2017 Year in Review:

Minor Makes History

Sally Milano  |  December 8, 2017

Love-15: As 2017 draws to a close, is taking a look back at the top 15 storylines, headlines and highlights from the year in American tennis. Up now: Brienne Minor became the first African-American woman to win the NCAA singles championship.
Brienne Minor didn’t realize until a phone call from her sister a few days after the 2017 NCAA Singles Championship that her win was a historic one.

In May, the then-19-year-old University of Michigan sophomore upset No. 6 Belinda Woolcock of Florida, 6-3, 6-3, in the NCAA women’s singles final to become the first African-American woman to win the NCAA Division I singles title – and the first African-American NCAA champion since Arthur Ashe captured the men’s singles title while playing for UCLA in 1965.

“I didn’t even realize it until my sister said something to me a couple days later,” Minor told the Washington Post days after her win. ADVERTISEMENT “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.”

Unseeded in the individual event, Minor won six matches in six days at the NCAAs. She toppled two top-16 seeds – Texas Tech's Gabriela Talaba and Vanderbilt's Sydney Campbell – en route to the championship match, where she stunned No. 6 Woolcock, the most valuable player of the team championships held the week before the singles tournament, in the final. Minor collected six breaks in her two-set win, including a final one to claim the victory, giving Michigan its first national title in program history.

Minor, who is now a junior majoring in sports management at Michigan, earned All-America honors and compiled a 33-6 overall record during the 2016-17 season. She ended the year ranked No. 9 in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association rankings.


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