159 Facts About Billie Jean King


Billie Jean King is an American former world No 1 tennis player.


Billie Jean King was a member of the victorious United States team in seven Federation Cups and nine Wightman Cups.


Billie Jean King is an advocate of gender equality and has long been a pioneer for equality and social justice.


Billie Jean King was the founder of the Women's Tennis Association and the Women's Sports Foundation.


Billie Jean King was instrumental in persuading cigarette brand Virginia Slims to sponsor women's tennis in the 1970s and went on to serve on the board of their parent company Philip Morris in the 2000s.


Billie Jean King has received the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Sunday Times Sportswoman of the Year lifetime achievement award.


Billie Jean King was inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame in 1990, and in 2006, the USTA National Tennis Center in New York City was renamed the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.

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Billie Jean Moffitt was born in Long Beach, California, into a conservative Methodist family, the daughter of Betty, a housewife, and Bill Moffitt, a firefighter.


Billie Jean King's family was athletic; her mother excelled at swimming, and her father played basketball and baseball, and ran track.


Billie Jean King switched from softball to tennis at age 11, because her parents suggested she should find a more 'ladylike' sport.


Billie Jean King saved her own money, $8, to buy her first racket.


Billie Jean King went with a school friend to take her first tennis lesson on the many free public courts in Long Beach, taking advantage of the free lessons offered by professional Clyde Walker, who worked for the City of Long Beach.


Billie Jean King did not graduate, leaving school in 1964 to focus on tennis.


Billie Jean King won a career Grand Slam in mixed doubles.


Billie Jean King played 51 Grand Slam singles events from 1959 through 1983, reaching at least the semi-finals in 27 and at least the quarterfinals in 40 of her attempts.


Billie Jean King was the runner-up in six Grand Slam singles events.


Billie Jean King won 129 singles titles, 78 of which were WTA titles, and her career prize money totaled US$1,966,487.


Billie Jean King won the last 30 matches she played, including 15 straight wins in both singles and doubles.


Billie Jean King made her Grand Slam debut at the 1959 US Championships at age 15.


Billie Jean King began playing at local, regional, and international tennis championships.


At her second attempt at the US Championships, Billie Jean King made it to the third round, losing to Bernice Carr Vukovich of South Africa.


Billie Jean King first gained international recognition in 1961 when the Long Beach Tennis Patrons, the Century Club, and Harold Guiver raised $2,000 to send her to Wimbledon.


Billie Jean King was 17 and Hantze was 18, making them the youngest team to win the Wimbledon Doubles Title.


Billie Jean King had less luck that year in the 1961 Wimbledon Women's Singles, losing to fifth-seeded Yola Ramirez Ochoa in a two-day match on Centre Court.


In 1964, Billie Jean King won four relatively minor titles but lost to Margaret Court in the Wimbledon semi-finals.

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Billie Jean King defeated Ann Haydon-Jones at both the Wightman Cup and Fed Cup but lost to Court in the final of the Federation Cup.


Late in the year, Billie Jean King decided to make a full-time commitment to tennis.


In early 1965, Billie Jean King continued her three-month tour of Australia.


Billie Jean King lost in the final of the South Australian Championships and the first round of the Western Australia Championships.


Billie Jean King won the last seven Grand Slam singles finals she contested, six of them in straight sets and four of them against Evonne Goolagong.


Billie Jean King was the year-ending World No 1 in six of the ten years from 1966 through 1975.


Billie Jean King was the year-ending World No 2 in three of those years and the World No 3 in the other year.


Billie Jean King won 97 of her career 129 singles titles during this period and was the runner-up in 36 other tournaments.


Billie Jean King ended her nine-match losing streak to Margaret Court by defeating her in the final of the South African Tennis Championships.


Billie Jean King won the women's singles in the Ojai Tennis Tournament.


At the Wightman Cup just before Wimbledon, Billie Jean King defeated Virginia Wade and Ann Haydon-Jones.


Billie Jean King credited her semi-final victory to her forehand down the line, a new shot in her repertoire.


Billie Jean King successfully defended her title at the South African Tennis Championships in 1967, defeating Maria Bueno in the final.


Billie Jean King played the French Championships for the first time in her career, falling in the quarterfinals to Annette Van Zyl DuPlooy of South Africa.


At the Federation Cup one week later in West Germany on clay, Billie Jean King won all four of her matches, including victories over DuPlooy, Ann Haydon-Jones, and Helga Niessen Masthoff.


At the Wightman Cup, Billie Jean King again defeated Wade and Jones.


Billie Jean King won her second Grand Slam singles title of the year when she won the US Championships for the first time and without losing a set, defeating Wade, DuPlooy, Francoise Durr, and Jones in consecutive matches.


