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Bobby Riggs
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Tennis Player
    (February 25, 1918-October 25, 1995)
    Won Wimbledon (1939) and the US Open (1939,41)
    Ranked number one in the world as an amateur (1941) and professional (1946,47)
    Inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame (1967)
    Lost the 'Battle of the Sexes' to Billie Jean King (September 20, 1973)
    As an adult he was still called Bobby.
    After retiring from the pro tennis circuit, he became a hustler who would attract bets by playing with handicaps such as using a frying pan in place of a racquet.
    He declared himself the world's biggest male chauvinist pig and boasted, 'Even an old man like me with one foot in the grave could beat any woman player.'
    He tried to revive the Battle of the Sexes by teaming with Vitas Gerulaitis and playing the top women's double partnership, Martina Navratralova and Pam Shriver. Interest quickly faded when Riggs and Gerulaitis lost (1985).
    Jack Kramer called him the 'most underrated of all the top players.'
    He was smaller than other leading players but made up for it with ball control and a mastery of court strategy.
    He won $105,000 by betting $500 on himself to win the singles, doubles and mixed doubles titles at Wimbledon.
    He beat the #1 ranked woman, Margaret Smith Court (May 13, 1973).
    The Battle of the Sexes attracted more attention to tennis - women's tennis in particular - than any previous event.
    Shortly before his death, he said to King, 'We really made a difference, didn't we?'

Credit: C. Fishel

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