Greatest tennis rivalries: Bobby Riggs vs. Billie Jean King
Bobby Riggs, the outrageous and outspoken, deliberately created rivalry between the young and the old back in 1973, in the name of “Battle of sexes”, taunting the female tennis players of their capacity for the level of game, as compared to those of the men playing in that era which was seen as a chance to crush the harshly spoken words of Riggs.
King accepted the challenge of Riggs, to play the first ever regulation match, with the condition of, “winner takes all the money”. The match was ultimately won by King in straight sets, putting a question mark on Riggs as to what was really the need for the challenge, which was initially declined by King.
Though Riggs was in his 50s and retired and King was in her 20s, so it was a pretty one sided match and was proven to be a pretty one sided rivalry too.
The fair contest between them could be in terms of stats of their profile as both played in entirely different eras. Both were seeded world no 1, which shows the high level of professionalism in their time, but the big part is the huge difference in consistent performance and the result which led the king, as an undisputed winner of the contest, who was also the founder of Women’s Tennis Association.