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post #16 of 39 (permalink) Old Aug 26th, 2007, 05:47 PM
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Re: The Althea Gibson Thread

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What a sad story. I don't think we really appreciate just how little money there was in the game pre-Open era.

It makes me wonder how much a player perhaps not right at the top but maybe around the top 20 for several years might leave the game with. Considering coaches etc, maybe it mightn't be as much as one might think, though

It is nice to see her being honoured - maybe she'll be up there looking on.
I am sure it's true that there was little money in the early women's pro-game, but I think I read in Althea's case that she was actually ripped off by either a husband or an accountant, which is the reason she was penniless. Not sure about any details, but I think she made some very, very good money from pro-tennis, mainly as the warm up act for the Harlem Globetrotters, TV appearances as a singer and also from Pro-Golf. I think it was unscrupulous people around her who took it all.
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post #17 of 39 (permalink) Old Aug 26th, 2007, 06:08 PM
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Re: The Althea Gibson Thread

Congratulations Althea Gibson for living a full life and finally being recognized even though in my opinion, it is 50 years overdue
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post #18 of 39 (permalink) Old Aug 27th, 2007, 07:48 AM
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Re: The Althea Gibson Thread

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In 1995 Buxton spent $1,500 of her own money to feed Gibson and pay her rent before making an appeal on her behalf in Tennis World, highlighting her hardship. "I didn't want my name on it in case she got cross with me and wouldn't speak to me," she said. "She could get on her high horse very easily. Eventually she received oddles of money. She was a millionaire by the time I'd finished. Money came in from all over the world in different currencies. We spent days just opening up the envelopes from people who remembered her."
Does anyone know which article this is referring too? I always thought of Althea as a larger than life pioneering champion along with Wilma Rudolph. She was very important to me as a young kid. I'm glad that she is being honored tomorrow. In addition to the great African American "first" being honored, I hope that the tennis world shows in in mass and pays this great tennis champ her due respects as well. I wish I could be there.

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post #19 of 39 (permalink) Old Aug 27th, 2007, 10:10 PM
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Re: The Althea Gibson Thread

I hope Maria Bueno is there? I never heard her interviewed about Althea Gibson at all. It was because of Maria that Althea almost boycotted the 1958 U.S. Nationals because the USLTA made a unwritten rule that only Americans can play with each other in doubles. That soon changed but not the resentment of the USLTA towards Althea onwards.

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post #20 of 39 (permalink) Old Aug 27th, 2007, 11:26 PM
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Re: The Althea Gibson Thread

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Does anyone know which article this is referring too?
I am not sure it was an article per se. Angela contacted everyone in the media she could think of and told Althea's story to anyone who'd listen. The press all over the world picked it up and ran a story, but I don't think it was a syndicated article necessarily. Angela is actually quite good at getting publicity. I don't know if that's what she did after she stopped playing tennis. I remember in the 70's and 80's she was always on British TV around Wimbledon time complaining how the All England Club had snubbed giving her membership because she was Jewish. It got really boring hearing her trot the same story out year after year. When you think what a relatively unremarkable player she was, she certainly managed to keep herself in the news.

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post #21 of 39 (permalink) Old Aug 28th, 2007, 05:05 AM
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Re: The Althea Gibson Thread

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I am not sure it was an article per se. Angela contacted everyone in the media she could think of and told Althea's story to anyone who'd listen. The press all over the world picked it up and ran a story, but I don't think it was a syndicated article necessarily. Angela is actually quite good at getting publicity. I don't know if that's what she did after she stopped playing tennis. I remember in the 70's and 80's she was always on British TV around Wimbledon time complaining how the All England Club had snubbed giving her membership because she was Jewish. It got really boring hearing her trot the same story out year after year. When you think what a relatively unremarkable player she was, she certainly managed to keep herself in the news.
One thing I was disturbed by Angela was not the discrimination was her double standard with Althea. Angela excepted her to overcome the discrimination while she kept complaining about it which resulted in her inability to overcome it. It was as if she was living through her. I know that lot of country clubs discriminated against Jews but she expected Althea to overcome Forest Hills which discriminated against Ralph Bunche by winning there in 1957 and 1958and still discriminated against blacks till 1990's.

My thought was: discrimination was there but Angela used it to get her own way. She had an Anglo-Saxon complex towards players like Angela Mortimer and others because she had an admiration for them and wanted to be like them. I look at her and she has dyed her hair blonde. Man oh Man!

