Original 9 trailblazers stood for tennis equality in 1970
In this Sept. 23, 1970, photo provided the Houston Library, tennis players hold up $1 bills after signing a contract with World Tennis magazine publisher Gladys Heldman to turn pro and start the Virginia Slims tennis circuit. The Original 9 will gather by Zoom to celebrate the inaugural Virginia Slims event. It included the Welsh Open Women’s Championship, the U.S. Eastern Women’s Grass Court Championship and the U.S. She called it “perfect timing” when tobacco ads were banned on TV in 1971, making a budget available for Philip Morris to sponsor the women's tennis circuit. Heldman quickly set up the $7,500-purse Virginia Slims Invitational in Houston for the same week as Kramer’s event.
Townsend and Ahn excel at US Open
Later, wildcard Ahn overcame a leg injury to down the error-strewn 2017 French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko, 6-3, 7-5. Townsend reached the top of the junior world in 2012 but is seeking her first title -- or semifinal -- at the highest level. Bianca Andreescu, currently a teen phenom herself, is Townsend's next challenger after the Canadian beat last year's Australian Open champion, Caroline Wozniacki, 6-4, 6-4. Ahn back to US Open after a decadeAhn, meanwhile, played the US Open as a 16-year-old qualifier in 2008, acquitting herself well in a first-round loss to then seventh-ranked Dinara Safina. But instead of turning pro, as she wanted to, the parents of Ahn -- who was born within walking distance of the US Open -- wanted her to go to college and get an education.
Who is Taylor Townsend, the 23-year-old who upset Simona Halep?
Photo by Elsa/Getty Images(CNN) - Taylor Townsend has created a seismic impact in the US Open women's singles draw. 4 seed Simona Halep 2-6, 6-3, 7-6(4) at Arthur Ashe Stadium, the largest stadium in the world for tennis. "This means a lot," Townsend said through tears on court to ESPN. I didn't really know why it was bothering me. On court after Thursday's win, Townsend gestured toward her player box, giving credit to her coach, Donald Young Sr."Every person says they've been through a lot," Townsend said.
Simona Halep stunned by qualifier Taylor Townsend at US Open
Photo by Elsa/Getty Images(CNN) - Simona Halep might have just won Wimbledon, but the Romanian's struggles continue at the US Open after she was upset by a net-rushing American qualifier, Taylor Townsend. Halep will be ruing the match point she missed, too, a makeable forehand return as her foe served and volleyed. Townsend incredibly approached the net 105 times against one of the game's top counterpunchers, and even though her percentage of points won -- 60 -- wasn't overly high, the 23-year-old ultimately won the most important ones. Townsend was in tears after collecting her first top-10 win, having been so close at Wimbledon when she held a match point on Kiki Bertens. She trailed Nina Stojanovic in the final round of qualifying by a set and 5-1 in a second-set tiebreak.