Initially, tennis was known as a white man's sport. However, in the mid 20th century, black people started participating, and since then, they have dominated the sport bringing home some of the most prestigious titles. Right now we celebrate them for their skill and dedication. So, who are some famous black tennis players?
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How many professional tennis players are black? There are many black tennis athletes that have shown remarkable talent, perseverance and courage on the court and have beaten the odds against them.
Best black tennis players list
Is there any Black male tennis players? Yes, there are. Most of which have done their country and people proud by shattering records in the sport. Here is the list.
1. Althea Gibson
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Althea Neale Gibson was one of the first black athletes to cross the colour line of international tennis. In 1956, she became the first African American to win a Grand Slam title. In addition, she was the first Black player to win the French (1956), Wimbledon (1957–58), and U.S. Open (1957–58) singles championships.
2. Arthur Ashe
Who is the best Black tennis player? Arthur Ashe Jr. was an American professional tennis player who won three Grand Slam singles titles. He started to play tennis at six years old.
He became the first (and remains the only) African American male tennis player to win the U.S. Open and Wimbledon singles titles. He was also the first African American man to earn the No. 1 ranking globally and the first to earn induction into the Tennis Hall of Fame.
3. Serena Williams
Serena Williams is regarded as one of the top black female tennis players in the world. She has been the Women's Tennis Association's singles world No. 1 for 319 weeks, including a joint-record 186 consecutive weeks, and has been the year-end No. 1 five times. She is in possession of the record for the most Grand Slam singles titles (23) won by a woman or a man during the open era.
4. Yannick Noah
Yannick Noah remains among the black male tennis players. He won the French Open in 1983 and is currently the captain of both France's Davis Cup and Fed Cup team. During his career, which spanned almost two decades, Noah captured 23 singles titles and 16 doubles titles and reached a career-high singles ranking of world No. 3 in July 1986.
5. Venus Williams
Venus Williams is a former world No. 1 in both singles and doubles. She has won seven Grand Slam singles titles, five at Wimbledon and two at the U.S. Open. Venus is widely regarded as one of the all-time greats of the sport. She is among the most accomplished black professional tennis players.
6. Naomi Osaka
Naomi Osaka is a Japanese professional tennis player. She has been ranked No. 1 by the Women's Tennis Association and is the first Asian player to hold the top ranking in singles. She is a four-time Grand Slam singles champion. Her seven titles on the WTA Tour also include two at the Premier Mandatory level.
7. Gaël Monfils
Gaël Monfils has been ranked as high as world No. 6 in singles by the Association of Tennis Professionals, which he achieved in November 2016. He is currently the highest-ranked French player.
8. Coco Gauff
Cori Gauff is the Women's Tennis Association's youngest player in the top 100, with a career-high ranking of world No. 16 in singles on 17 January 2022 and No. 10 in doubles on 28 February 2022. After receiving a wild card entry to Wimbledon in 2019 when she was 15, she defeated five-time Wimbledon champion, Venus Williams in the first round.
9. Frances Tiafoe
Frances Tiafoe is one of the best male African-American tennis players. He was ranked by the Association of Tennis Professionals as high as No. 29 in the world in singles on 11 February 2019. His career-high ranking in doubles is No. 160, achieved on 1 November 2021.
10. Sloane Stephens
After Wimbledon in 2018, Sloane Stephens reached a career-high ranking of No. 3 in the world. She reached the semifinals of the 2013 Australian Open, finished second in the 2018 French Open, reached the quarterfinals of the 2013 Wimbledon Championships, and won the 2018 American Open.
11. Madison Keys
Madison Keys has been ranked as high as world No. 7 by the WTA, which she first achieved in October 2016. Keys has appeared in one Grand Slam tournament final, the 2017 U.S. Open, the 2016 WTA Finals, and the 2016 Summer Olympics semifinals.
12. Dustin Brown
Dustin Brown rose to prominence after defeating Rafael Nadal at the 2014 Halle Open and Wimbledon 2015. He is noted for his technique, pace, and entertaining playing style and is known for his trick shots that often excite the crowd. He primarily competes on the ATP Challenger Tour, where he has won 24 overall titles in singles and doubles. His highest career singles ranking was No. 1 in the world.
13. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga
Tsonga is a member of the Tennis Club de Paris. His highest ATP singles ranking is world No. 5, which he earned in February 2012. He has won 18 ATP titles in singles, including 2 Masters titles in 2008 and 2014 at the Paris Masters and the Canada Masters, respectively. He finished second at 2008 Australian Open and the 2011 ATP World Tour Finals in singles.
14. James Blake
James Blake is a former professional tennis player from the United States. He was recognized for his quickness and flat, strong forehand. Blake reached 24 solo finals during his career, and his career-high singles ranking was world No. 4.
The top-ranked black tennis players in the world have put in a lot of effort and time to become the best. They, therefore, deserve every achievement and title they have received. They are without a doubt an inspiration to many young up and coming black tennis players.
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