I dug up my old tennis mags.
I was wrong about 1956 being her first Wimbledon. 1951 was her first-but she lost in round 3 to Bev Baker, not in the quarters.
Althea's 1957 record:
12 tournaments-11 titles won, 1 finalist.
Estimated 1957 record: 62-1(my best guess based on records).
After losing to old nemesis Shirley Fry in Australia(Shirley married and retired after Oz-making Althea VERY happy) Althea goes undefeated the rest of the year.
Aussie final: Fry d. Gibson 6-3 6-4.(ONLY DEFEAT OF 1957!)
Manchester(grass-June)beat Shilcock in final 6-3 6-4
Surbiton(grass-June) beats Long in final 8-6 7-5
Beckenham(grass-June) beats Hard in final 6-3 3-6 6-4
Wimbledon(grass-July) beats Hard in final 6-3 6-2
US Clay, Chicago(clay-July) beats Hard in final 6-2 6-3
Won both matches in Wightman Cup(hard courts-August)
US Nationals(grass-September) beat Brough in final 6-3 6-2
Pacific Southwest, LA(hard-September)beat Brough in final 6-36-1
Pacific Coast(hard-October) beat Brough in final 6-4 6-3
Denver(hard-October) beat Knode in final
Wimbledon was the prize of prizes in those days-and Althea cut back her schedule in 1957, entering only 12 events rather than the 30 or so of 1956. She flew to England for grass warnups played at the same time of the French . The French and US titles were big in those days, but Wimbledon was the only slam EVERY top ten woman entered until the late 1980s.
The other thing to notice is the season more or less ended after the US Nationals. In fact, year end world top 10 lists often came out in October or November
Winters were used for rest and/or practive unless you went to Australia, which was considered a risky move in those days because it took so much time and energy.
I'm missing two events Gibson won early in the year.
She lost only 4 sets after Oz defeat.
Lost no sets in Wimbledon and US wins-her toughest matches in both were in the 1st round at 6-4 6-4. "Big Al's" US first round defeat got a big crowd, as she beat the Anna Kournikova of her day, platinum blonde Karol Fageros:
Althea got a big ticker-tape parade in New York after winning Wimbledon. I think she was the last tennis player to get this honor.
The press of the day called her "the first colored champion".
Althea got her big chance in 1950- when former champ Alice Marble wrote an open letter to American Lawn Tennis, the biggest US tennis mag of the day, challenging the USTA to let her play. The USTA denied not accepting Althea because she was black, it siad she hadn't "proved" herself. It was a Catch-22, because to prove herself she had to be able to play USTA events!
Part of Alice's letter.
"If tennis is a game for ladies and gentlemen, it's also time we started acting more like gentlepeople and less like sanctimonious hypocrites...."
"Should Althea not be given a chance to succeed or fail, then there is an uneradicable mark against a game to which I have devoted most of my life".
The letter shamed the USTA into taking her for the US Nationals.
In the second round she came up against #3 seed Louise Brough. A wild thunderstorm raged while Althea was ahead in the third set, knocking over an eagle statue on top of the stadium. Many saw it as an omen for change-for by pushing the #3 seed Al have indeed "proven" herself.
Al had lost the battle(losing the match at 8-6 after the rain delay, but she had won the war- from then she was allowed to play.