19 February 2012

1980 (Age 36)

King and Martina Navratilova holding their trophies after winning the
Bridgestone World Doubles Championship in Tokyo.
King won 3 singles tournaments out of 19 played. King lost a heartbreaker to top seeded and two-time defending champion Martina Navratilova in the Wimbledon quarterfinals. King's major success was in women's doubles, where she won 10 titles, including the US Open.

Listed below are her 19 singles tournaments, with a win-loss record of 39-16 (28-12 indoor, 3-1 grass, 3-1 clay, 5-2 hard). (Her win-loss total does not include third-place matches.) Also listed below are 16 women's doubles tournaments, with a win-loss record of 46-5.

1979 (Age 35-36)

King won her 20th and final Wimbledon title, partnering with Martina Navratilova
to win the women's doubles. Elizabeth Ryan and King had previously shared
the record of 19 Wimbledon titles.

After major left heel surgery at the end of 1978, King played her first singles tournament in almost a year at a Wimbledon warm-up event in Chichester, United Kingdom. There, she defeated the defending Wimbledon champion, Martina Navratilova, and had chances to defeat Evonne Goolagong Cawley in the final. An out-of-shape King took Tracy Austin to the limit in their Wimbledon quarterfinal, and an ill timed neck injury gave Chris Evert an easy victory in the US Open semifinals.

Listed below are 16 tournaments (2 of which she won), with a win-loss record of 37-14 (12-5 grass, 6-2 hard, 19-7 indoor). (Her win-loss total does not include third-place matches.) She won 6 women's doubles titles, including Wimbledon and the year-ending Colgate Series Championships, with a win-loss record of 36-5.

17 February 2012

1978 (Age 34-35)


King was hampered in singles all year by injury, including a painful left heel spur that required major surgery in December 1978. She did not play a singles match after Wimbledon. In women's doubles, she was still a significant force as she won the US Open, the Bridgestone World Doubles Championships, and the tour's year-ending Colgate Series Championships. She also won all 6 of her Federation Cup and Wightman Cup matches.

Listed below are 10 singles tournaments (none of which she won), with a win-loss record of 25-10 (17-8 indoor, 8-2 grass). (Her win-loss record does not include any third place matches.) She won 10 women's doubles titles.

1977 (Age 33-34)


King and Evert leave Wimbledon's Centre Court after Evert's surprisingly
easy win in the quarterfinals.
Four of King's 6 losses in 1977 were to Chris Evert, including the quarterfinals at both Wimbledon and the US Open. All of their matches were routs, with King winning a total of 10 games to Evert's 48. Against everyone else, King was dominant. She won all 4 matches with Martina Navratilova, both of her matches with Wimbledon champion Virginia Wade, and both of her matches with US Open runner-up Wendy Turnbull.

Listed below are 13 tournaments (7 of which she won) plus Federation Cup and Wightman Cup, with a win-loss record of 56-6 (17-1 hard, 23-1 indoor, 8-1 grass, 8-3 clay). She also won 4 women's doubles titles with a 23-8 win-loss record.

1976 (Age 32)

King serving at the Federation Cup in Philadelphia.
King substituted for Chris Evert at the Federation Cup because of Evert's hand injury and won 5 singles matches, including a straight sets win over Wimbledon runner-up Evonne Goolagong Cawley. This was the genesis of King's singles comeback in 1977. Looking back, King said, "I wasted 1976. After watching Chris Evert and Evonne [Goolagong] Cawley play the final at Wimbledon, I asked myself what I was doing. So, despite my age and the operations, the Old Lady came back [in 1977]...."

Listed below are 2 singles tournaments (none of which she won) plus Federation Cup, with a win-loss record of 7-2 (5-0 indoor, 2-2 hard). She won 5 women's doubles tournaments out of 10 played and won all 5 of her Federation Cup doubles matches. She also won the US Open mixed doubles title with Phil Dent.


16 February 2012

1975 (Age 31-32)

King holding the Wimbledon singles trophy.
King won her sixth and final Wimbledon singles title, edging Chris Evert in the semifinals and then routing Evonne Goolagong Cawley in the final. She then retired from singles competition, which turned out to be only a temporary hiatus.

Listed below are 6 singles tournaments (2 of which she won), with a win-loss record of 24-4 (12-2 indoor, 11-1 grass, 1-1 hard). She also won 3 women's doubles tournaments.

15 February 2012

1974 (Age 30)

After winning the US Open final.
King was the top seed at Wimbledon but, for the first time since 1962, she failed to reach the semifinals. Olga Morozova took advantage of King's lack of intensity in the quarterfinals to win in straight sets. King did not play another tournament until the US Open, which she won for the fourth and last time in her career. The final with Evonne Goolagong Cawley was an epic

Listed below are 14 singles tournaments (6 of which she won), with a win-loss record of 53-8 (34-3 indoor, 7-2 hard, 3-2 clay, 9-1 grass). (Her win-loss record does not include any third place matches.) She was 37-4 in women's doubles, winning 8 of the 12 tournaments she played, including the US Open and the Virginia Slims Championships. She also won the Wimbledon mixed doubles title.


1973 (Age 29-30)


King won her fifth Wimbledon singles title in the last 8 years, defeating Chris Evert easily in the final. Margaret Smith Court, however, had the better year as she won 3 of the 4 Grand Slam singles titles, even though King defeated Bobby Riggs in the Battle of the Sexes while Smith Court lost badly to him on Mother's Day. Smith Court's only loss in a Grand Slam singles event was to Evert in the Wimbledon semifinals. King was the overwhelming winner of The Associated Press Female Athlete of the Year, gaining 486 votes to second place Olga Korbut's 146. King said, "Thanks but Margaret Court had a better year than me. I should have won it in 1971 [instead of Evonne Goolagong Cawley]. I'm afraid it is too much of a popularity vote."

