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Tennis legend visits Atria Darien

Published 11:39 am, Monday, February 18, 2013
  • Tennis legend Billie Jean King, center, recently spoke at Atria Darien to a group of Darien High School athletes, including, from left, Lauren Rutledge, Samantha Mazzone, Taylor Hardison, Jenna Fritz, Kristie Gilbert, Lexi Perticone, Nicole Schmidt and Margot Sweeney. Photo: Contributed
    Tennis legend Billie Jean King, center, recently spoke at Atria Darien to a group of Darien High School athletes, including, from left, Lauren Rutledge, Samantha Mazzone, Taylor Hardison, Jenna Fritz, Kristie Gilbert, Lexi Perticone, Nicole Schmidt and Margot Sweeney. Photo: Contributed

 

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Tennis great Billie Jean King recently spoke at Atria Darien to a large crowd of residents and Darien High School athletes about equalizing opportunities on and off the playing field.

She fielded questions from the audience and shared her experiences. This year marks the 40th anniversary of her legendary 1973 match with Bobby Riggs, coined "The Battle of the Sexes."

King has one of the most storied careers of any professional athlete, and has helped create a world of opportunity for all athletes, regardless of gender. She was a champion of Title IX legislation, which equalized opportunities for women on a grand scale.

She has 39 Grand Slam singles, doubles and mixed doubles titles, including a record 20 at Wimbledon; successfully fought for equal prize money for men and women tennis players; was the first woman to coach a men's professional team; and the first woman commissioner in the history of professional sports.

She also was the president of the Women's Tennis Association and was elected into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1987.