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S.) tuned in to watch the Battle of the Sexes match between Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs on Thursday, September 20, 1973.
The match took place at the Houston Astrodome where 30,472 were in attendance, the largest audience to ever watch a tennis match in the United States. À la Cleopatra, Billy Jean King entered the tennis court on a feather-adorned litter carried by four muscular bare-chested men dressed like ancient slaves.
King tells her own story with interviews from players who knew her, including Rosie Casals. Though it was somewhat obvious that, like in the movie, Riggs was a showman and his chauvinism was largely an act he put on to hype up his Battle of the Sexes match against Billy Jean King.
As depicted in the movie, during one of his real-life rants he stated, "Women belong in the bedroom and kitchen, in that order." A press conference for the much-hyped match found Riggs stating, "I'll tell you why I'll win.
She's a woman and they don't have the emotional stability." King replied by calling Riggs a "creep." Riggs even took shots at King's battle for equal pay for women players, saying, "Women play about 25 percent as good as men, so they should get about 25 percent of the money men get." true story, we discovered that Wheelan was Riggs' second wife.
They were married in 1952 and divorced in 1971, less than two years before the Battle of the Sexes match.
"Anything that's going to make you healthy and stronger, I'm going to go with it," said Riggs.
Though he's seen taking bunches of pills at a time in the interview, it's likely that Riggs was exaggerating this as part of his act in the lead up to the Battle of the Sexes match. He was twice the United States singles champion, winning the US Open in 19. The match took place at the San Diego Country Estates, 38 miles northeast of San Diego.
Wheelan's family was very wealthy and the sole owner of the million American Photograph Corp.
Riggs had challenged Billie Jean King before he played Margaret Court, but she had declined.
After beating Court, Riggs continued flaunting his claim and the 29-year-old King accepted his challenge, viewing the match not as a publicity stunt but rather a chance to defend women's tennis and gender equality as a whole.
"I thought it would set us back 50 years if I didn't win that match," King said later.
"It would ruin the women's tour and affect all women's self-esteem." Billie Jean King had been fighting for equal pay in tennis, as emphasized by her character's scenes with Jack Kramer (Bill Pullman) in the movie.
I came into the company after having been a celebrity. And now they wanted me to start at the bottom, sweeping floors or something.