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Last Updated: Wednesday, 18 June, 2003, 07:39 GMT 08:39 UK
Wimbledon legends: Billie-Jean King
Billie-Jean King
Born: 22/11/43
Long Beach, California, USA
Wimbledon titles: 1966, 1967, 1968, 1972, 1973, 1975
Runner up: 1963, 1969, 1970
Grand Slam titles: 12
Prize money: $1,996,487

King was probably the greatest-ever competitor at Wimbledon.

She won 20 titles in all at SW19 when you add 10 doubles and four mixed doubles to her six singles titles.

King competed 22 times in 23 years and played a record 265 matches there, losing just 41 of them.

In 1973, she was the last player to win the triple crown of the singles and two doubles championships, with Owen Davidson and Rosie Casals, and she won 39 titles in Grand Slams as a whole.

She first came to Wimbledon as a bespectacled 17-year-old in 1961, under her maiden name of Billie-Jean Moffat.

Over the next two decades she dominated women's tennis with fearsomely confident and aggressive play, a style perfectly suited to Wimbledon.

Her great rival was Australian Margaret Court, who beat her in the finals of 1963 and 1970.

She will be best remembered for a match that has no place in the official records of tennis. In 1973, aged 29, she played 55-year-old Bobby Riggs in a contest titled the Battle of the Sexes.

It was watched by the largest crowd ever to witness a tennis match, 30,492, and 50 million around the world on television. King won 6-4, 6-4, 6-3.

It is away from the court that King has had her greatest, and continuing, influence.

She was a prime mover in the creation of her sport's ruling body, the Women's Tennis Association, and the creation of a professional tour in 1970.

King worked tirelessly to promote the women's game, fighting for equal prize money at Wimbledon as long ago as 1973.





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