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Wednesday, November 19, 2003
Gibson 1st African American to win Wimbledon
By Larry Schwartz
Special to

July 6, 1957

Althea Gibson fights back tears as she receives congratulations from England's smiling Queen Elizabeth II after becoming the first African-American to win Wimbledon.

"At last! At last!" the 29-year-old Gibson says as the Queen, who is making her first Wimbledon appearance, presents her with the silver plate.

Gibson earns the award with her strong serve-and-volley performance in beating Darlene Hard, 6-3, 6-2 on the famed center court in the final. "Althea didn't miss a volley," Hard says. "I usually try to get in after the first volley. Today I didn't get a chance. That first volley after the service was too devastating."

Gibson wins the women's doubles title as well, teaming with Hard to defeat Mary Hawton and Thelma Long, 6-2, 6-1. However, her bid for a sweep falls short as she and Neale Fraser lose 6-4, 7-5 to Hard and Mervyn Rose in mixed doubles.

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