Billie Jean King - Bobby Riggs Match Overrated

Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by McEnroeisanartist, Dec 17, 2013.

  1. McEnroeisanartist

    McEnroeisanartist Hall of Fame

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    Does anyone else fail to see how Billie Jean King, then 29 years old, and one year removed from her greatest Grand Slam season, playing then 55 year old, Bobby Riggs, was somehow considered a "Battle of the Sexes. "

    This would basically be Serena Williams (born 9/26/81) playing Bjorn Borg (born 6/6/1956) in 2011.
     
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  2. Rosewall

    Rosewall Rookie

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    Riggs did it to make another buck. Such a shame that Riggs is rememberd as a gambler/con man/fool when he is one of the game's greats. I think it was Kramer who called him one of the best and most underrated players of his generation.

    King did it to boost the womens game considerably by showcasing her all court game and fighting spirit that set the stage for Chrissy to take it to a whole new level.

    Then you had the political environment of the time that blew it up into something symbolic.

    Billie Jean has said herself beating a 59 year old man didn't bring her any satisfaction, but heightening awareness of the game of tennis did. Perfect example of why tennis was so much more interesting back then -- the story within the story within the story... Billie Jean remained close friends with Bobby Riggs. I believe they talked to each other the day before or the very day Riggs died and they were able to tell each other "I love you."

    The history of that match will continue to be retold and rewritten long after we are gone.
     
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  3. Mr.Lob

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    Riggs threw that match to win a bet. A poor job of acting if you take another look at it.
     
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  4. Mr.Lob

    Mr.Lob Hall of Fame

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    Old Borg would still mop the floor with Serenas weave still attached.
     
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  5. Clintspin

    Clintspin Semi-Pro

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    I agree. You have to watch that match to see what is clearly evident, Riggs threw the match. They claim he was tired and over matched and yet the old man was able to run up and jump over the net at the end of the match. At 56 I am not jumping any nets at the end of a match. You see the fake double faults, the slow feet and unnatural unforced errors.
     
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  6. Tshooter

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  7. BTURNER

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    Everyone will see in this match what they were predisposed to see. What you choose to see, tells us more about you than the match.
     
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  8. Rosewall

    Rosewall Rookie

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    This was the JFK-assassination-conspiracy-theory of tennis matches. IMO Riggs lost because of his total lack of preparation and overconfidence after destroying Court. He got outsmarted and outplayed by King. No way did Riggs throw the match. Like the Connors Challenge matches, he had a very lucrative thing going. Had he beaten King, it would have been on to the next thing after that. I don't know if that would have been a match with Chrissy for 2x what he got for playing King, but it would have been better than what he ended up with. If the Battle of the Sexes resulted in record viewership and attendance, what might a Riggs-Chrissy match a year later in 1974 have raked in?

    Speaking of Connors, he learned from Riggs mistakes by preparing for Martina.
     
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  9. NLBwell

    NLBwell Legend

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    I loved that clip. Bobby Riggs made far more money from the Battle of the Sexes and the fame that came with it than he did in his real tennis career.
     
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  10. Clintspin

    Clintspin Semi-Pro

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  11. Azzurri

    Azzurri Legend

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    I thought people knew it was fake....Serena couldn't beat Laver.
     
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  12. NLBwell

    NLBwell Legend

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    Not sure what you are getting at here.
    I'm sure at some point she could have since Laver had a stroke.
     
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  13. Sid_Vicious

    Sid_Vicious G.O.A.T.

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    Didn't Martina have access to the double alleys as well? Can't imagine that Jimbo was sweating it. Especially when you look at the score and how easily he won.
     
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  14. Sid_Vicious

    Sid_Vicious G.O.A.T.

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    Yeah agreed. Laver is just too old at this point and he would be lucky to win a game against Serena in his current state.

    I remember Lleyton Hewitt played an Exhibtion with Rod Laver about 10 years ago and even then, Lleyton was hitting every single shot at snail pace directly to Laver because he was not any shape to compete.
     
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  15. Mr.Lob

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    Did you watch the match? Martina choked big time.Connors won the first set 7-5... Not so easy.
     
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  16. Mr.Lob

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    Pete Rose betting on his team was a conspiracy theory too? Connors admitted to betting a million he wouldn't lose more than 7 games against Martina.

    Look at the facts, and the kind of person and connections Riggs had. Look at a replay of that match. Riggs played as if he just woke up from a year long coma.He played at a 2.5 on service returns. A lot of people in tennis, I.e Chris Evert think he threw that match.
     
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  17. Sid_Vicious

    Sid_Vicious G.O.A.T.

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    Yeah, but he was playing someone who had access to the doubles alley and he was allowed only 1 serve. Winning 7-5 6-2 is very convincing.
     
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  18. Azzurri

    Azzurri Legend

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    Even with a stroke.
     
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  19. Azzurri

    Azzurri Legend

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    Lol....really? You guys need to grow a sense of humor.
     
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  20. robow7

    robow7 Professional

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    The match is on youtube, and it wasn't Martina that choked so much as you could tell in the beginning that Connors was really tight and made a bunch of unforced errors that he normally wouldn't. Once his comfort level came around, it wasn't that close.

    And on the Riggs match, my tennis team buddies and I sat around with our mouths agape because it was so obvious that this guy was playing half assed. Did King ever have to hit a volley below the net or did she ever have to retreat even a step or two on his bunny short lobs? I saw the guy play a tough collegiate player not long after that and he wasn't the same man that evening.
     
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2013
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  21. rockandroll

    rockandroll Banned

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    King and Riggs were actually good friends. That is the funniest thing of all. She said she was devastated when he passed away. That was a tough year for the tennis World- losing all of Riggs, Gonzales, and Gerulaitis within a year.
     
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