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Bobby Riggs, Billie Jean King – and Margaret Court



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An article on Title IX in the Wall Street Journal today [subscription required] includes a brief discussion of how Billie Jean King’s defeat of Bobby Riggs in a September 1973 tennis match was a milestone in women’s sports. Maybe so, but it is less and less noted that, just a few months before, the 55-year-old Riggs had defeated in straight sets the then number-one ranked women’s player, Margaret Court. (And of course there is the school of thought that Riggs, a notorious hustler, threw the match to King, either because he had bet against himself, or because he wanted to be able to hype a rematch. Riggs denied this.) Just trying to keep this out of the memory hole.



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