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BTURNER 06-07-2009 06:53 PM

No one talks about these folks
the American Tennis Association, the nation's oldest African-American sports organization"

"One of the first black players to draw national attention to the ATA was Ora Washington, who dominated the women's division with eight titles in the 1930s. Her unique style was marked by blazing speed, along with a little half-swing with the racquet held high up on the grip. Washington's acclaim was accompanied by the Roosevelt-era construction of hundreds of public courts for future urban recreational use.

Of the many unrealized tennis talents, uncoached African-Americans from the pre-World War II era, the best may have been Jimmy McDaniel. With an aggressive serve-and-volley game honed on the cement courts of Los Angeles, McDaniels's reputation and ATA dominance earned him a landmark 1940 crossover match at the Cosmopolitan Club in Harlem with 1938 Grand Slam winner Don Budge. Although McDaniels was overmatched that day 6-1, 6-2, the exhibition nonetheless foresaw a not-too-distant future when the color barrier in tennis would drop.

That barrier had initially been challenged in 1929 when two ATA standouts, Reginald Weir and Gerald Norman Jr., were denied entry to a United States Lawn Tennis Association (now the USTA) tournament. Eighteen more years of segregated competitive tennis ensured, followed by the historic appearance of ATA junior champ Oscar Johnson at USLTA's national indoor juniors in 1947. Johnson, too was stopped at the door, but when he threatened to take legal action, the USLTA capitulated."

1.What do you history buffs know about these unheralded champions before and comtemporary to Gibson male or female.

2. Any undiscovered Jackie Robinsons in those events?

3. Did Europe have a segregated tour or did they allow blacks in RG, the German, Otalian etc?

2. How good were these players and would they have had some grand slam/ pro tourney caliber men or women who might well have taken some sets/matches/tourneys from some of the players wiht some matches under their belts, we now call greats?

another interesting read on black league players

Well now, there evidently were a pair of sisters important to tennis history and their names were not Venus or Serena

BTURNER 06-09-2009 06:26 PM

Not a single post on the hidden tour, or any of these names? No one has any information?

ollinger 06-09-2009 07:18 PM

yes, NO ONE TALKS ABOUT THESE FOLKS. Who talks about people they've never heard of?

BTURNER 06-09-2009 07:31 PM

That is what the links are there for. Learn.

BTURNER 11-12-2011 05:29 AM

Bump for hope that others will be intrigued to learn or offer tidbits of insight. Sometimes in forums, yesterday's bomb thread is tomorrows success.

treblings 11-13-2011 09:59 AM

interesting articles, thank you for posting them

Soianka 11-14-2011 09:12 AM

I agree. Thanks for posting.

atatu 11-14-2011 10:38 AM


Originally Posted by BTURNER (Post 3542382)
Not a single post on the hidden tour, or any of these names? No one has any information?

Years ago, Tennis Magazine did an article about the Don Budgge - Jimmy McDaniel match, it was fascinating. When I lived in DC, I used to play tennis with the grandson of Dr. Walter Johnson, who coached Ashe and maybe Althea Gibson also.

sureshs 11-14-2011 10:51 AM

Was he the guy whom Budge defeated and then said that if he had been allowed to compete fairly, he would be top 10 in the world? Remember reading that somewhere.

Ronaldo 11-14-2011 11:41 AM

Played in the Mid-Tac championships in Indianapolis back in the 80s. Open winner would compete in the ATA National Championship Tournament. Men and Womens champions received an entry into the US Open qualifiers.

heftylefty 11-14-2011 02:46 PM

Ronaldo, I played in an ATA event 21years ago. The Pacific Coast Championships. They still run this tournament, but not a big as it use to be.

Ronaldo 11-15-2011 06:00 AM


Originally Posted by heftylefty (Post 6115342)
Ronaldo, I played in an ATA event 21years ago. The Pacific Coast Championships. They still run this tournament, but not a big as it use to be.

Played the Ohio Tournament that funneled into Mid-Tac in 1990 at OSU. 60 courts of singles at one time, 1st round. Played 5 rounds of dubs to get to the finals. In two days 8 matches.

PDJ 10-24-2012 12:31 AM

Very interesting thread. I've never heard of these people but I will google to try & find out more. Fascinating.

gavna 10-30-2012 01:54 PM

2 of my kids played and worked out at the Zina Garrison Academy in Houston from 2005 - 2011 - one of the highlights was the summer trip to he ATA event at the end of each summer and play in this huge event.

With my family being white it was VERY interesting the first time we attended - my kids loved it and in fact got psyched being he center of attention......

PeteD 11-04-2012 08:13 AM

Someone who knows how to produce a documentary really should talk to Tennis Channel

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