1973 Bobby Riggs Tennis Racquet Used vs. Billy Jean King
This was the racquet that Bobby Riggs used on September 20, 1973. In the most discussed sports event in the history of the United States, Bobby Riggs challenged Billie Jean King to a match dubbed, “The Battle of the Sexes.” During the height of the Women’s Movement, Riggs boasted that he could easily beat the much younger Billie Jean King, based solely on his manhood. King, who had already won 20 Wimbledon titles, became the first woman to earn more than $100,000/year as a pro. She won the match in 3 straight sets, and Riggs graciously admitted afterward that she was too good and too fast. The event was a mix of showmanship and world class tennis. Riggs showed up onto the court in a carriage carried by women, and King showed up in a red velvet litter carried by Houston University football players. The Houston Astrodome drew the largest crowd ever turned out for a tennis match, broadcast on prime time television. The Head racquet with broken frame tells the tale. Frame is broken in 3 places around the strings - quite possible the result of Riggs' disgust after the loss. It could be fixed, but we feel that it adds character and originality to this important piece. Set in a wooden display, matted with canvas with lengthy inscription and signature in black felt tip from Bobby Riggs reads, “Doug, I’m glad you have taken such good care of my tennis racquet - the one that I used and lost before 90 million people around the world in 1973, Bobby Riggs.” Small silver plate below reads, “Bobby Riggs’ Racquet, ‘Battle of the Sexes’ vs. Billy Jean King - Houston Astrodome, 1973.” This was originally obtained directly from Riggs, and the inscription is addressed to our consignor. Comes with LOA and video of the match showing Riggs using the racquet.