US tennis star feels some people don’t want Black players to succeed
“I feel some people want to make sure other Black people don’t get what (I) just got. They don’t want to see us making it,” she told CNN.
Black tennis players have long held a reputation for their discipline and a competitive focus. But it hasn’t been easy for some, and it’s made some players feel “like outsiders” in the sport.
That’s happened to many: As a player, she has a reputation as a very fair player, even when she loses. They are often called the “bad guys” of tennis.
“I have to be tough and disciplined,” she said, “but at the same time, I don’t want people to think I’m a punk.”
But with her successes, she has been branded an outsider.
For African Americans, it’s never been easy to get into the club of the elite, or to gain the fame that comes with being first.
Many African American tennis players who have been able to get the professional life have never won on a big stage.
When she started her career, it was a different world. Tennis was a male-dominated sport, and with men dominating and dominating the sport for centuries, a woman couldn’t even join the most important men’s club in sport.
Even if a girl played tennis, it was usually done for “tricks” or for the “hows and the whys.”
That’s not the case anymore. Black tennis stars are no longer dismissed as the “bad guys” or “not-good enough” or simply, “not good at this.”
“I was the first African-American woman to represent the United States in international competition,” said the 24-year-old, who won the US Open last week.
“There’s no one (else) in my generation and no one in my career to do that.”