One of the worst collapses in sports history was actually very lucrative for the player who benefitted from it. It was a tennis match between a male chauvinist and a female athlete. The winner was Billy Jean King who beat the ostentatious and highly touted tennis exhibitionist Bobby Riggs in 1973 and won $100,000.
Bobby Riggs challenged Billy Jean King to a game of tennis contending that female athletes were not as equal as men in athletics competition even if the odds were in favor of the woman due to the age of the man. He finally succeeded in getting Billy Jean King to agree to the challenge by offering a prize of $100,000. He made that challenge after the collapse of tennis player Margaret Court against Bobby Riggs. Margaret Court was a respectable female tennis player who faced Bobby Riggs in a male versus fesmale atheletic challenge and was humiliated by losing six to two and six to one.
Billy Jean King had repeatedly rejected Bobby Riggs challenges until the purse was up to one hundred thousand dollars and winner take all. Not able to withstand such a tempting offer, Billy Jean King accepted Bobby Riggs challenge. The game was broadcast on live television with thousands of viewers anxious to see Billy Jean King, a good female tennis player, trounced by Bobby Riggs a professional tennis player who had won numerous awards and made a profession of playing challenge tennis matches. The viewing crowd of tennis buffs and sexist sides were stunned literally when Billy Jean King showed superior female strength against the formidable Bobby Riggs who had come out on the court seemingly condescending to Billy Jean King. The crowd watched as Billy Jean King with a slight smile and amazing strength beat the pants off of Bobby Riggs with a score of six to four, King, six to three, King, and six to three, King.
The sexist Bobby Riggs was not a happy camper on September 20, 1973 as a woman beat him at his own game in Houston, Texas, in the Astrodome. The viewing audience was estimated at over forty thousand people although to those watching and the subsequent growth of women’s tennis, it seemed like millions. The collapse of Bobby Riggs a self avowed male chauvinist athlete in front of such a viewing audience changed the world of tennis forever.