Althea Gibson
ALTHEA GIBSON

U. S. A.
Born 25/8/1927 Died 28/9/2003
French Open 1956
Wimbledon 1957,1958
US Open 1957,1958

Althea Gibson grew up in a ghetto in Harlem, New York. Dr Walter Johnson, a physician, became her patron as he would later be for Arthur Ashe. In 1950 she was the first African-American to compete in the US Open. Gibson was tall, strong and athletic. She took a long time to reach her peak. She won the 1956 French Open aged 28 beating three Brits in the final three rounds Shirley Bloomer, Angela Buxton and Angela Mortimer. She lost in the US final to Shirley Fry, She lost in the 1957 Australian final to Fry. She won Wimbledon beating Darlene Hard in the final. At the US she beat veteran Louise Brough in the final. At Wimbledon 1958 Gibson beat Brits Bloomer, Ann Haydon and Mortimer to retain her title. She won the US title over Hard. She then turned pro and failed to make much money. She then turned to pro golf. Later she worked as a teaching pro. In old age she fell on hard times.

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