A sculpture of tennis great Althea Gibson has been unveiled at the US Open, honoring the accomplishments of the first African American to win her country’s national title.
Gibson, who died in 2003 at age 76, won the U.S. National Championships (now the US Open) in 1957. Her other Grand Slam tournament singles titles included the French Open in 1956, Wimbledon in 1957 and 1958, and another U.S. title in 1958.
Billie Jean King, who helped unveil the granite sculpture near Arthur Ashe Stadium, called Gibson the Jackie Robinson of tennis who “carried on the legacy of equality” for future generations.
But there was just one problem, according to her former doubles partner: The granite bust of Gibson doesn’t look much like her.
Eighty-five-year-old Angela Buxton, who made the trip from London for Monday’s unveiling, said: “It doesn’t resemble her at all. … Maybe I said the wrong thing, but that’s how I see it.”
Buxton added that the statue itself is not as important as Gibson’s legacy and the fact that people are celebrating it.