Southern Tennis Foundation Establishes Althea Gibson Scholarship

March 22, 2023
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The Southern Tennis Foundation (STF) proudly establishes a college scholarship in memory of Althea Gibson, a tennis and sports legend born in Silver, S.C., on Aug. 29, 1927. Gibson, who left an indelible mark on the world of athletics, passed away on Sept. 28, 2003.

Althea Gibson's Achievements:

  • Winner of 11 Grand Slam titles, including five in singles and six in doubles.
  • Captured singles crowns at the French Open in 1956, the U.S National Championships (now the US Open) in 1957 and 1958, and Wimbledon in 1957 and 1958.
  • Secured six Grand Slam doubles titles, including women's doubles at the 1956 French, the 1957 Australian, 1956, 1957, and 1958 Wimbledon, and the 1957 U.S National Championship mixed doubles.
  • Achieved the world No. 1 ranking in 1958, making her the first Black woman to earn that distinction.
  • Broke barriers as the first Black woman to compete in the U.S. National Championships in 1950 and later on the Ladies Professional Golf Association tour.
  • Inducted into eight Halls of Fame, notably the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1971.
  • First African American woman to clinch a Grand Slam until Serena Williams broke the 43-year gap with her victory at the 1999 US Open.
  • First Black woman to appear on the covers of Time Magazine (Aug. 26, 1957) and Sports Illustrated (Sept. 2, 1957), making history in both instances.
  • Recognized by Sports Illustrated for Women on its list of the 100 Greatest Female Athletes.
  • Earlier successes include winning the American Tennis Association (ATA) junior national championships at 17 and 18 years old, as well as securing ten straight ATA national women's titles in 1947.
  • In 1951, Gibson won her first international championships at the Caribbean Championships in Montego Bay, Jamaica.
  • Contributed to the victorious 1957 Wightman Cup team.

This scholarship stands as a testament to Althea Gibson's enduring legacy, celebrating her groundbreaking achievements and inspiring future generations in the world of tennis and beyond.

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