5 Things to Know about Battle of the Sexes between Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs

AllsportUK /Allsport

20 Sep 1973: Bobby Riggs comes off court defeated by Billie Jean-King after a Battle of the Sexes Challenge Match held at the Astrodome, in Houston, Texas. Credit: AllsportUK /Allsport

HOUSTON - On this day in 1973, the Battle of the Sexes tennis match between Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs took place at the Astrodome in Houston, Texas.

The Battle of the Sexes match came about after Bobby Riggs had challenged Billie Jean King to a best of five set match, stating no woman could beat him.

Here are some things to know about the match:

The second Battle of the Sexes

The Houston match was the second such match dubbed Battle of the Sexes. After King declined Riggs' invitation for a match, Margaret Court, 30, stepped up to play him in a match on May 13, 1973, in Ramona, California. Riggs soundly beat her in straight sets, 6-2, 6-1.

King fell behind, then won

After seeing Court's defeat, King accepted Riggs' invitation. On Sept. 20, 1973, a 29-year-old King proved Riggs, 55, wrong and won the match in straight sets with a 6-4, 6-3, 6-3 win at the Astrodome.

Huge audience on TV

At the time it was watched by the biggest ever audience for a tennis match, with a crowd of over 30,472 watching at the arena and another 40 million watching on television sets around the world.

Allegations surrounded outcome

There was speculation after the match that Riggs purposely threw it in order to win money placed on betting against himself, but the allegations were never proven true. Riggs reportedly took a lie detector test to prove that he did not throw the match.

Match helped launch women's tennis

King was part of a group of women called the Original 9, forming the Virginia Slims Series. The group eventually morphed into the Women's Tennis Association.

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