Billie Jean King won the singles, women's doubles, and mixed doubles titles at both Wimbledon and the US Championships, the first woman to do that since Alice Marble in 1939.


Billie Jean King then returned to the Australian summer tour in December for the first time since 1965, playing seven events there and Judy Tegart-Dalton in six of those events.


Billie Jean King lost in the quarterfinals of the New South Wales Championships in Sydney to Dalton after Billie Jean King injured her left knee in the second game of the third set of that match.

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However, Billie Jean King won the Victorian Championships in Melbourne the following week, defeating Dalton, Reid, and Lesley Turner Bowrey in the last three rounds.


In early 1968, Billie Jean King won three consecutive tournaments to end her Australian tour.


In Perth, Billie Jean King won the Western Australia Championships, defeating Margaret Court in the final.


In Hobart, Billie Jean King won the Tasmanian Championships by defeating Judy Tegart-Dalton in the final.


Billie Jean King then won the Australian Championships for the first time, defeating Dalton in the semi-finals and Court in the final.


Billie Jean King continued to win tournaments upon her return to the United States, winning three indoor tournaments before Nancy Richey Gunter defeated Billie Jean King in the semi-finals of the Madison Square Garden Challenge Trophy amateur tournament in New York City before 10,233 spectators.


Billie Jean King then won three consecutive tournaments in Europe before losing to Ann Haydon-Jones in the final of a professional tournament at Madison Square Garden.


Billie Jean King rebounded to win her third consecutive Wimbledon singles title, defeating Jones in the semi-finals and Dalton in the final.


At the US Open, Billie Jean King defeated Bueno in a semi-final before being upset in the final by Virginia Wade.


Billie Jean King said that it took eight months for her knee to recover completely from the surgery.


In 1977, Billie Jean King said that her doctors predicted in 1968 that her left knee would allow her to play competitive tennis for only two more years.


Billie Jean King participated in the 1969 Australian summer tour for the second consecutive year.


Unlike the previous year, Billie Jean King did not win a tournament.


Billie Jean King lost in the quarterfinals of the Tasmanian Championships and the semi-finals of the New South Wales Championships.


Billie Jean King then won two tournaments in South Africa, including the South African Open.


The week after, Billie Jean King again defeated Wade to win the Irish Open for the second time in her career.


Billie Jean King finished the year with titles at the Pacific Southwest Open in Los Angeles, the Stockholm Indoors, and the Midland Pro.


Billie Jean King lost to Court three times in the first four months of the year, in Philadelphia, Dallas, and Johannesburg.


Court was not totally dominant during this period as Billie Jean King defeated her in Sydney and Durban, South Africa.


In Wightman Cup competition two weeks before Wimbledon but played at the All England Club, Billie Jean King defeated both Wade and Ann Haydon-Jones in straight sets.

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Billie Jean King started the year by winning eight of the first thirteen tournaments she played, defeating Rosemary Casals in seven finals.


At the time, Billie Jean King said that retiring from the match with Evert after splitting the first two sets was necessary because of leg cramps.


Four weeks later at the Queen's Club tournament in London, Billie Jean King played Margaret Court for the first time in 1971, losing their final.


Billie Jean King then played two clay court tournaments in Europe, winning neither, before resuming play in the United States.


Billie Jean King then switched back to grass and won the US Open without losing a set, defeating Evert in the semi-finals and Casals in the final.


Billie Jean King then won the tournaments in Louisville, Phoenix, and London.


Billie Jean King lost in Christchurch to Durr and in Auckland to Kerry Melville Reid.


Billie Jean King won three Grand Slam singles titles in 1972, electing not to play the Australian Open despite being nearby when she played in New Zealand in late 1971.


At the beginning of the year, Billie Jean King failed to win eight of the first ten tournaments she played.


Billie Jean King won the title in Richmond; however, one week later, Billie Jean King lost in the semi-finals of the tournament in San Juan.


Billie Jean King won the tournaments in Tucson and Indianapolis.


Billie Jean King then won the French Open without losing a set and completed a career Grand Slam.


Billie Jean King defeated Virginia Wade in the quarterfinals, Helga Niessen Masthoff in the semi-finals, and Goolagong in the final.


Billie Jean King lost only one set during the tournament, to Wade in the quarterfinals.


At the US Open Billie Jean King won the tournament without losing a set, including a quarterfinal win over Wade, a semi-final defeat of Court, and a final win over Kerry Melville Reid.


Billie Jean King finished the year by winning the tournaments in Charlotte and Phoenix, a runner-up finish in Oakland, and a semifinal finish at the year-end championships in Boca Raton.


