A look back at local, national and world events through Deseret News archives.

On this day in 1973, in tennis’ first so-called “Battle of the Sexes,” Bobby Riggs defeated Margaret Court 6-2, 6-1 in Ramona, California.

Some background: Riggs was a U.S. tennis star who was ranked as the top American amateur in 1939, and later the top professional in 1946 and 1947. Career highlights included winning the Wimbledon singles title as a 21-year-old in 1939, and several Grand Slam doubles titles through the years.

In the 1960s and ’70s, Riggs became more of a hustler, arranging grudge matches and challenges.

In early 1973, he said he saw a way to publicize the sport — and make some money — and pronounced the women’s game inferior to the men’s game. He challenged Billie Jean King to play him, and when she refused, he convinced Court to play him on Mother’s Day in 1973.

Using lob shots and tricky angle shots, Riggs dominated the 30-year-old Court in a quick match that some dubbed the “Mother’s Day Massacre.”

Of course, this was the era of the women’s liberation movement and Riggs was an easy figure to despise. At the time, Riggs said he was right in his personal crusade against equal pay between men and women.

King decided enough was enough, and agreed to meet the hustler on Sept. 20 in a televised event in the Houston Astrodome.

The buildup was huge. The oddsmakers and tennis writers favored Riggs in the “Battle of the Sexes,” a $100,000 winner-take-all event.

Riggs led early, but King dominated in straight sets, winning 6-4, 6-3, 6-3.

Here is some of the coverage of Riggs through the years:

Riggs vs. King match still resonates with fans

Billie Jean beats Bobby Riggs again

Tennis champ Billie Jean King battles Bobby Riggs and her closeted private life in ‘Battle of the Sexes’

Movie shows what went wrong

And this hilarious piece by colleague Lee Benson:

Athletes snuggling up to the art of hugging

And ESPN’s “Outside the Lines” hinted Riggs lost the match on purpose.

And finally, Riggs said he had moved on:

Tennis player Riggs says he quit war on women

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We were there: See Deseret News front pages from 45 big moments in Utah, world history