Tennis Great Althea Gibson Honored in Google Doodle

The Google Doodle for August 25 in the U.S. honors tennis player Althea Gibson’s 87th birthday.

Per, Gibson was born in South Carolina on August 25, 1927.

On her 23rd birthday in 1950, she became the first black player to compete in the U.S. Lawn Tennis Association (USLTA) National Championships, which is now known as the U.S. Open. The USTA has called this the “No. 1 moment in black tennis history.”

In 1951, Gibson won her first international title at the Caribbean Championship and then became the first African-American to play at Wimbledon. She won her first major singles title in 1956 at the French Championships. The following year, she went on to win the women’s singles and doubles titles at Wimbledon and she won the U.S. Championships in 1958.

Per the USTA, in three years, Gibson won 11 Grand Slams, blazing a trail for future tennis players like Arthur Ashe, Leslie Allen, Zina Garrison, and Venus and Serena Williams.

The playable Doodle displays the Google logo on the back of a tennis court with Gibson racing back and forth across the screen after tennis balls that are hit back to her by an unseen opponent. An icon in the corner gives users the ability to share via Google+, Facebook, Twitter, and email.

Per, Gibson also became the first African-American competitor on the women’s pro golf tour in the 1960s.

And, perhaps coincidentally, the Gibson Doodle also happens to coordinate with first day of the 2014 U.S. Open.


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