Indianapolis was followed by five tournaments that Billie Jean King failed to win.


Billie Jean King completed the Triple Crown at Wimbledon, thus becoming the first, and only, player to do so at Wimbledon in the Open Era.


In 1973, Billie Jean King defeated Bobby Riggs in an exhibition match, winning $100,000.


Billie Jean King won the Wimbledon men's singles title in 1939, and was considered the World No 1 male tennis player for 1941,1946, and 1947.

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Billie Jean King then became a self-described tennis "hustler" who played in promotional challenge matches.


Billie Jean King won five of the first seven tournaments she contested in 1974.


Billie Jean King won the Virginia Slims of San Francisco, defeating Nancy Richey Gunter in the semi-finals and Chris Evert in the final.


Billie Jean King then won tournaments in Fairfax, Virginia and Detroit before losing a semi-final match to Virginia Wade in Chicago.


Billie Jean King defeated Rosemary Casals in a straight sets quarterfinal, avenged in the semi-finals her previous year's loss to Julie Heldman, and narrowly defeated Evonne Goolagong in the final.


Billie Jean King did not reach a tournament final during the remainder of the year, losing to Heldman in an Orlando semi-final, Wade in a Phoenix semi-final, and Goolagong in a semi-final of the tour-ending Virginia Slims Championships in Los Angeles.


In 1975, Billie Jean King played singles only half the year, as she retired from tournament singles competition immediately after winning her sixth Wimbledon singles title.


Billie Jean King began the year in San Francisco, defeating Francoise Durr and Virginia Wade before losing to Chris Evert in the final.


Billie Jean King said after the match that she was cheated out of the match and that she had never been angrier about a match.


Billie Jean King played only one of the Wimbledon warm-up tournaments, defeating Olga Morozova in the Eastbourne semi-finals before losing to Wade in the final.


Billie Jean King partnered Phil Dent to the mixed doubles title at the US Open.


Billie Jean King lost to Dianne Fromholtz Balestrat in both of the singles tournaments she played the remainder of the year.


Billie Jean King spent the first three months of the year rehabilitating her right knee after surgery in November 1976.


In March 1977, Billie Jean King requested that the Women's Tennis Association exercise its right to grant a wild card entry to Billie Jean King for the eight-player Virginia Slims Championships at Madison Square Garden in New York City.


Billie Jean King then decided to play the Lionel Cup tournament in San Antonio, Texas, which the WTA harshly criticized because tournament officials there had allowed Renee Richards, a transgender athlete, to enter.


Billie Jean King didn't have to choose a 'disputed' tournament.


Billie Jean King defeated another clay court specialist, Virginia Ruzici, in the second round before winning only one game from Evert in the final.


Billie Jean King won five of the eight tournaments she entered plus both of her Wightman Cup matches.


Billie Jean King defeated Navratilova all four times they played, including three times in three consecutive weeks, and beat Wimbledon champion Virginia Wade twice.


Billie Jean King lost to Tyler in the second round in Palm Harbor, Florida and Fromholtz Balestrat in the semi-finals in Atlanta.

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Billie Jean King then won three hard court tournaments in three consecutive weeks.


Billie Jean King defeated Navratilova and Wendy Turnbull to win in Phoenix, losing only four points to Turnbull in the third set of the final.


Billie Jean King played ten singles tournaments during the first half of 1978, limiting herself to doubles after Wimbledon.


At the Virginia Slims Championships, Billie Jean King lost her first round robin match to Virginia Wade and defaulted her two remaining round robin matches because of a leg injury sustained during the first match.


Billie Jean King won a total of only two points during the last two games.


Billie Jean King teamed with Navratilova to win the women's doubles title at the US Open, Billie Jean King's fourth women's doubles title at that tournament and fourteenth Grand Slam women's doubles title overall.


Billie Jean King returned to singles competition at the Wimbledon warm-up tournament in Chichester.


Billie Jean King partnered with Navratilova at Wimbledon to win Billie Jean King's 20th and final Wimbledon title, breaking Elizabeth Ryan's longstanding record of 19 Wimbledon titles just one day after Ryan collapsed and died at Wimbledon.


Billie Jean King ended the year with a quarterfinal loss in Melbourne, a second round loss in Sydney, and a three-set semi-final loss to Austin in Tokyo.


Billie Jean King then lost her second round robin match to Navratilova and defeated Wendy Turnbull in an elimination round match, before losing to Tracy Austin in the semi-finals.


Billie Jean King played the 1980 French Open, her first time since she won the event in 1972 and completed a career singles Grand Slam.


Billie Jean King was seeded second but lost in the quarterfinals to fifth-seeded Dianne Fromholtz Balestrat of Australia.


