USC’s tennis courts are named after this 1930s perennial South Carolina Open singles champion who won every singles and doubles match in his three years of varsity competition at USC. He captured the state intercollegiate tournament in 1936 and 1937, and was the City of Columbia tennis champion every year from 1936-55. He won the state title 14 of 15 years (1939-54) and was elected the first president of the Greater Columbia Tennis Association in March, 1963.
The native of Silver opened doors for African American athletes in tennis and golf. She won 10 consecutive ATA national championships, and went on to conquer both Wimbledon and the U.S. Open in 1957 and 1958, and captured three Wimbledon doubles championships among her 11 major titles and 56 crowns overall. She earned the Associated Press Women’s Athlete of the Year Award in 1957 and 1958, and Babe Zaharias Award for the most outstanding female athlete. Florida A&M University’s Athlete of the Century, Gibson was named to the Sports Illustrated Top 100 Greatest Female Athletes list and is a member of numerous halls of fame.
JANIE HAYNIE HENTZ
The Belton native became a five-time girls’ high school tennis singles champion in the 1950s. The Converse College standout ranked No. 1 in the South and eighth in the nation in 1956 in the age 18 division. She won women’s opens in South Carolina, North Carolina and Georgia in 1955-56, and twice won the Lewis Teague Award as the best female athlete in the Carolinas.
A Presbyterian College tennis standout and three-time Davis Cup alternate (1944, 1955, 1956) reached the Wimbledon quarterfinals in 1956, and that year was ranked No. 14 in the world. The Atlanta, Ga., native and former University of North Carolina tennis coach is a past director of athletics at PC and a member of six halls of fame.
LILLIAN PAILLE SEABROOK
The standout College of Charleston tennis player won 173 tournaments during her career, capturing her first singles tournament in 1924 and her last in 1969 (she played competitively well into her 70s). She held the City of Charleston Women’s Singles titles for 26 years and also won the inaugural state open singles in 1926.
The Pasadena, Calif., native has been a Hilton Head resident since the 1970s. He won the U.S. Open Singles title in 1971 and Wimbledon Singles crown in 1972, and ranks among the all-time tennis greats. He teamed to win 54 doubles championships, including five grand slams (U.S. Open in 1968, 1974, 1978, 1980 and the Australian Open in 1970). The three-time All-American won the 1969 singles championship, and doubles titles in 1967-68, and made 10 Davis Cup appearances. He has been inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1987.