American Tennis Player Bobby Riggs

Bobby Riggs

Former American Tennis player, late Robert Larimore “Bobby” Riggs was born on the 25th of February, 1918 in Los Angeles. Bobby Riggs reigned the tennis game in the decades of 1930’s and 1940’s while enjoying World’s No.1 and co-No 1 position for three years.  He was the Amateur tennis World’s No.1 in 1941 and the professional World’s No.1 player in 1946 and 1947. He mostly played amateur tennis in the 1930’s until finally playing his first professional match on 26th December 1941.

His amateur career also has many badges on it along with being a part of the Davis cup winning team at the age of 20 in 1938. In 1939 he made to the finals of the French Championship but bagged in three titles at the Wimbledon in the singles, mixed doubles and doubles matches. He also won the US championship after he as awarded the rank of Amateur World’sNo.1 in 1939. He won the mixed doubles title in the Us championship in 1940 and the next year he started professional tennis career which was disturbed due to World War II. In 1946, 1947 and 1949 Riggs beat Budge 24 to 22 matches along with a tie before proving himself to be the World’s best tennis player. In 1988 Riggs was diagnosed with Prostate cancer and he died on 25th October 1995 at the age of 77. He was forgotten for a long time after again coming in to the limelight through the match which is better known as the battle of sexes which he lost to Billie Jean King.

Greatest tennis rivalries: Bobby Riggs vs. Billie Jean King

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.