World Tennis Museum

Billie Jean King

Billie Jean King is a retired American tennis player who was born on November 22, 1943, in Long Beach, California. King is widely regarded as one of the greatest tennis players of all time, and her impact on the sport extends far beyond her accomplishments on the court.

King won a total of 39 Grand Slam titles during her career, including 12 in singles, 16 in women’s doubles, and 11 in mixed doubles. She was the first female athlete to earn more than $100,000 in a single season, and she was also the first female athlete to have a major sporting venue, the USTA National Tennis Center, named after her.

In addition to her accomplishments on the court, King is best known for her advocacy for gender equality and social justice. She was a prominent advocate for equal pay for women in sports, and she played a key role in the founding of the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) and the Virginia Slims Circuit, which helped to establish professional women’s tennis.

King is perhaps best known for her 1973 “Battle of the Sexes” match against Bobby Riggs, which she won in straight sets. The match, which was widely watched and covered in the media, was a seminal moment for women’s sports and helped to cement King’s status as a trailblazer for gender equality.

King has continued to be an influential figure in tennis and beyond, advocating for LGBT rights and serving as a mentor and role model for young athletes.

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