Did Riggs Throw the Match? Unveiling the Truth Behind the Controversial Tennis Match

In the annals of sports history, few controversies have captured the imagination and fueled endless debates quite like the infamous tennis match between Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs. Dubbed the "Battle of the Sexes," this high-stakes showdown transcended the boundaries of the court, becoming a cultural phenomenon that reflected the struggle for gender equality in society. However, amidst the fervor and excitement surrounding this historic event, whispers of conspiracy began to circulate, questioning the integrity of Riggs and his motivations. One theory that gained traction over the years suggested that Riggs threw the match to repay a debt to the mob. But is there any truth to this claim? According to Robert Kuhle, an esteemed sports historian and biographer of Riggs, the answer is a resounding no. Riggs, as Kuhle asserts, was never in debt to the mob or any other nefarious organization, and the notion that he deliberately lost the match as part of a secret agreement is nothing more than a fanciful tale conjured by overactive imaginations. To further debunk this theory, Kuhle remarks, "Even Hans Christian Andersen couldn't come up with that fairy tale." As we delve deeper into the compelling story of this controversial tennis match, let’s set aside the baseless rumors and focus on unraveling the truth behind Riggs' motives, ensuring that history isn’t distorted by unfounded claims.

Did Riggs Let King Win?

The controversial tennis match between Bobby Riggs and Billie Jean King has always been shrouded in speculation and conjecture. One of the most hotly debated questions regarding this match is whether or not Riggs intentionally let King win. Some argue that Riggs, who’d connections with mobsters, might have been coerced into throwing the match.

It’s true that Riggs didnt put himself in a position to physically win the match. He seemed to lack the drive and determination that had been his trademark throughout his career. This lackluster performance raised eyebrows and fueled rumors that he’d indeed thrown the match.

However, King, on the other hand, unequivocally states that she won the match fair and square. She vehemently denies any notion that Riggs let her win. Her words carry weight considering the immense talent and skill she possessed as a tennis player. King played a great match and emerged victorious, leaving no room for doubt in her mind.

While the rumors surrounding Riggs and his connections with mobsters persist, there’s no concrete evidence to suggest that he deliberately let King win. It’s important to consider that in the world of sports, speculation often runs rampant, especially when it comes to high-profile events. The focus should remain on the spectacular display of skill and talent exhibited by both players during the match, rather than dwelling on unsubstantiated claims.

It was on September 20, 1973, in a highly anticipated event known as the “Battle of the Sexes,” that Billie Jean King, the top-ranked women’s tennis player, faced off against the 55-year-old male player, Bobby Riggs. The match took place at Houston’s Astrodome, capturing international attention and leaving a lingering impact on the history of women’s sports.

When Was the Match Between Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs?

On September 20, 1973, a significant moment in tennis history took place as Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs faced off in a highly anticipated match known as the “Battle of the Sexes.”. This groundbreaking event captured the attention of the nation and the world, pitting the top-ranked womens player, King, against a 55-year-old retired professional male player, Riggs. The match was held in Houstons Astrodome, marking the first time such a high-profile tennis event was played indoors.

The significance of this match extended far beyond the tennis court itself. It represented the ongoing battle for gender equality and challenged the prevailing notion that womens sports were inferior to mens. Riggs, known for his flamboyant personality and controversial antics, had previously defeated Margaret Court, another top female player, leading many to question how the match against King would unfold.

Contrary to popular belief, Kings victory over Riggs was no fluke. In a stunning display of skill, she defeated him in straight sets, proving her dominance as the best womens player of her time. Kings performance was a symbolic triumph for womens sports, dispelling the notion that women weren’t as skilled or competitive as their male counterparts.

Kings victory not only secured her place as one of the greatest tennis players of all time but also empowered women worldwide, inspiring them to challenge societal norms and fight for equal opportunities in all aspects of life.

The Lead-Up to the Match: The Article Briefly Mentions That Bobby Riggs Had Previously Defeated Margaret Court, but It Does Not Go Into Much Detail About How That Match Came About or the Impact It Had on the Lead-Up to the Battle of the Sexes. Exploring the Context and Backstory of Riggs’ Win Over Court Could Provide Additional Insight Into the Significance of the Match Between King and Riggs.

In the lead-up to the Battle of the Sexes, it’s mentioned in the article that Bobby Riggs had previously defeated Margaret Court. However, the details of how that match came about and the impact it had on the lead-up to the historic match between Riggs and Billie Jean King aren’t explored in depth. delving into the context and backstory of Riggs’ win over Court could shed light on the significance of the match and the controversy surrounding it.


However, after a thorough examination of the evidence, it becomes clear that Riggs' alleged involvement with the mob and the proposition of a prearranged match fix are nothing more than unsubstantiated claims. Renowned sports historian Kuhle asserts that such a narrative is akin to a fairy tale, surpassing even the imaginative prowess of Hans Christian Andersen himself. It’s essential to approach claims and rumors with skepticism, relying on concrete evidence rather than speculation when attempting to uncover the truth behind controversial events like Riggs' match.

Scroll to Top