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King wins the “Battle of Sexes”: The most important battle on the tennis court

King wins the “Battle of Sexes”
The most important battle on the tennis court

Billie Jean King is one of the most famous tennis players of all time. The now 77-year-old has won twelve Grand Slam titles, won a total of 78 WTA tournaments, and was victorious at the US Open in singles, doubles and mixed. But with their most famous game, the big impact was what counted.

Billie Jean King’s revenge was sweet and ice cold. After her friend Margaret Court had lost a tennis exhibition match against former Wimbledon winner Bobby Riggs a few months earlier, King gave the California chauvinist a lesson on September 20, 1973, which was recognized worldwide. Court’s clear 6: 2, 6: 1 defeat had gone down in history as a “Mother’s Day massacre”. As the number 1 in women’s tennis at the time, the 30-year-old had no chance against Riggs. But it shouldn’t stop there.

King, an icon of the women’s movement in sports.

(Photo: imago images / Eventpress)

In the “Battle of the Sexes” in front of 30,472 viewers in Houston / Texas and 50 million people on TV, the then 29-year-old number one in the world “Macho” defeated Riggs 6: 4, 6: 3, 6: 3. He had won the men’s singles at Wimbledon 34 years earlier, in 1939.

But more importantly, she taught the 55-year-old a lesson. He thought women’s tennis was nonsense: “American women are the most privileged group of all time. And they are still dissatisfied and want more. We have to stop these women now.” King helped women gain more recognition in the sport with their victory. “This match was an ideal platform for me to fight for equality. It was a moment steeped in history,” said the exceptional player, who was born in Long Beach on November 22, 1943 as Billie Jean Moffitt.

The gender battle in the Astrodome was also followed by Elton John – in a hotel in Los Angeles in front of the television. “All the men I knew wanted Billie Jean to win because Riggs was so arrogant,” said the British rock singer, who is King’s close friend. Among other things, both are committed to helping AIDS. At the birthday party in Las Vegas Elton John dedicated a number of songs to the “unique Billie”.

The story of the “Battle of the Sexes” is so great that it made it to the Hollywood silver screen in 2017.

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