‘There’d Be No Billie Without..’- Tennis Takes Center Stage at Saturday Night Live as Epic Event Gets Recreated After Decades

Published 11/19/2023, 7:36 AM EST

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Re-imagine looking back to the moment that revolutionized tennis nearly 50 years ago. The match in 1973, tagged as the ‘Battle of the Sexes’, the popular clash between Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs, made headlines once again. But this time not on the tennis court but on the television screens. That was apparently the case in the most recent Saturday Night Live episode, which streamed on Netflix’s Untold series.

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The episode that was telecasted on November 18, not only recapped the historic struggle for equal pay between male and female tennis players. It also focused on the background of the match and highlighted a related incident that happened even earlier.

Saturday Night Live looks back to the iconic Billie Jean King moment

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Every tennis fan, once in their lifetime, has watched the iconic clash between the WTA legend, BJK, and Riggs, where the victory changed the whole scenario of women’s tennis. While the 12-time Grand Slam champion won the match and created history, she was not the first one to pull the string against a male tennis player on the court.

But recently, Saturday Night Live’s latest revisionist history episode looked beyond it with a similar clash, just like the Battle of the Sexes. The episode focused on another tennis match-up between Charna Lee Diamond and her male opponent, Ronnie Dunster, explaining how Lee Diamond was the one who paved the way for female tennis, even before the 79-year-old American veteran did.

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Although she was a lower-ranked tennis player, and found it difficult to come up with a victory against her 300-pound opponent. In addition, Ronnie Dunster said in the episode that, “it was definitely the f*cking weirdest game of tennis I’ve ever played.” But at the same time, one journalist highlighted how things would have not been the same if Charna Lee Diamond had never put an effort into playing against a male opponent. She stated, “There’d be no Billie without Charna, There just wouldn’t be.”

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Subsequently, the journalist concluded, saying, “We should have seen it coming.” Along with that, displaying the match on the big screen was an inspiration. However, the match against Bobby Riggs was also not that easy for the WTA legend. A few years ago, she recalled how her male opponent got upset with her during the match.

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When Billie Jean King looked back to the iconic clash

In a throwback interview, King looked back to the 1973 clash and talked about how she was scared to lose to him because of the intense pressure that the match carried. She said, “I think he knew nothing about me, I knew a lot about him, but dominant groups know nothing about subdominant groups. This guy finally was getting some attention that he probably deserved a lot younger in life.”

Along with that, she also recalled how she aggressively called him in the middle of the match and tagged him as ‘a j*rk,’ She did, however, add that she was afraid to death and that she knew she just had to win the match because of the attention and aggressive call. She also mentioned how the top tennis player in the world at the time was upset with her.

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Nevertheless, what do you think about the background story behind the historic clash between Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs? Do let us know in the comment section below.

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Written by:

Pratishtha Prakash

2,091Articles

One take at a time

Sports have been a part of my life right from my early childhood. I have carried an unquenchable desire to report on the fascinating developments in the off-court lives of the biggest tennis stars. I have written more than 1600 articles and covered a different aspect of the tennis world in almost every article.
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Edited by:

Shudh.mukherjee

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