Words are hard to describe a woman, who was not only an honorable athlete, but also a fighter, a motivator and in true terms an inspiration for all the women in the tennis fraternity since the 1970s.
Billie Jean King has won a tremendous 39 Grand Slam titles – out of which she won 20 at Wimbledon itself – in a 19 year run between 1961 and 1979. Now she was not only an expert in the singles arena, but also played some of the best matches in the history of tennis in the women’s doubles and mixed doubles draws as well.
She won commendation in her first attempt at women’s doubles at Wimbledon in 1962, winning the tournament with her doubles partner Karen Hantze Susman. Soon after, she took London with a storm by winning 6 Wimbledon women’s singles title, 10 women’s doubles and 4 mixed doubles titles at the summer Grand Slam.
To add more to her achievements, she stood up to the sexism and inequality of women in the sport and after a meeting with her fellow players in London soon after Wimbledon got over, the Women’s Tennis Association set foundation. This gave rise to a completely new vision of the sport and the women associated with it.
Billie Jean King’s determination to get an equal position of women in every tennis tournament gained her worldwide recognition, and not to forget her revolutionary match against Bobby Riggs where she would beat him to win the ‘Battle of the Sexes’ in 1973.
With 40 years completed of the equal opportunity victory by King, Wimbledon will be commemorating more than 20 women who have held the World No. 1 ranking. An extravagant event will be held in the middle of the week of the tournament to mark the key event in history of women in tennis initiated by King.
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