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On This Day, Sept 11, 1999: Serena Williams Wins Her First Grand Slam Title At 17

Serena Williams becomes the 2nd African-American woman to win the U.S. Open title. Althea Gibson was the 1st.

NEW YORK, UNITED STATES – SEPTEMBER 11: US OPEN 1999, FRAUEN FINALE, New York/USA; SIEGERIN Serena WILLIAMS/USA (Photo by Mark Sandten/Bongarts/Getty Images)

On this day, at Arthur Ashe Stadium in Flushing Meadow, NY, Serena was able to finish the job that big sister Venus couldn’t, beating Martina Hingis 6-3, 7-6 (7-4) to capture the U.S. Open title.


In attendance with tears streaming down her eyes was Zina Garrison. Garrison, the former top-10 player, long carried the burden of being one of the few African-Americans in Tennis.

This was a big moment. Standing in their uniforms, African-American stadium workers hugged and high fived each other as Serena accepted the championship trophy.


Written by PH

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