Billie Jean King: 'Not About the Money. It's About the Equality Message'

Use your ← → (arrow) keys to browse more stories
Billie Jean King: 'Not About the Money. It's About the Equality Message'
Courtesy of Guardian.co.uk

The night before the most watched match of Billie Jean King's career – which turned out to be the most watched match in tennis history – she called her brother, Randy. She has no recollection of this phone call; she was deep in training at the time, completely, intensely focused. But Randy reminded her of it recently. It was September 1973, and not only was this match important, but a loss would mean irreparable damage to her reputation, to the women's tour that had started three years earlier, to the women's tennis association that had started three months earlier, to the legislation designed to end sexual discrimination in schools and colleges – and to the burgeoning, brilliant women's movement as a whole. Randy asked if she was going to win. "Go ahead and bet the house," she replied.

Load More Stories

Out of Bounds

Tennis

Subscribe Now

We will never share your email address

Thanks for signing up.