20 September 1973

Billie Jean King beats Bobby Riggs in the Battle of the Sexes tennis match at the Houston Astrodome.

The Battle of the Sexes tennis match was a highly publicized exhibition match between the top women’s tennis player at the time, Billie Jean King, and retired men’s player Bobby Riggs. The match took place on September 20, 1973, at the Houston Astrodome in Texas, and it was broadcast worldwide, drawing millions of viewers.

Riggs, who was 55 years old at the time and had been a former world No. 1 in men’s tennis, had been taunting and challenging female players, claiming that even at his age he could beat any of them. He had previously defeated Margaret Court, the top-ranked women’s player at the time, in a similar exhibition match, which he dubbed the “Mother’s Day Massacre”.

Billie Jean King, who was 29 years old and at the height of her career, accepted Riggs’ challenge, which was widely viewed as a battle between the sexes and a test of women’s equality. King went on to defeat Riggs in straight sets, 6-4, 6-3, 6-3, in a match that lasted over two hours. The victory was seen as a major moment in the fight for gender equality, and King became a feminist icon.

The match had a significant impact on women’s tennis, as well as women’s sports and society as a whole. It helped to raise the profile of women’s tennis and led to increased opportunities and prize money for female players. The Battle of the Sexes also highlighted the ongoing struggle for gender equality and challenged traditional gender roles and stereotypes.