Michigan tennis player Brienne Minor has made history on all kinds of levels.
She entered the NCAA tournament unseeded and went on to capture the singles title to not only become her school’s first woman to win a national championship in tennis, but also to become the first ever black woman to do so at the division I level.
In fact, the last African American, male or female, to win an NCAA tennis championship was Arthur Ashe in 1965.
“I didn’t even realize it until my sister said something to me a couple days later,” Minor told The Washington Post. “It’s such an honor, and I hope I can be a good role model for other African American tennis players, because there’s not a lot in this game.”
The 19-year-old sophomore from Mundelein, Ill., who is majoring in sports management, only dropped two sets during the entire tournament.
According to The Washington Post, Minor comes from a long line of tennis players.
Her passion for the game was passed down from her maternal grandfather, who picked up tennis in parks in Indianapolis at a time when blacks were barred from the country clubs that held lessons and tournaments. The USTA, then known as the U.S. Lawn Tennis Association, held a policy that banned blacks from playing in its championships, including the U.S. Open, until the 1950s.
If you’d like to learn more about Minor, check out The Post’s story.
After college, all signs point to her being the sport’s next big star.