According to the International Tennis Hall Of Fame, Althea Gibson was the first Black woman to compete at Wimbledon in 1951. Her love of the sport opened doors for Black athletes everywhere. Her victories are legendary, winning singles titles at the U.S. Open and Wimbledon in 1957 and 1958. The Associated Press named her Female Athlete of the Year those same two years in a row.
In 2016, Serena Williams recognized her accomplishments when she tweeted, "Althea Gibson paved the way for all women of color in sport." Although Gibson is most famous for her tennis skills, that wasn't the only sport she played. Gibson became a professional golfer in 1963, just years after winning her tennis titles.