Photo via Wikimedia Commons
This year’s 52nd annual U.S. Open will be held at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Queens from August 31st to September 13th without fans, Governor Cuomo announced in his press conference today. The U.S. Tennis Association will “take extraordinary precautions to protect players and staff,” which will include robust testing, increased cleaning, extra space in locker rooms, and dedicated housing and transportation. Last year’s event set an all-time attendance record of 737,872, bringing in $400 million in revenue, 80 percent of the USTA’s annual total.
West Side Tennis Club via Joe Shlabotnik/Flickr; Althea Gibson via Wiki Commons
On August 22, 1950, what was then known as the United States Lawn Tennis Association (USLTA) accepted Harlem’s Althea Gibson into their annual championship at Forest Hills, New York (the precursor to the U.S. Open). The spot on the championship roster made Gibson the first African-American athlete to compete in a U.S. national tennis competition, launching a storied career in which she won a whopping 16 Grand Slams, including the 1956 French Open where she became the first person of color to win such a title.
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