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post #22 of 39 (permalink) Old Aug 28th, 2007, 06:06 PM
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Re: The Althea Gibson Thread

Angela does refer specifically to Tennis World (A British publication as opposed to the now defunct American World Tennis). I believe this may still be published.

It began with Open tennis in 1968 but I gave it up after a couple of years finding it superficial particularly with regard to results.

Margaret Thatcher - Michele Bachmann two strong women of our time.
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post #23 of 39 (permalink) Old Aug 28th, 2007, 09:01 PM
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Re: The Althea Gibson Thread

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Angela does refer specifically to Tennis World (A British publication as opposed to the now defunct American World Tennis). I believe this may still be published.

It began with Open tennis in 1968 but I gave it up after a couple of years finding it superficial particularly with regard to results.
I noticed in your slogan about the draw. Tracy Austin commentatiting for the USA network in America said that it was pure luck. McEnroe (commentating with her) and Ted Robinson agrees, do you think it was luck?

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post #24 of 39 (permalink) Old Aug 29th, 2007, 09:53 AM
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Re: The Althea Gibson Thread

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I noticed in your slogan about the draw. Tracy Austin commentatiting for the USA network in America said that it was pure luck. McEnroe (commentating with her) and Ted Robinson agrees, do you think it was luck?
Of course, it's pure luck - at least that's what 99.99% of me says - although with all you see in films etc now the other 0.01% wonders could there possibly be something going on?

The odds against the draw working out exactly as it did are astronomical - of the bookie's 6 favourites 5 are in the top half - the Rusian world #2 is in the bottom half. Also EVERY player who has beaten her this year is in the top half. It's gut-wrenchingly sickening. I can but hope the unlikely will happen and Vaidisova can play to her maximum, although she has not played since Wimby, or Kuznetsova can play that one tournament in 20 she is capable of.

It does women's tennis no good - one player gets a cake-walk to the final and has a big advantage in it as the player she faces has probably had long and tough quarters and semis and has used up most of their reserves.

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post #25 of 39 (permalink) Old Aug 29th, 2007, 12:36 PM
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Re: The Althea Gibson Thread

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Of course, it's pure luck - at least that's what 99.99% of me says - although with all you see in films etc now the other 0.01% wonders could there possibly be something going on?

The odds against the draw working out exactly as it did are astronomical - of the bookie's 6 favourites 5 are in the top half - the Rusian world #2 is in the bottom half. Also EVERY player who has beaten her this year is in the top half. It's gut-wrenchingly sickening. I can but hope the unlikely will happen and Vaidisova can play to her maximum, although she has not played since Wimby, or Kuznetsova can play that one tournament in 20 she is capable of.

It does women's tennis no good - one player gets a cake-walk to the final and has a big advantage in it as the player she faces has probably had long and tough quarters and semis and has used up most of their reserves.
Of course it's random and luck! Can you imagine the scandal if it turned out it wasn't? If it was going to be rigged, it wouldn't be rigged this way; it would be rigged so that the Williams' sisters were in opposite sides of the draw and were the players with the "cake-walk" as they're the only players the American TV audience will tune in to watch in a prime time final. The TV ratings for the past few years without them have been a disaster and the final is in jeopardy of being moved back to an afternoon match. There's no way the draw is rigged for anyone.
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post #26 of 39 (permalink) Old Aug 29th, 2007, 01:06 PM
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Re: The Althea Gibson Thread



Here is the person who defeated Althea in the 1946 ATA championships. That got everyone's attention about Althea's potential because she never played the game seriously that much but got to the finals where a doctor/player spotted her and asked if she would like to play in the U.S. Nationals.

The person who beat her was Roumania Peters, one half of the team of "Pete" and "Repeat" team with her sister Margaret.

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post #27 of 39 (permalink) Old Mar 9th, 2009, 03:26 PM Thread Starter
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Re: The Althea Gibson Thread

Bump up for "Big Al"
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post #28 of 39 (permalink) Old Mar 9th, 2009, 05:29 PM
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Re: The Althea Gibson Thread

Very interesting thread! Thanks for bringing it up!
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post #29 of 39 (permalink) Old Apr 27th, 2012, 06:44 PM Thread Starter
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Re: The Althea Gibson Thread

A good action pic of Althea at Wimbledon in 1956. She had run so fast up to the net that she slipped and went under and through!

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post #30 of 39 (permalink) Old May 31st, 2016, 12:18 AM Thread Starter
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Re: The Althea Gibson Thread

Gibson on the streets of New York in 1957. She learned a form of tennis here with paddles




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