Celebration Week for Tennis Great Althea Gibson - UBITENNIS
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Celebration Week for Tennis Great Althea Gibson

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TENNIS – Before there was Serena and Venus Williams, Arthur Ashe, Zina Garrison, Chandra Rubin, Donald Young and James Blake just to name a few, there was Althea Gibson. This tall and beautiful athlete reigned supreme in the sport of women’s tennis back in the pre-open era of 1950’s. What is most remarkable about Ms. Gibson is that she rose to the top of the sport as a black athlete enduring resentments, restrictions and racism, something none of the white competitors ever faced.

 
Freeport, Bahamas Retro Photo of Sports Pioneer and Legend Althea Gibson, who died, at age 76 on September 28l 2003 in South Orange, New Jersey, after a long illness with teenager Martina Navratilova at the Superstars Competition.  Althea was the first black person to play at Wimbledon and the first black champion at Wimbledon...likewise the first black to play on the LPGA Tour....she was the pioneer, who broke the racial barriers and set things up for Arthur Ashe, Zina Garrison, Venus & Serena Williams.  photo by Art Seitz

Freeport, Bahamas Retro Photo of Sports Pioneer and Legend Althea Gibson, who died, at age 76 on September 28 2003 in South Orange, New Jersey, after a long illness with teenager Martina Navratilova at the Superstars Competition. Althea was the first black person to play at Wimbledon and the first black champion at Wimbledon…likewise the first black to play on the LPGA Tour….she was the pioneer, who broke the racial barriers and set things up for Arthur Ashe, Zina Garrison, Venus & Serena Williams. photo by Art Seitz

Fort Lauderdale, Florida  Around 1974.  Wimbledon Singles, Doubles and Mixed Doubles Champion Bobby Riggs with 1957 and 1958 WImbledon Champion Althea Gibson at the Tennis Club of Fort Lauderdale.  Althea was the first Afro-American  woman to play at Wimbledon, win Wimbledon and to play on the Ladies Professional Golf Association Tour.  Exclusive photo by Art Seitz

Fort Lauderdale, Florida Around 1974. Wimbledon Singles, Doubles and Mixed Doubles Champion Bobby Riggs with 1957 and 1958 WImbledon Champion Althea Gibson at the Tennis Club of Fort Lauderdale. Althea was the first Afro-American woman to play at Wimbledon, win Wimbledon and to play on the Ladies Professional Golf Association Tour. Exclusive photo by Art Seitz

 

Ms. Gibson was an 11-time major winner, claiming her first title at the 1956 French Open becoming the first person of colour to do so. Ms. Gibson went on the following year to make the Australian Open final and then claiming the Wimbledon and US Nationals (US Open) titles. She would defend both her Wimbledon and US Nationals title in 1958. She won 5 doubles titles (1957 Australian Open, French Open 1956, Wimbledon 1956-1958) and one mixed double (1957 US Nationals). Ms. Gibson retired from tennis soon after owning the financial hardships of being an amateur athlete in 1958 with 56 national international tennis titles. She went on play professional golf becoming the first black athlete on the professional tour.

WIMBLEDON, UK, ALTHEA GIBSON AND ZINA GARRISON IN 1980S.

WIMBLEDON, UK, ALTHEA GIBSON AND ZINA GARRISON IN 1980S.

PARIS, FRANCE IN THE 70'S TENNIS LEGEND ALTHEA GIBSON WITH KIM SANDS AND ...MAYBE CAMILLE BENJAMIN?? NOT SURE ART SEITZ  copyright 1970-2000 ERA BEST OF ART SEITZ  35MM SLIDES CONVERTED FOR DIGITIAL USE   ART CAN BE REACHED AT 954 563 0060  OR ASEITZ2690@AOL.COM OR ART SEITZ, 1905 N. ATLANTIC BLVD., FORT LAUDERDALE, FLORIDA 33305 USA

PARIS, FRANCE IN THE 70’S TENNIS LEGEND ALTHEA GIBSON WITH KIM SANDS AND …MAYBE CAMILLE BENJAMIN?? NOT SURE
ART SEITZ copyright 1970-2000 ERA BEST OF ART SEITZ
35MM SLIDES CONVERTED FOR DIGITIAL USE
ART CAN BE REACHED AT 954 563 0060 OR ASEITZ2690@AOL.COM OR ART SEITZ, 1905 N. ATLANTIC BLVD., FORT LAUDERDALE, FLORIDA 33305 USA

August 25, 2015 marked the 88th birthday of tennis great Althea Gibson. A week long celebration is being held in honour of Ms. Gibson along with a new documentary film, American Masters ALTHEA directed by Rex Miller, set to be aired early in September across the US. Ms. Gibson was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1971

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Iga Swiatek Annoyed By Scheduling Dilemma Ahead Of Season Finale

Iga Swiatek has admitted it’s unlikely that she will play the Billie Jean King Cup Finals after a scheduling dilemma.

