Thursday, November 23rd, 2017...4:19 am

Player Profile- Billie Jean King

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Billie Jean was born in 1943 and had a pretty athletic family growing up. She started off playing softball until her mom wanted to her play a more lady-like sport which is why she switched to tennis. Billie attended California State University and became a tennis instructor and still competed from 1961 until 1964.

King finally won her first singles championship at Wimbledon in 1966 and defended that title for the next two years. The year after she won her first singles championship, she won the singles championship at the U.S Open and the year after that she won her first Australian Open singles Championship. By 1968 she was ranked at number 1 for women’s tennis and officially became a professional tennis player.

By 1971 Billie won $100,000 in prize money and was the first women athlete to do so. In 1972, Billie won three out of the four grand slam tournaments including the U.S Open, the French Open, and Wimbledon all in one year.

Billie Jean King has changed a few different things about tennis. She pushed for the right of equal prize money for women and was also the first openly gay athlete. King was very passionate about equality and finally by 1973, she threatened to boycott the U.S Open if they did not allow for equal prize money for both men and women.

Billie Jean tried to retired form singles in 1975, but continued to play until 1983 when she finally retired from the sport.

More information about her personal life:

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