Last year we saw Billie Jean King’s tennis racket from her 1973 Battle of the Sexes match with former champion Bobby Riggs realise $125,000.
Now Riggs’ racket is up for grabs at Goldin Auctions, albeit with a lower opening bid of $10,000.
Bobby Riggs was spectacularly beaten in the 1973 game
Riggs was a superb player who held the US top spot for a long while in the 1930s and 1940s.
He was also an avowed sexist, who was convinced female players were inferior to men. After months of baiting the media, he arranged to take on America’s top women tennis stars.
In his first match in May 1973 he roundly trounced number one player Margaret Court, who wrongly assumed the game would be a friendly affair.
But Riggs was playing to win and had carefully studied Court’s game.
Five months later he took on King. She beat him in straight sets, a defeat Riggs did not take particularly well.
Riggs gifted the racket to friend Doug Dean, later adding the accompanying note:
“Doug I’m glad you have taken such good care of my tennis racket the one that I used and lost before 90 Million People around the world in 1973 – Bobby Riggs”.
The Battle of the Sexes contest was recently adapted into a hit film starring Steve Carrell as Riggs and Emma Stone as King.
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