Friday, June 09, 2006
The Barriers Have Broken: Black Tennis Stars Emerge in France
It's been over 10 years since the Williams Sisters turned pro. They're domination in the sport of tennis shattered stereotypes and old attitudes but most importantly, broke barriers that have long stood in the way of black athletes excelling in the predominantly white sport.
But it looks like those once iron-clad barriers may now be a thing of the past.
If you've caught any coverage of the French Open this year, you may have noticed the increase of young black athletes on the Roland Garros clay. Aside from the usual suspects Venus Williams and James Blake, the sensational Frenchman Gael Monfils and Americans Mashona Washington, Shenay Perry and Jamea Jackson all graced the courts of the Grand Slam Championship. Though none made it to the final, Venus Williams and James Blake were the last Americans standing in Paris and Gael Monfils is fast-becoming one of the sports brightest young stars.
Finally, the (tennis) playing fields are leveling. We can't wait to see what these young athletes serve up next.