HALL OF FAMER ANGELA BUXTON HAS DIED AT 85

British tennis player Angela Buxton, left, and doubles partner Althea Gibson, right, are presented with the trophy for the 1956 Wimbledon Women's Doubles title by The Duchess of Kent.

In 1956, Angela Buxton made history by winning the French Woman’s Doubles Championship with Althea Gibson. She therefore played an important role in helping Althea Gibson become the first African American to win a Grand Slam tournament doubles championship. Buxton and Gibson went on to win the Wimbledon Women’s Doubles Championship that year as well. In 1953 and 1957, she won the Women’s Singles title at the Maccabiah Games for Jewish athletes. People of Jewish descent were not admitted to the All England Lawn Tennis Club where Wimbledon was played until 1952. In addition, they faced discrimination on the world tennis tour. The racism that Gibson experienced and the anti-Semitism that Buxton experienced brought them together on the tennis tour. When they won the Wimbledon Women’s Doubles Championship one British newspaper used the unfortunate headline “Minorities Win” to call attention to their victory.

Buxton was an excellent singles player who reached the 1956 Wimbledon Women’s Finals. Prior to that accomplishment, she won the English Indoor title, the London Grass Court singles championships and the English Hard Court Doubles title with Darlene Hard. She reached the semi-finals of the Women’s Singles division of French Championships in 1956 (the same year she and Gibson won the Women’s Doubles Championship). 

 

Black Tennis Hall of Fame inducted Ms. Buxton in 2015, and the International Jewish Sports Hall in Israel in 1981, as shared by The Jerusalem Post.


Ms. Buxton is accompanied by Billie Jean King.

On Monday, August 26, 2019, the first day of the U.S. Open and the historic occasion of the Althea Gibson Statue Unveiling, Ms. Buxton, shared memories of her long-time friend.  “We won both the French and Wimbledon doubles together with my arm around her both times at the closing ceremonies.”  “She slowly became the Jackie Robinson of tennis and I was soon referred to as the Pee Wee Reese, who without saying a word indicated, “This is my friend.” 

Ms. Buxton, seated far right, shared moments of her career and friendship with Althea Gibson.


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