Coco Gauff, who won the U.S. Open at age 19 earlier this month, may be the most popular Black tennis professional to emerge in the absence of the popular Williams sisters, but she’s not the only rising Black tennis star.
No doubt, Venus and Serena Williams, who began their careers in 1994 and 1995 respectively, had an influence on the growing number of Black professional players today, almost all of whom grew up watching and being inspired by the successful sister duo.
Here are just a few.
3 Coco Gauff
At # 3 in the world at just age 19, Gauff has caught the attention of the world. She turned pro in 2918 at age 14 and announced her arrival at Wimbledon in 2019 by beating five-time Wimbledon champion Venus Williams in straight sets. Like the Williams sisters, Gauff has also proven successful in doubles, where she is world #2
12 Madison Keys
At age 28, Madison Keys is among the veterans in the game. Currently ranked 312 in the nation, she’s been as high as #7. Keys turned pro in 2009 and in one of her deepest runs in a grand slam, she lost to Sloane Stephens in the finals of the 2017 U.S. Open.
38 Sloane Stephens
At age 30, Sloane Stephens is currently #38 but has been as high as #3 in the world. She turned pro in 2009 and in 2017 won the U.S. Open and followed it with a run to the final in the 2018 French Open.
45 Alycia Parks
At age 22, Alycia Parks is a real rising star in the game. She turned pro in 2007. At 6’1”, where her legs can’t get her, her serve can. At the 2021 US Open, Parks tied the record for the fastest serve at the tournament by a woman ever, matching the elder Williams sister’s 129 mph bomb.
101 Taylor Townsend
At #101 in the world, Taylor Townsend is starting to move up in singles, but where she really shines is in doubles, where she’s #8 in the world. Townsend is 27.
49 Asia Muhammad
At age 32, Asia Muhammad strictly plays doubles and has a steady career since turning pro in 2007.
11 Frances Tiafoe
Frances is part of a resurgence of American men’s tennis. The ‘Big Foe,” as his fans call him, is age 25 and turned pro in 2015. Another fan favorite, Foe lost in the finals of the U.S. Open in 2022. This year he made it to the U.S. Open quarter finals losing to Ben Shelton.
19, Ben Shelton
Ben Shelton, age 20, is definitely among the rising stars. After playing tennis at the University of Florida, Shelton opted to turn pro in August 2022. He caught the world’s attention in January 2023 when he reached the 4th round of the Australian Open. This year, after defeating Frances Tiafoe in the quarter finals, he advanced to the semifinals of the U.S. Open where he lost to eventual Open winner Novak Djokovic
32 Chris Eubank
Chris, age 27, soared this year, rising to #32 in the world. Eubanks turned pro in 2017 after playing tennis at Georgia Tech. He won his first tour title this year and reached his first major quarter final this year at Wimbledon..
175 Sachia Vickery
In and out due to injuries, Sachia Vickery ,28, is currently 175 in the world but has been as high as 73. She’s having a good year and her ranking is expected to rise.
121 Robin Montgomery
Robin Montgomery, 19, turned pro in 2020. So far, she’s won 4 lower level ITF tournaments, but hasn’t made it very far in any WTA tournaments.