"What she gave to the game is what you would call priceless."
On the heels of ESPN's Venus Vs. film, the PBS documentary series American Masters will profile an athlete for the first time when its piece on Billie Jean King airs on September 10, just after the conclusion of the U.S. Open, the major event where she won 13 of her 39 Grand Slam titles across singles, doubles, and mixed doubles draws. That last field, mixed doubles, in a way becomes the focus of this film, as BJK campaigned for equal prize money but equal opportunities, period, "for boys and girls, men and women" when she embarked on a career that saw her reach No. 1 in the world, take on the chauvinistic Bobby Riggs in a televised match dubbed "The Battle of the Sexes," and do much more. Here's a preview of the PBS film:
As you see, those in the limelight from Chris Evert to Elton John to Venus Williams sit down for interviews about Billie's influence. That "Sexes" match marks its 40th anniversary this year, as does the WTA Tour that she co-founded and kick-started. See the American Masters page for more information—and get ready for a great show. This is a story that can't really be told too often.
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