16 August 1934 |
|Grand Slam Singles results|
|French Open||QF (1954)|
|Grand Slam Doubles results|
|French Open||W (1956)|
|Competitor for England|
|Gold||1953 Israel||Women's Singles|
|Gold||1957 Israel||Women's Singles|
- 1 Tennis accomplishments
- 2 Writing
- 3 International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame
- 4 Grand Slam singles final
- 5 Grand Slam singles tournament timeline
- 6 Miscellaneous
- 7 See also
- 8 References
- 9 External links
Buxton began playing tennis as a youngster at a boarding school in North Wales. Coach Bob Mulligan immediately recognized her talent and entered her into a junior tournament, where she won the under-14, under-15, and under-18 titles. After spending time in London and Los Angeles, in 1954 she earned the British No. 4 ranking.
Buxton had her most successful tennis year in 1956. She won the women's doubles title and reached the singles final at Wimbledon. She won the English Indoor and London Grass Court singles championships and the English Hard Court doubles crown (with Darlene Hard). At the French Championships, she reached the singles semifinals and won the women's doubles title with Althea Gibson, who was the first champion of African descent. An English newspaper reported their victory at Wimbledon under the headline "Minorities Win." Buxton was ranked World No. 5 by World Tennis Magazine and World No. 6 by Lance Tingay of The Daily Telegraph and the Daily Mail.
Injury and retirement
After suffering a serious hand condition in late 1956 (tenosynovitis), Buxton was forced to retire following the 1957 season at the age of 22.
Tennis players made no money in the 1950s, and the finances of Buxton's former teammate, Althea Gibson, worsened over the years. In 1992, Gibson suffered a stroke. A few years later, she called Buxton and told her she was on the brink of suicide as she was living on welfare and unable to pay for rent or medication. Buxton arranged for a letter about Gibson's circumstances to appear in a tennis magazine. She told Gibson nothing about the letter, but Gibson knew something was up when her mailbox started to bulge with envelopes containing checks from around the world. Eventually nearly US$1 million came in.
Judaism and anti-Semitism in her career
Buxton's Judaism played a role throughout her career. She is one of the six founders of the Israel Tennis Centres.
Her religious background prevented full acceptance within the tennis world from an early age. When Buxton and her mother moved to London to develop Angela's potential, she enrolled in a school in Hampstead whose headmistress introduced Buxton to the Cumberland Club. It was at Cumberland that Angela first ran into blatant—and painful – anti-Semitism.
I had to fill in a form: name, address, telephone number and then religion. I had several lessons there with a guy called Bill Blake, and I kept asking him about membership. Eventually he turned round to me and said, "Look, Angela, please don't keep asking me, you're not going to be able to join the club." I said, "Why not? I'm not good enough?" "No, because you're Jewish." And that was the beginning. It was the first time it (prejudice) had hit me in this country.
In 1952, Angela and her mother traveled to the United States to continue her tennis development. Once again, Buxton ran into anti-Semitism, this time at the Los Angeles Tennis Club. She said, "The same thing happened as at the Cumberland. They told me I couldn't play because I was Jewish." Instead, she was forced to train across town at public courts, but this allowed her to practice under the watchful eye of the great Bill Tilden for six months.
No Jewish tennis player was able to claim the exclusive All England Lawn Tennis Club as his or her home until 1952. According to Buxton, its "exclusivity" has also led to her exclusion. Buxton said in 2004, reflecting on the fact that the All England Club, almost 50 years after Buxton's 1956 Wimbledon triumph with Althea Gibson and, had still not invited Buxton to join: "I think the anti-Semitism is still there. The mere fact that I'm not a member is a full sentence that speaks for itself." Buxton told New York Post reporter Marc Berman that she had been on the "waiting list" since she applied in the 1950s. The Chairman of the Club appeared on television, and when asked about it said that he would have to look into it, and couldn't comment without more information. "I wish it still wasn't such an elite sport", Buxton told Berman. "I wish we could bring it down to a common baseline. It's going that way. It's still not there." After Gibson and Buxton won the doubles at Wimbledon, one British national newspaper reported their success under the headline, "Minorities Win". "It was in very small type", said Buxton, "lest anyone should see it".
Since she retired from playing tennis Buxton has written tennis books, including Tackle Tennis This Way, Starting Tennis and Winning Tennis and Doubles Tactics.
International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame
Grand Slam singles final
|Year||Championship||Opponent in Final||Score in Final|
|1956||Wimbledon||Shirley Fry Irvin||6–3, 6–1|
Grand Slam singles tournament timeline
|Australian Championships||A||A||A||A||A||0 / 0|
|French Championships||A||A||QF||3R||SF||0 / 3|
|Wimbledon||1R||4R||4R||QF||F||0 / 5|
|U.S. Championships||A||A||A||3R||A||0 / 1|
|SR||0 / 1||0 / 1||0 / 2||0 / 3||0 / 2||0 / 9|
A = did not participate in the tournament.
SR = the ratio of the number of Grand Slam singles tournaments won to the number of those tournaments played.
- Buxton maintained her friendship with Gibson (who died in 2003) through the years, and helped promote the Althea Gibson Foundation.
- Performance timelines for all female tennis players who reached at least one Grand Slam final
- List of select Jewish tennis players
- Collins, Bud (2008). The Bud Collins History of Tennis: An Authoritative Encyclopedia and Record Book. New York, N.Y: New Chapter Press. pp. 695, 703. ISBN 0-942257-41-3.
- celebrity Jews in the news
- Great Jews in Sports, Robert Slater (New York: Jonathan David Publishers, 2000)
- Encyclopedia of JEWS in Sports, Bernard Postal, Jesse Silver, and Roy Silver (New York: Bloch Publishing Co, 1965)
- Siriginia, Saraswathi, "Wimbledon Rewind: How Angela Buxton and Althea Gibson Broke Barriers in 1956", Bleacher Report, 6/16/09, accessed 6/29/09
- Hoye, Russell, Smith, Aaron, Nicholson, Natthew, Stewart, Bob, and Westerbeek, Hans, "Sport Management-principles and applications: Case Study: The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club and the Wimbledon Tennis Championship", p. 197, Butterworth-Heinemann (2009), ISBN 0-7506-8755-X, 9780750687553
- Schoenfeld, Bruce, "The Match: Althea Gibson & Angela Buxton: How Two Outsiders—One Black, the Other Jewish—Forged a Friendship and Made Sports History" (2004), pp. 279–80, Amistad, ISBN 0-06-052652-1, ISBN 978-0-06-052652-8, accessed 6/29/09
- "Buxton, Angela," Jews in Sports, accessed 6/29/09
- Slater, Robert, "Great Jews in Sports", Jonathan David Publishers, 2005, ISBN 0-8246-0453-9, ISBN 978-0-8246-0453-0
- Giles, Juanita, "No Jews allowed: UAE bows to 'neighborhood' pressure" The Hook, 2/26/09, accessed 6/29/09
- Henderson, Jon and O'Donnell, Matthew , "Angela Buxton & Althea Gibson," Connections: Hidden British Memories, 7/8/01, accessed 6/29/09
- Jews in Sports bio
- Jewish Sports bio
- "Recalling a tennis pioneer: Angela Buxton pays a visit," 9/3/06