6 Incredible Black Tennis Players Who Have Won the U.S. Open

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The U.S. Open is one of the most prestigious grand slams on the tennis calendar. It’s played between August and September every year at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. All game formats are played during the tournament – singles, doubles, and mixed doubles.

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The success of black players in the event can’t be overlooked. From the days of Arthur Ash to the William sisters, we list the black players who’ve won the U.S. Open.

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Althea Gibson

Althea Gibson won a total of five Grand Slam singles tournaments. In 1957, she became the first African American to play and win the U.S. National Championships, now the U.S. Open.  

Gibson faced Louise Borough and defeated her in straight sets of 6-3, 6-2. She defended the title the following year. Unfortunately, the sport didn’t award its winners’ prize money at the time, so she turned to music to earn a living.   

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Arthur Ashe

In 1968, Arthur Ashe entered tennis history after winning the U.S. Open men’s singles event. He became the first black man to win a grand slam. This was his first of three, as he also won the Australian and Wimbledon titles. 

Apart from that, he was also praised for his commitment to social justice causes. The main court at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center is named after him in honor of his contributions to tennis. 

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Coco Gauff 

6 Incredible Black Tennis Players Who Have Won the U.S. Open
Coco Gauff lifting the trophy after winning the U.S. Open in 2023. Image Source: Instagram licensed under CC BY 2.0

Coco Gauff is the latest black player to win the U.S. Open women’s singles. She won the tournament after she came back from a set down to win the match 2-6, 6-3, 6-2 against Belarusian Aryna Sabalenka. This is Coco Gauff’s first grand slam. 

Before the tournament, she won the Cincinnati Open and has received high praise. Gauff’s been compared to tennis great Serena Williams, and for good reason. She’s the first teenager since Serena in 1999 to win the tournament. For her win, Gauff took home $3 million for her win.

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Serena Williams

Serena is arguably the greatest female tennis player. Six of her 23 grand slam titles are from the U.S. Open. Her first came in 1999 at just 17 years of age and in her second appearance at the event. 

On her path to winning the final, Serena beat big-name players like Kim Clijsters, Monica Seles, Martina Hingis, Conchita Martinez and defending champion Lindsay Davenport. Her next came in 2002 against Venus Williams. It took her six years to recapture the title again and another four for her fourth. 

The last two came in 2013 and 2014. Serena has won the most U.S. Open women’s singles titles. 

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Sloane Stephens

 Sloane won only one grand slam title, the U.S. Open. She achieved this in 2017 after beating Maddison Keys. This was her first grand slam final, and she got there in style by beating Serena Williams. 

At the 2023 tournament, she was knocked out in the first round by Beatriz Haddad Maia. Sloane was expected to be the next big American tennis player but hasn’t lived up to expectations. Currently, she’s ranked 36th in the world.

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Venus Williams 

6 Incredible Black Tennis Players Who Have Won the U.S. Open
Venus Williams playing on Court. Image Source: Wikimedia Commons  Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0

Venus Williams made her debut at the U.S. Open in 1997. It’s the first grand slam she won in 2000 and defended in 2001. She’s played four finals in this tournament and lost the other two to Serena Williams and Martina Hingis

At 43 years old, Venus Williams is still going strong. She received a wild card at the 2023 U.S. Open and made her 24th appearance. She was knocked out in the first round in straight sets of 6-1, 6-1 by Belgian player Greet Minnen. 

Venus has reached the quarter-finals or beyond that 12 times. The last time she reached the semis was in 2017.  

These players have played a crucial role in the success of black players in the sport. They’ve achieved a lot in the face of black people’s difficulties. 

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