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World number one Iga Swiatek admits she is annoyed by facing a scheduling dilemma ahead of the end of the season.

 

Swiatek has dominated the 2022 season having won two Grand Slam titles and five other titles this season.

This means she has qualified for the WTA Finals which will take place on the 31st of October in Texas.

However Swiatek is now becoming the victim of her own success as she now faces a dilemma over whether to represent Poland at the Billie Jean King Finals.

The BJK Cup Finals, take place the week after in Glasgow where Poland will face the Czech Republic and the USA in their Group.

Speaking to Polish media Swiatek admitted she is unsure whether she will compete in Scotland and criticised the WTA for their lack of organization over the events, “I am dissatisfied, although I know that arranging everything is complicated,” Swiatek was quoted by Give Me Sport Women as saying.

Certainly, the fact that the WTA and ITF federations in a sense did not cooperate to facilitate our task is irritating to me. I will definitely take steps to let them know about my dissatisfaction.

“I don’t understand the scheduling. I’m not gonna lie that I’m happy about the fact that if I go deep in [the] Finals, I will have to not only play tired but also jetlagged the next day. So I can’t confirm whether I’ll represent Poland or not. I’m sorry.”

Swiatek’s father, Tomasz, backed up his daughter’s criticism and wishes for more communication between the WTA and players in the future, “It’s an extremely unfortunate deal,” he said.

“And yet we have a very difficult group for that in the BJK Cup. The dates of both events are missed. There is a clash between the ITF (organisers of the BJK Cup) and the WTA (organisers of the WTA Finals). Instead of taking care of the development of women’s tennis, they cannot communicate.”

So far both Swiatek and Ons Jabeur have qualified for the WTA Finals with Coco Gauff and Jessica Pegula expected to join them.

Caroline Garcia, Aryna Sabalenka, Daria Kasatkina and Simona hold the other four spots with just weeks left of the season.

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Novak Djokovic Opens Up On His Key To Success As He Names His Biggest Rival

The Serbian will play his first singles tournament this week since winning Wimbledon.

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Image via Laver Cup Twitter

Noval Djokovic says he still has the drive to continue his illustrious tennis career despite admitting that he has ‘achieved pretty much everything he can achieve.’ 

 

The 21-time Grand Slam champion is one of the most decorated tennis players in history with 88 Tour titles to his name. He has held the ATP No.1 spot for more weeks than any other player and his career earnings of almost $159M is a record for the sport. He also has the most wins over top 10 opposition which currently stands at 232. 

Djokovic, who is playing at the Tel Aviv Open this week, says his successful career hasn’t been due to one particular thing. Instead, he said a group of factors had aided his rise to the top of the sport.

“There isn’t one secret or one key that solves all the problems. It’s a combination of things that are part of your character: who you are, how you train, what’s your lifestyle,” he told reporters on Wednesday. “It all creates the image of success. That formula has worked for me.”

Currently ranked seventh in the world, the Serbian admits that there is always room for improvement as he seeks a return back to the No.1 spot which is currently held by 19-year-old Carlos Alcaraz. 

“I also try some new things, because I always want to progress. Especially when you have guys like Alcaraz, who is full of power and adrenaline. So you always have to figure out how to improve and take yourself to a higher level,” he continued.

Tel Aviv will be the first singles tournament Djokovic has played in since Winning Wimbledon in July. He missed the North American swing as he was unable to travel to the region due to being unvaccinated against COVID-19. 

He returned to competitive tennis over the weekend in the Laver Cup where he experienced mixed results on the court with a dominant victory over Frances Tiafoe before losing to Felix Auger-Aliassime a day later. He also won his doubles match alongside Italy’s Matteo Berrettini. It was during the three-day event that Djokovic admitted that he had some concerns over soreness in his right wrist but those worries have since been alleviated. 

