Billie Jean King facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts - Homework Help
Billie Jean King
Billie Jean King, 2016 (cropped).jpg
Billie Jean King in 2016
Born
Billie Jean Moffit

November 22, 1943 (1943-11-22) (age 75)
Height 1.64 m (5 ft 5 in)
Billie Jean King
Country United States
College California State University, Los Angeles
Turned pro 1959
Retired 1983
Plays Right-handed (one handed-backhand)
Prize money US$1,966,487
Int. Tennis HOF 1987 (member page)
Singles
Career record 695–155 (81.76%)
Career titles 129 (67 during open era)
Highest ranking No. 1 (1966)
Grand Slam Singles results
Australian Open W (1968)
French Open W (1972)
Wimbledon W (1966, 1967, 1968, 1972, 1973, 1975)
US Open W (1967, 1971, 1972, 1974)
Doubles
Career record 87–37 (as shown on WTA website)
Highest ranking No. 1 (1967)
Grand Slam Doubles results
Australian Open F (1965, 1969)
French Open W (1972)
Wimbledon W (1961, 1962, 1965, 1967, 1968, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1979)
US Open W (1964, 1967, 1974, 1978, 1980)
Mixed Doubles
Career titles 11
Grand Slam Mixed Doubles results
Australian Open W (1968)
French Open W (1967, 1970)
Wimbledon W (1967, 1971, 1973, 1974)
US Open W (1967, 1971, 1973, 1976)
Team Competitions
Fed Cup

W (1963, 1966, 1967, 1976) (as player and captain)

W (1977, 1978, 1979, 1996) (as captain)
Signature
Billie Jean King signature.png

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)

Result Year Tournament Surface Opponent Score
Loss 1963 Wimbledon Grass Australia Margaret Court 3–6, 4–6
Loss 1965 U.S. Championships Grass Australia Margaret Court 6–8, 5–7
Win 1966 Wimbledon Grass Brazil Maria Bueno 6–3, 3–6, 6–1
Win 1967 Wimbledon (2) Grass United Kingdom Ann Haydon-Jones 6–3, 6–4
Win 1967 U.S. Championships Grass United Kingdom Ann Haydon-Jones 11–9, 6–4
Win 1968 Australian Championships Grass Australia Margaret Court 6–1, 6–2
Win 1968 Wimbledon (3) Grass Australia Judy Tegart-Dalton 9–7, 7–5
Loss 1968 US Open Grass United Kingdom Virginia Wade 4–6, 2–6
Loss 1969 Australian Open Grass Australia Margaret Court 4–6, 1–6
Loss 1969 Wimbledon Grass United Kingdom Ann Haydon-Jones 6–3, 3–6, 2–6
Loss 1970 Wimbledon Grass Australia Margaret Court 12–14, 9–11
Win 1971 US Open (2) Grass United States Rosemary Casals 6–4, 7–6(5–2)
Win 1972 French Open Clay Australia Evonne Goolagong 6–3, 6–3
Win 1972 Wimbledon (4) Grass Australia Evonne Goolagong 6–3, 6–3
Win 1972 US Open (3) Grass Australia Kerry Melville Reid 6–3, 7–5
Win 1973 Wimbledon (5) Grass United States Chris Evert 6–0, 7–5
Win 1974 US Open (4) Grass Australia Evonne Goolagong 3–6, 6–3, 7–5
Win 1975 Wimbledon (6) Grass Australia Evonne Goolagong Cawley 6–0, 6–1

Grand Slam tournament timeline

Key
W  F  SF QF #R RR Q# A NH
(W) Won; (F) finalist; (SF) semifinalist; (QF) quarterfinalist; (#R) rounds 4, 3, 2, 1; (RR) round-robin stage; (Q#) qualification round; (A) absent; (NH) not held. SR=strike rate (events won/competed)

Singles

Tournament '59 '60 '61 '62 '63 '64 '65 '66 '67 '68 '69 '70 '71 '72 '73 '74 '75 '76 '77 '78 '79 '80 '81 '82 '83 '84 SR W–L
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 Facts for Kids. Homework Help - Kiddle Encyclopedia.