Originally Posted by BCP
Though surely the two matches were played in a relatively short time span, and certainly not long enough for any material weight gain.
Also, Margaret is a 24 times singles GS champion. I find it extraordinary that she didn't have the flexibity to change or adapt a losing game.
However, all this speculation is for nought if money changed hands for Bobby to lose to BJK. Which then makes her victory a farce, and hence a part of her legacy a farce.............
True, Margaret won 24 major singles titles, and is arguably the greatest player of all time, however, several factors must be considered (and if you compare any one of these factors with the same things Billie Jean had going, you'll see my point):
1. She was a conservative woman playing a raucous gambling man;
2. The exhibition was televised locally and in some places nationally by CBS Sports;
3. It was played at a time when the Women's Lib movement was at its peak in the USA (and to a lesser extent, worldwide)- Margaret's contribution to the movement was "I've no wish to wear the pants";
4. While Margaret did have her run-ins early on with the Nell Hopman and the ALTA, she was a quiet, reserved, and generally traditional-minded girl, who never was a part of the "lib" movement;
5. Bobby Riggs was one of the best tennis tacticians and champions of gamesmanship of all time; and
6. Margaret's child dropped her favorite pair of tennis shoes in the hotel room toilet the morning of the match (okay- weak, but this was before the days when Nike supplied an unending flow of air, and broken in converse canvas was important).
as compared to:
Billie Jean King
1. She was an outspoken activist fighting for equal rights, Title XVIX, and was instrumental in starting the Virginia Slims Tour- Bobby wanted her first;
2. The exhibition was televised to a worldwide audience;
3. The hype leading up to Houston in September was fueled (orchestrated?) by Margaret's loss;
4. Billie Jean was a rebel from childhood all the way through her run-ins with the SoCal Tennis Association and Perry Jones, and was a spokeswoman for the "women's lib" cause;
5. Billie Jean was (and is) every bit as good a tactician as Bobby Riggs was, and much less (if at all) susceptible to gamesmanship; and
6. There was NO WAY Billie Jean King was going to lose that match.