Comfortable Birthday Billie Jean King: From ‘Battle of the Sexes’ to tennis and LGBT ambassador, lifetime of feminine chief | Newest Information & Updates at

Happy Birthday Billie Jean King: From 'Battle of the Sexes' to tennis and LGBT ambassador, life of female leader | Latest News & Updates at

American tennis nice Billie Jean King broke down many boundaries by out her skilled profession and he or she continues to do the identical until date.

  • DNA Net Staff
  • Nov 22, 2020, 06:35 AM IST

American tennis nice Billie Jean King broke down many boundaries by out her skilled profession and he or she continues to do the identical until date.

From pushing for equal prize cash for girls to changing into one of many first well-known brazenly homosexual athletes, the legend grew to become a feminine chief.

King’s early sport was softball; at age 10, she performed shortstop on a staff of 14- and 15-year-old women that received town championship. 

Nonetheless, her mother and father steered she attempt a extra “ladylike” sport, and at age 11, she started to play tennis on the Lengthy Seashore public courts.

Billie Jean King grew to become the top-ranked girls’s tennis participant by 1967. It was in 1973 that she fashioned the Girls’s Tennis Affiliation (WTA) and famously defeated Bobby Riggs within the “Battle of the Sexes.” 

A have a look at her life journey as she celebrates her 76th birthday at present (November 22). 


(All photos are from Twitter)

1. Rise to No. 1

Rise to No. 1


King received her first main singles championship at Wimbledon in 1966. She efficiently defended that title in every of the next two years.


She then added her first US Open singles championship in 1967 and her solely Australian Open triumph the next 12 months. In 1968, she grew to become the world’s No. 1 rating in girls’s tennis.


Famend for her velocity, web recreation and backhand shot, King was a daily presence within the winner’s circle in singles, doubles and mixed-doubles tournaments over the subsequent few years. 


In 1972, she received the US Open, French Open and Wimbledon to assert three Grand Slam titles in a single 12 months.

2. ‘Battle of the Sexes’ and the film


One of many greatest accomplishments can be her 1973 match towards former males’s champion Bobby Riggs. Dubbed because the “Battle of the Sexes,” the 55-year-old Riggs assumed that after he simply defeated multi-time champion Margaret Court docket within the “Mom’s Day Bloodbath” of Could 1973, he might defeat King as effectively.


The match happened on September 20, 1973, on the Houston Astrodome. King entered the court docket carried by 4 muscular males, whereas Riggs rolled in on a rickshaw pulled by a staff of girls known as “Bobby’s Bosom Buddies.” 


King handily beat Riggs in straight units earlier than an estimated tv viewers of 90 million viewers.


Afterward, King acknowledged the strain she felt and stated, “I believed it might set us again 50 years if I did not win that match. It might smash the ladies’s tour and have an effect on all girls’s shallowness.”


The transfer:

The story of the 1973 King-Riggs match spawned the 2017 characteristic movie ‘Battle of the Sexes’, starring Emma Stone as King and Steve Carell as Riggs. 


The movie drew robust opinions, with each Stone and Carell incomes Golden Globe nominations for his or her performances.


The saga additionally been dramatized within the 2001 TV Film ‘When Billie Beat Bobby‘, which featured Holly Hunter because the tennis champ and Ron Silver as her opponent.

3. Equal pay, WTA and WTT

Equal pay, WTA and WTT


King who all the time spoke her thoughts jolted the tennis institution along with her views on equal payouts to each genders.


In 1970, she joined the brand-new Virginia Slims Tour for girls, and in 1971, she grew to become the primary feminine athlete to high $100,000 in prize cash in a single 12 months. 


In 1973, King spearheaded the formation of the Girls’s Tennis Affiliation (WTA). She used her standing of being probably the most celebrated participant and threatened to boycott the 1973 US Open if the pay inequality was not addressed. 


Her calls for had been met and the US Open grew to become the primary main match to supply equal prize cash to men and women.

4. About her sexuality

About her sexuality


The tennis star had married Larry King in 1965 however she quickly discovered herself wrestling along with her emotions for different girls. 


Her personal affairs quickly grew to become public with a lawsuit introduced by her former feminine private assistant and lover in 1981. 


King who was the primary outstanding lady athlete to confess her homosexuality, misplaced her endorsements however grew to become a torchbearer for the LGBT neighborhood. 


She divorced her husband in 1987 and settled right into a long-term relationship with former participant Ilana Kloss.

5. Tennis and LGBT Ambassador

Tennis and LGBT Ambassador


King was named within the Worldwide Tennis Corridor of Fame in 1987 and remained carefully tied to the game all through the Nineteen Nineties as a tv commentator. 


She additionally served as captain of the US staff on the 1996 and 2000 Summer season Olympics. In her honor, in 2006, the New York Metropolis facility – that hosts the US Open – was renamed the USTA Billie Jean King Nationwide Tennis Middle.


King’s has earned the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2009. She additionally served as appearing director for the Elton John AIDS Basis and the Nationwide AIDS Fund.


Named to the US delegation to the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, King embraced the designation that honored her athletic achievements and likewise made a political assertion in opposition of Russia’s anti-gay laws. 

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