“I practiced today for two hours and it was ok. I am feeling good and happy that injuries are now behind me,” he stated. 

Losing a member of the Big Three

Watching Roger Federer play his final match at The O2 Arena last Friday has got Djokovic thinking about how he would like his career to end. Although the 35-year-old, who is six years younger than the Swiss maestro, has no intention of doing so anytime soon. 

“Seeing his kids and his family, it got me emotional as well. I also must say I was thinking about how it would look for me when I say goodbye to tennis,” he said. 
“There is definitely one thing that I will wish to have, other than, of course, my family and the close people in my life, I would love to have my biggest rivals and competitors there. Because it added something more special, added more importance to that moment.”

Now Federer has said his farewell, the other long-time nemesis of Djokovic’s is showing no signs of calling it a day anytime soon. Rafael Nadal currently holds the record for most major titles won but Djokovic is just one title behind. 

“Everyone is my rival, whoever I step out on court against. But when it comes to who is my biggest rival, then it’s Nadal without a doubt. He is still there. We played more matches against each other than any other rivalry in the history of tennis. And I hope that we will play many more times, it’s exciting for us and for tennis.” He commented. 

Djokovic will be doing double duty at the Tel Aviv Open this week. Besides being the top seed in the singles draw, he will also play doubles alongside soon-to-be-retired Jonathan Erlich. Together the duo claimed the 2010 Queen’s Club trophy which is Djokovic’s only doubles title on the ATP Tour. 

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Cameron Norrie Vows To Make ‘Big Push’ In Bid To Reach Tour Finals

With 45 wins to his name so far this season, the British No.1 is looking to end 2022 on a high note.

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Cameron Norrie (GBR) - Credit: AELTC/Simon Bruty

Cameron Norrie hopes his plan to play a packed schedule during the last quarter of this season will pay off as he targets a place in the prestigious ATP Tour Finals. 

 

The Wimbledon semi-finalist is set to play five tournaments over the next six weeks in a bid to generate as many ranking points as possible. Norrie is currently eighth in the world rankings but he is in 11th place on the Race to Milan standings which are based on a player’s performance over 52 weeks. Only the top eight will qualify for the ATP Finals which has a prize money pool of more than $7M. 

Norrie will return to action this week at the Korean Open in Seoul where he will be the second seed in the draw after Casper Ruud. He will then play events in Japan, Sweden, Austria and France. 

“For me, I’m going to make a big push for Turin,” Norrie said.
“I think I’m knocking on the door there. I’m 11 or 12 in the race at the moment, so I’m going to try and make a big push there.
“I’m going to Seoul, Tokyo, (have) a week off, Stockholm, Vienna, Paris, so a pretty full schedule.
“A lot of points on the line, and a lot of tennis to be played, but yeah, like I said, I want to just go all in to try and make Turin.”

Norrie made his ATP Finals debut last year as a replacement for Stefanos Tsitsipas who pulled out after his first match due to injury. He played two matches in the round-robin stage, falling in straight sets to Novak Djokovic before pushing Ruud to three sets before losing.

So far this season the 27-year-old has achieved a win-loss record of 45-23, winning titles in Lyon and Delray Beach. At Wimbledon, he reached the last four before losing to Novak Djokovic in what is his best-ever run at a Grand Slam tournament. Against top 10 opposition, he has recorded three wins against eight losses so far this year.

Norrie believes one explanation for his lacklustre record against top 10 players could be down to how he starts matches. Admitting that he can’t afford to get off slowly against the best in the world if he wants to beat them. 

“I think there are only a couple of players or a handful of players that have won more matches or played more matches than me this year. There is no reason I should play a loose game to start and then have these flat starts, but the good news is I’m always finding a way into the match, and I’m always giving myself the best chance,” he said. 
“Guys I’m trying to beat, like Novak (Djokovic), Stefanos (Tsitsipas) and Casper (Ruud), they always play very complete matches on their serve. I can’t afford to do that and have a slow start or play a loose game here and there against those guys, especially with my game style.” 

In his opening match at the Korean Open, Norrie will play Japan’s Kaichi Uchida. He is aiming to win his fifth Tour title and his first in Asia. 

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