open. She repeated the Wimbledon-U.S. double in 1958. General, she gained a mixed eleven Grand Slam titles in singles, doubles and combined doubles throughout her illustrious profession.

“It’s easy. She’s the Jackie Robinson of tennis; she deserves it,” USTA chair and president Katrina Adams stated in a press release. “By breaking the colour barrier, she made it potential for each individual of colour after her to have an opportunity to obtain their objectives within the sport.”

The Gibson statue will be the second to commemorate a groundbreaking tennis icon and the third to honor an American tennis legend at the house of the U.S. Open in Flushing, N.Y., becoming a member of Arthur Ashe, whose statue was unveiled in 2000 and anchors the USTA Billie Jean King Nationwide Tennis Middle, and King, for whom the tennis middle was renamed in 2006.

“Althea Gibson is an American treasure and certainly one of my most essential heroes, and I’m thrilled she is going to lastly be honored at the Nationwide Tennis Middle. … Our sport owes an excellent deal to Althea,” King stated.