Billie Jean King facts for kids
Quick facts for kids
Billie Jean King
Billie Jean King in 2016
Billie Jean Moffit
November 22, 1943
Long Beach, California, U.S.
|Height||1.64 m (5 ft 5 in)|
Billie Jean King (born Billie Jean Moffitt on November 22, 1943 in Long Beach, California) is an American retired tennis player. She is considered one of the greatest female tennis players. She won many championships during her career, which started in 1959 and ended in 1983. She was known for speaking against sexism in sports and society. She started the Women's Tennis Association, World TeamTennis, and the Women's Sports Foundation. Her most famous match was in 1973. It was called "The Battle of the Sexes" and was with Bobby Riggs, who had been a champion in the 1930s and 1940s. She loved playing tennis but had to stop after an injury.
Her brother is baseball player Randy Moffitt.
Billie Jean King grew up poor. It was hard for her parents to support her. Her father was an engineer for a fire department. Her mother was a housekeeper. Her father had two jobs. Her mother sold Tupperware to pay for King’s tennis competitions. King’s family could not pay to join their local tennis club. Therefore, King learned at public tennis courts.
King was interested in fighting for the rights of women in tennis. When she was seventeen years old, King played doubles in Wimbledon. She and her partner, Karen Hantze, won the match. They became the youngest women players to win that match at Wimbledon. Even though she won this competition, she didn't want to focus on tennis completely yet.
King joined a community college and married Larry King. The marriage ended in 1987 after Billie Jean fell in love with her doubles partner, Ilana Kloss. Billie Jean and Larry remained on good terms, with Billie Jean serving as godmother to Larry's son from his subsequent marriage. Billie Jean King has residences in New York City and Chicago with Kloss, her life partner.
She is famous for winning a competition called the Battle of the Sexes against Bobby Riggs in 1973. This was one of the first tennis matches when a man played against a woman. Winning this match really helped her speak about sexism. She used tennis and the Battle of the Sexes to prove that women are as good at sports as men. She was important in tennis and helped the voice of women.
In 2018, she won the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Lifetime Achievement Award.
Grand Slam statistics
Grand Slam single finals
18 finals (12 titles, 6 runner-ups)
|Loss||1963||Wimbledon||Grass||Margaret Court||3–6, 4–6|
|Loss||1965||U.S. Championships||Grass||Margaret Court||6–8, 5–7|
|Win||1966||Wimbledon||Grass||Maria Bueno||6–3, 3–6, 6–1|
|Win||1967||Wimbledon (2)||Grass||Ann Haydon-Jones||6–3, 6–4|
|Win||1967||U.S. Championships||Grass||Ann Haydon-Jones||11–9, 6–4|
|Win||1968||Australian Championships||Grass||Margaret Court||6–1, 6–2|
|Win||1968||Wimbledon (3)||Grass||Judy Tegart-Dalton||9–7, 7–5|
|Loss||1968||US Open||Grass||Virginia Wade||4–6, 2–6|
|Loss||1969||Australian Open||Grass||Margaret Court||4–6, 1–6|
|Loss||1969||Wimbledon||Grass||Ann Haydon-Jones||6–3, 3–6, 2–6|
|Loss||1970||Wimbledon||Grass||Margaret Court||12–14, 9–11|
|Win||1971||US Open (2)||Grass||Rosemary Casals||6–4, 7–6(5–2)|
|Win||1972||French Open||Clay||Evonne Goolagong||6–3, 6–3|
|Win||1972||Wimbledon (4)||Grass||Evonne Goolagong||6–3, 6–3|
|Win||1972||US Open (3)||Grass||Kerry Melville Reid||6–3, 7–5|
|Win||1973||Wimbledon (5)||Grass||Chris Evert||6–0, 7–5|
|Win||1974||US Open (4)||Grass||Evonne Goolagong||3–6, 6–3, 7–5|
|Win||1975||Wimbledon (6)||Grass||Evonne Goolagong Cawley||6–0, 6–1|
Grand Slam tournament timeline
|Australian Open||A||A||A||A||A||A||SF||A||A||W||F||A||A||A||A||A||A||A||A/A||A||A||A||A||QF||2R||A||1 / 5||16–4|
|French Open||A||A||A||A||A||A||A||A||QF||SF||QF||QF||A||W||A||A||A||A||A||A||A||QF||A||3R||A||A||1 / 7||21–6|
|Wimbledon||A||A||2R||QF||F||SF||SF||W||W||W||F||F||SF||W||W||QF||W||A||QF||QF||QF||QF||A||SF||SF||A||6 / 21||95–15|
|US Open||1R||3R||2R||1R||4R||QF||F||2R||W||F||QF||A||W||W||3R||W||A||A||QF||A||SF||A||A||1R||A||A||4 / 18||63–14|
|SR||0 / 1||0 / 1||0 / 2||0 / 2||0 / 2||0 / 2||0 / 3||1 / 2||2 / 3||2 / 4||0 / 4||0 / 2||1 / 2||3 / 3||1 / 2||1 / 2||1 / 1||0 / 0||0 / 2||0 / 1||0 / 2||0 / 2||0 / 0||0 / 4||0 / 2||0 / 0||12 / 51||195–39|
- Note: The Australian Open was held twice in 1977, in January and December.
Images for kids
Billie Jean King speaking at an event in Des Moines, Iowa
Billie Jean King Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.