Before there were the Serena Williams, Venus Williams, Sloane Stephens, and Coco Gauffs of the world, there was Bonnie Logan, a courageous trailblazer and hidden figure of college tennis.
As a teenage sensation in the 1960s, Logan was behind the integration of countless USTA tournaments, and played multiple US Nationals and US Open Championships, winning seven American Tennis Association (ATA) singles titles. Coached by Dr. Robert Johnson, Logan was able to soak in the lessons of the legendary coach who also spent time coaching Althea Gibson and Arthur Ashe prior to her.
A true trailblazer of her time, Logan competed at the No. 2 spot on the Morgan State men’s tennis team and was the CIAA Men’s Conference Champion in the 1970s. In addition to her success on the tennis court, Logan lettered in field hockey, volleyball, softball, and basketball during her time at Morgan State.
Following her time at the collegiate level in Durham, Logan turned professional and was the first African American player to compete on the Virginia Slims tour. In 1972, a full year before Arthur Ashe’s historic play in Johannesburg, Logan traveled solo to Apartheid, South Africa, becoming the first African American to compete in the South African Open.
Unfortunately due to a lack of support and funding, as well as the racism she encountered, Logan’s time on tour was cut short. Despite this, Logan used her passion and love for tennis and physical education to pursue a career as a physical education teacher, where she taught for 32 years in the Baltimore school districts. Logan used her resources to provide racquets, balls and other equipment to hundreds of Baltimore students.
It is through Bonnie Logan’s fearless leadership that the sport of tennis was changed forever. The incredible impact of Logan can and will continue to be felt by many throughout decades to come.
To view the entire feature between Logan and Leslie Allen, please visit the link below or the video above.