Billie Jean King

Graham sits down with tennis legend and champion for gender equality, Billie Jean King. She shares memories of career highlights, including the famed Battle of the Sexes match against Bobby Riggs, her decision to help form the first women’s league, and her vision for World TeamTennis (WTT). King also discusses her beginnings in the sport and a tense press conference when she first publicly admitted she is gay.

Billie Jean King


Billie Jean King: Loved tennis at first sight

Billie Jean King remembers her start in tennis, working towards earning her first racquet and setting goals as a young teenager to dominate the sport.

Billie Jean King: Mom’s brilliant budgeting lesson

Billie Jean King discusses her upbringing and the first time she stepped into the spotlight, after upsetting the No. 1 seed at Wimbledon.

Billie Jean King: $0 prize for winning Wimbledon

Billie Jean King remembers barely making enough money to live – $14 per day – in the early years of amateur (aka ‘shamateur’) tennis.

Billie Jean King informed she was 2nd-class citizen

Billie Jean King on how her fiance helped her become a feminist, realizing women athletes were not equal to men and the risky decision to break away and form the first-ever women’s tennis series.

Billie Jean King: It doesn’t feel safe to be gay

Billie Jean King discusses the scandal that forced her to come out as gay – despite her publicist urging her to deny the allegations – and internally dealing with slight homophobia.

Billie Jean King: Why tennis is struggling

Billie Jean King offers praise towards Venus and Serena Williams, says tennis players are aging and looks to young stars to help shape the future of the sport.

Billie Jean King on intentionally tanking matches

Billie Jean King regrets throwing matches early in her career – due to stresses in her marriage and the Vietnam War – but doesn’t think it’s prevalent today.

Billie Jean King: Battle of the Sexes impacted all women

Billie Jean King on the enormity of the Battle of the Sexes match against Bobby Riggs, plus addressing women’s rights issues then and now.

Billie Jean King: I want men and women playing together

Billie Jean King discusses the origins of Mylan World TeamTennis (WTT), the benefits of men and women competing together and why WTT is more fan friendly than other professional tennis matches.

Billie Jean King: More women deserve Medal of Freedom

Billie Jean King is appreciative of the recognition by President Obama awarding her the Medal of Freedom, yet stresses that more female athletes should be recognized. She also describes her thoughts as she’s receiving the medal.

Billie Jean King: Elton John wrote me a No. 1 song

Billie Jean King discusses her friendship with Sir Elton John, his initial shyness and when he wrote “Philadelphia Freedom” for King.

Billie Jean King’s tennis lesson for Graham

Billie Jean King offers Graham tennis lessons from the court of an upcoming WTT tournament.