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View Full Version : Bobby Riggs v. Margaret Court


sandy mayer
03-19-2007, 05:29 PM
In this Battle of the Sexes the 50 plus Riggs slaughtered the no.1 women's player Court. It's strange that there's such discrepancy between King v. Riggs (where King won comfortably) and Court v. Riggs. Did Court have a really bad day? Or was it a 'styles' issue, where Riggs' game suited Court but not King?

FitzRoy
03-19-2007, 05:38 PM
I'd say a gambling issue, in the sense that Riggs was a big time sports gambler, and there must have been huge odds in that match.

Frank Silbermann
03-19-2007, 08:39 PM
The conventional wisdom is that Margaret Court was psyched out by Riggs before the match even began. After that, Bobbie Riggs became overconfident and didn't train hard (which is death to a 55 year-old -- they lose conditioning fast), while BJK learned from Court's experience and strengthened herself mentally against Riggs' gamesmanship.

AndrewD
03-20-2007, 07:42 AM
Three reasons.
First one is that Court signed on to play a tennis match but instead found herself in the middle of a circus. Riggs hadn't given her any warning and she froze, plain and simple.
Second reason is far less popular but equally true - Court had just found out she was pregnant, was in the initial stages of morning sickness and had one of those days that every pregnant woman has and her coordination went out the window. It happened again, during her Wimbledon quarter-final, she lost the match and the chance at a second Grand Slam. Not a popular story as it didn't feed the hype from Riggs, the hype from King or the zeitgeist (Court was anti women's lib).
Third reason and equally valid is that , according to Jack Kramer and Pancho Segura, Riggs' lack of fitness enabled King to win (he wasn't fit enough to take advantage of the short balls she kept dishing up). Segura (52 at the time, Riggs was 55) challenged King but, understanding he was a totally different kettle of fish, she refused.

NoBadMojo
03-20-2007, 02:14 PM
Three reasons.
First one is that Court signed on to play a tennis match but instead found herself in the middle of a circus. Riggs hadn't given her any warning and she froze, plain and simple.
Second reason is far less popular but equally true - Court had just found out she was pregnant, was in the initial stages of morning sickness and had one of those days that every pregnant woman has and her coordination went out the window. It happened again, during her Wimbledon quarter-final, she lost the match and the chance at a second Grand Slam. Not a popular story as it didn't feed the hype from Riggs, the hype from King or the zeitgeist (Court was anti women's lib).
Third reason and equally valid is that , according to Jack Kramer and Pancho Segura, Riggs' lack of fitness enabled King to win (he wasn't fit enough to take advantage of the short balls she kept dishing up). Segura (52 at the time, Riggs was 55) challenged King but, understanding he was a totally different kettle of fish, she refused.

had the pleasure of seeing Segura live a couple of times back when some of the super seniors were touring the country...he truly was amazing even in his 50's..quickest hands you could have and really hot wheels....which made up for his diminuitive stature. seriously bowlegged (i understand from childhood rickets). if riggs played segura back then, he'd eat a bagel and a breadstick.

Moose Malloy
03-20-2007, 02:30 PM
had the pleasure of seeing Segura live a couple of times back when some of the super seniors were touring the country...he truly was amazing even in his 50's..quickest hands you could have and really hot wheels....

how was his 2 handed forehand? Kramer, Budge, & Vines have said its the best shot they ever faced.

he really dominated the pros for a few years in the 50s, probably the best to never win a major(turned pro too soon)

NoBadMojo
03-20-2007, 03:08 PM
how was his 2 handed forehand? Kramer, Budge, & Vines have said its the best shot they ever faced.

he really dominated the pros for a few years in the 50s, probably the best to never win a major(turned pro too soon)

yes..that's where you could see how quick his hands were. he could hold the shot...hold the shot, then last second get his hands in the right place at the right time giving his forehand tremendous disquise..and remarkable power for such a little guy

Frank Silbermann
03-20-2007, 09:47 PM
how was his 2 handed forehand? Kramer, Budge, & Vines have said its the best shot they ever faced.

he really dominated the pros for a few years in the 50s, probably the best to never win a major(turned pro too soon) I heard an anectdote in which Segura said to Jack Kramer, "If you didn't have that big serve, you wouldn't be able to beat me." Jack Kramer replied to Pancho Segura, "Yes, but if you didn't have that crazy forehand of yours, you wouldn't be able to get near the court without buying a ticket."

Moose Malloy
03-22-2007, 01:33 PM
Second reason is far less popular but equally true - Court had just found out she was pregnant, was in the initial stages of morning sickness and had one of those days that every pregnant woman has and her coordination went out the window.

She played Riggs in May 1973. Won the French in June '73(against Evert no less) & the US Open in Sept '73. How far along was she in May of '73 that she could play at such a high level until the US Open? Lost in the semis of Wimbledon as well in that span.

AndrewD
03-23-2007, 05:51 PM
She played Riggs in May 1973. Won the French in June '73(against Evert no less) & the US Open in Sept '73. How far along was she in May of '73 that she could play at such a high level until the US Open? Lost in the semis of Wimbledon as well in that span.

For many women, the initial stages of pregnancy (including the first weeks) are the worst they'll experience up to delivery. After a period of time, as the body becomes accustomed to the hormonal changes, it settles (relatively speaking) settles, morning sickness disappears (again, for many women) and they can continue to play sports at a very high level. That was the case with Court, just as it was for Anne Minter and Liz Smylie who both played up to 2 months before giving birth. Women have a high threshold for pain and discomfort, female athletes have an even higher threshold. Court was able to play right up until September of that year, won the US Open and made the final of her next tournament. However, that's when her body said 'enough'. She defaulted to Chris Evert and didn't play again until 1975.

Regardless, that was the irony of the Riggs event: a mother-to-be losing on Mother's Day.

Yes, she lost in the semis of Wimbledon, that's why I said she lost her chance at a second Grand Slam.