Billie Jean King then hit four volley errors, enabling Navratilova to break serve at love and even the match.


Billie Jean King had a spare pair, but they did not feel the same.


Billie Jean King saved two match points before Navratilova broke serve to win the match.


Billie Jean King teamed with Navratilova to win Billie Jean King's 39th and final Grand Slam title at the US Open.


In 1982, Billie Jean King began a comeback, winning the Wimbledon warm-up tournament the 1982 Edgbaston Cup in Birmingham, her first singles title in more than two years.


Billie Jean King was 38 years old and the twelfth-seed at Wimbledon.


Billie Jean King became the oldest WTA player to win a singles tournament when she won the Edgbaston Cup grass court tournament in Birmingham at 39 years, 7 months and 23 days after a straight-sets victory in the final against Alycia Moulton.


The final official singles match of Billie Jean King's career was a second round loss to Catherine Tanvier at the 1983 Australian Open.

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Billie Jean King retired from competitive play in doubles in March 1990.


Billie Jean King became the captain of the United States Fed Cup team and coach of its women's Olympic tennis squad.


Billie Jean King guided the US to the Fed Cup championship in 1996 and helped Lindsay Davenport, Gigi Fernandez, and Mary Joe Fernandez capture Olympic gold medals.


In 2002, Billie Jean King dismissed Capriati from the Fed Cup team, saying Capriati had violated rules that forbade bringing along and practicing with personal coaches.


In 1967, Billie Jean King criticized the United States Lawn Tennis Association in a series of press conferences, denouncing what she called the USLTA's practice of "shamateurism", where top players were paid under the table to guarantee their entry into tournaments.


Billie Jean King argued that this was corrupt and kept the game highly elitist.


Billie Jean King quickly became a significant force in the opening of tennis to professionalism.


In 1971, her husband, Larry Billie Jean King created the idea to form a nine player women's group with the financial backing of World Tennis magazine founder Gladys Heldman and the sponsorship of Virginia Slims chairman Joe Cullman.


Billie Jean King became the first woman athlete to earn over US$100,000 in prize money; however, inequalities continued.


Billie Jean King won the US Open in 1972 but received US$15,000 less than the men's champion Ilie Nastase.


Billie Jean King stated that she would not play the next year if the prize money was not equal.


Billie Jean King led player efforts to support the first professional women's tennis tour in the 1970s called the Virginia Slims, founded by Gladys Heldman and funded by Joseph Cullman of Philip Morris.


Once the tour took flight, Billie Jean King worked tirelessly to promote it even though many of the other top players were not supportive.


Billie Jean King became league commissioner in 1982 and major owner in 1984.


Billie Jean King is a member of the Board of Honorary Trustees for the Sports Museum of America, which opened in 2008.


Billie Jean King remained involved with World Team Tennis for decades, eventually sharing ownership with her ex-husband, her life partner Ilana Kloss and USTA.


In 2017, Billie Jean King sold her majority ownership stake of the league to Mark Ein and Fred Luddy.


In 1999, Billie Jean King was elected to serve on the board of directors of Philip Morris Incorporated, garnering some criticism from anti-tobacco groups.


Billie Jean King served on the President's Council for Fitness, Sports and Nutrition as a way to encourage young people to stay active.


Billie Jean King was forced to drop out of the delegation due to her mother's ill health.

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Betty Moffitt, Billie Jean King's mother, died on February 7,2014, the day of the 2014 Winter Olympics opening ceremony.


Billie Jean was selected to deliver the Northwestern University commencement address on June 16,2017, in Evanston, Illinois.


Billie Jean King attended the 75th Golden Globe Awards in 2018 as a guest of Emma Stone.


Margaret Court, who won more Grand Slam titles than anyone, has said that Billie Jean King was "the greatest competitor I've ever known".


Billie Jean King is my mentor and has given me advice about my tennis and my boyfriends.


Billie Jean King learned to play tennis on the public courts of Long Beach, California, and was coached by tennis teacher Clyde Walker.


Billie Jean King furthered her tennis career at the Los Angeles Tennis Club.


One of the reasons I've never gotten close to Billie Jean is that I've never felt strong enough to survive against that overwhelming personality of hers.


Billie Jean King was the one who was able to channel everything into winning, into being the most consummate tennis player.


Billie Jean King doesn't want to risk appearing weak in front of anybody.


Billie Jean King told me once that if you want to be the best, you must never let anyone, anyone, know what you really feel.


Billie Jean credited Larry with introducing her to feminism and for pushing her to pursue tennis as a career.


Billie Jean later said she "was totally in love with Larry" when they married.


Also in 1971, Billie Jean King had an abortion that was made public in a Ms.