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39 Years Ago Today (Sept. 20th)

1404 Views 7 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  tennisvideos
Can you believe it's nearly 40 years since the infamous "Battle of the Sexes" was held in the Houston Astrodome? I've said it before, and I'll say it again- Billie Jean brought me into tennis way back then (I was 11 years old) when the whole family sat down in the living room to watch that dog and pony show.
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First off BFTP is my favorite of this forum. I believe that 98% of what I posted is here on BFTP.

Moving on to what was the original topic.

I saw the match on TV, and was thrilled that Billie Jean won. She is not one of my personal favorites, but Ms. King is one person who I have the utmost respect and admiration for. She IMO - Put TENNIS on the map. No, (before anyone says so) I did not mean to say "Women's Tennis" I mean TENNIS! I'll probably get some replies back about that, but that is how I feel.
Well I never saw the Battle live, but there has probably been no other event that put tennis on the map like this did. I mean the famous WCT Finals between Rosewall and Laver did incredible things for tennis but I don't think they can rate compared to what Billie-Jean King did ... and esp womens tennis.

I was never a fan of BJK back in the 70s BUT she left me with so many incredible memories from my childhood of watching her competing like it was to the death in a number of Wimbledon Finals. And I was blessed to meet her in the early 80s in Australia and she was an absolute joy and we have been in touch a lot since with trading footage etc.

By the late 70s, I actually did become a big King fan and was especially rooting for her in the famous WImbledon comebacks in the early 80s. It was inspirational stuff.

And yes, hard to believe almost 40 years have flown by since that date Alfa! I have been watching tennis since 1971 - it's hard to believe! Thank God for Video and DVD so I can relive so many memories (when I get time) LOL.

As an aside - I think this is my first stop by here in a long time. But I love dropping by. I am just recovering from 4 horrendous days of food poisoning ... but thankfully am finally feeling better. I hope all of you here are doing well and in good health. It's the most important thing IMO. :wavey:
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Glad to hear you are better TV-there are few things worse than food poisoning.

This is one match I have yet to see. All I recall is a party and lots of bets-with men doing chores for the next week after LOL.

No doubt it put a bang in the tennis boom of the 1970s in the US. From 1973 to 1981 tennis grabbed more headlines day to day than it has before or since.

And a lot of the credit for that goes to Madame Superstar, as Tinling coined BJK. She had the combination of personality and talent to send a jolt of electricity through the sport.

Is the crowd for the Astrodome match still the biggest in tennis history? Hard to believe 30,000 came out that night.

We will celebrate 1973 big time next year. It was a year when so many favs were active-Billie Jean, Court, Evert, Goolagong, and of course the debut of Martina Navratilova.

The book "A Long Way Baby" is a perrenial favorite of mine as it covers the women's tour that year. Though more or less favorable to King, the book was so candid Billie Jean got Grace Liectenstein banned from access to the Slims tour.

2 other books cover the Riggs match:

A Necessary Spectacle (2006) by Selena Roberts.

Game, Set, and Match, Billie jean King and the Revolution in Women;s Sports, by Susan Ware (2011)
It's not the greatest match ... junk baller gets out-junked and is too knackered to make a real match of it. BUT it was the headline match of history perhaps (Lenglen v Wills back in the day).

1973 was perhaps the most exciting year for me with so many great names competing ... Court, King, Evert, Goolagong, Wade, Durr, Richey, Stove, Reid etc. What a year of superstars!

Yes I love "A Long Way Baby". I must get it out and have another read. :)
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