Breakfast With Billie Jean King

Tennis legend dishes on life, love
By Michael Foreman,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 10, 2008 9:58 AM CDT
Breakfast With Billie Jean King
Billie Jean King arrives at The Billie Awards presented by the Women's Sports Foundation in Beverly Hills, Calif. on April 15, 2008. The awards are named in her honor.    (AP Photo/Matt Sayles)

As her book Pressure Is a Privilege hits shelves, tennis legend Billie Jean King discusses life as a feminist icon and her "Battle of the Sexes" victory over Bobby Riggs with Vanity Fair. "It caused social change, that tennis match. It was about Title IX," King says of the 1973 event. "Before 1972 a woman could not get an athletic scholarship."

King doesn't like being called "BJ," apparently doesn't mind helping a reporter make a love connection, and recalls welcoming Renée Richards (who's still her eye doctor) to the tennis tour after her gender-reassignment surgery. King credits Martina Navratilova with helping her adjust after she was outed. "Martina is very comfortable in her own skin," she says. "I am kind of a wuss." (More Vanity Fair stories.)

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