Listed below are 21 singles tournaments (8 of which she won), with a win-loss record of 60-11 (7-3 clay, 20-4 indoor, 11-2 hard, 12-1 grass, 10-1 unknown). This record does not include the match with Riggs or any third place matches. She also won 10 women's doubles titles, including Wimbledon.

1972 (Age 28)


King in the process of winning the French Open final against Evonne Goolagong Cawley.
King won the French Open, Wimbledon, and the US Open singles titles. She elected not to play the Australian Open at the start of the year, despite being in New Zealand at the end of 1971. King said, "I was twenty-eight years old, and I was at the height of my powers. I'm quite sure I could have won the Grand Slam [in] ... 1972, but the Australian was such a minor-league tournament at that time.... More important, I did not want to miss any Virginia Slims winter tournaments. I was playing enough as it was." On 25 December 1972, the American magazine Sports Illustrated named her Sportswoman of the Year.

Listed below are 24 singles tournaments (11 of which she won), with a win-loss record of 88-13 (15-3 indoor, 20-4 hard, 31-5 clay, 22-1 grass). She also won 8 women's doubles titles, including the French Open and Wimbledon.


14 February 2012

1971 (Age 27-28)

King shaking hands with Chris Evert after King won their historic US Open semifinal.

King won 17 singles titles, including the US Open, and 22 women's doubles titles, including Wimbledon. She also won the mixed doubles title at both the US Open and Wimbledon. She did not play the Australian Open or the French Open. The one major flaw on her singles record was a semifinal loss to Evonne Goolagong Cawley at Wimbledon. Because the Australian won 2 Grand Slam singles titles (French Open and Wimbledon) and was the runner-up at the Australian Open, most observers ranked Goolagong Cawley as the top singles player for 1971.


Listed below are 31 singles tournaments, with a win-loss record of 112-13 (46-2 indoor, 22-5 grass, 24-5 clay, 14-1 hard). (The overall record agrees with the International Tennis Hall of Fame.)



The United States Lawn Tennis Association ranked King first in the United States for the year. Lance Tingay at the Daily Telegraph ranked her first in the world.

1970 (Age 26-27)

King accepts her Wimbledon runner-up medal from Princess Margaret.
King was overshadowed by Margaret Smith Court's Grand Slam and hampered by a severe knee injury that necessitated surgery immediately after Wimbledon. She did, however, win the Italian Open and the women's doubles title at Wimbledon.


Listed below are 18 tournaments (7 of which she won) plus Wightman Cup. Her win-loss record as listed below is 51-11 (9-3 indoor, 10-1 grass, 18-5 clay, 13-2 hard, 1-0 unknown).


The United States Lawn Tennis Association ranked King first in the United States for the year. Lance Tingay at the Daily Telegraph ranked her second in the world, behind only Margaret Smith Court.

1969 (Age 25-26)

Accepting condolences from Ann Haydon Jones, who had just upset King in the Wimbledon final.

King's quality of play in 1969 was not up to her standards from the previous 3 years, probably because she was still recovering from knee surgery in the fall of 1968 and because of a 7-month stint of tennis elbow that began in February. This was the first year since 1965 that King did not win at least 1 Grand Slam singles title, losing to Margaret Court at the Australian Open, Lesley Turner Bowery at the French Open, Ann Haydon Jones at Wimbledon, and Nancy Richey at the US Open. Other than the South African Open, King did not win an important singles tournament.


In women's doubles and mixed doubles, King played all the Grand Slam tournaments without winning a title and reached only 1 final.


Listed below are 27 tournaments, 13 of which she won. Her win-loss record as listed below is 70-14 (26-7 grass, 12-1 indoor, 7-1 unknown, 8-4 clay, 17-1 hard).


The United States Lawn Tennis Association considered King ineligible for a United States ranking because she was a professional. Lance Tingay at the Daily Telegraph ranked her third in the world, behind Margaret Smith Court and Ann Haydon Jones.

1968 (Age 25)

King won her third consecutive Wimbledon singles title, after winning the singles title at the Australian Championships earlier in the year.

Listed below are 23 tournaments, 14 of which she won, plus a U.S. versus Australia series. Her win-loss record as listed below is 71-11 (7-1 clay, 37-3 grass, 1-1 hard, 24-3 indoor, 2-3 unknown).

The United States Lawn Tennis Association considered King ineligible for a United States ranking because she turned professional during the year. Lance Tingay at the Daily Telegraph ranked her first in the world.

1967 Ranking Year

King won the Wimbledon singles title for the second consecutive year.

According to the USLTA Yearbook, King played 15 singles tournaments and had a 68-5 win-loss record during the 1967 ranking year. Listed below are 15 singles tournaments (10 of which she won) plus Wightman Cup and Federation Cup. Her win-loss record as listed below is 65-5 (10-1 indoor, 24-1 grass, 14-2 clay, 17-1 hard). She also won 7 women's doubles tournaments.

King won the singles, women's doubles, and mixed doubles titles at both Wimbledon and the U.S. Championships, the first woman to do that since Alice Marble in 1939. She finished the year ranked first in the United States by the USLTA. Lance Tingay at the Daily Telegraph ranked her first in the world.

1966 Ranking Year



After thirteen unsuccessful attempts to win a Grand Slam singles title from 1959 through 1965, King at the age of 22 finally won such a title at Wimbledon, defeating Margaret Smith Court in the semifinals and Maria Bueno in the final. Among her other singles victories were the U.S. Indoor Championships, the South African Championships, the Federation Cup, the U.S. Hard Court Championships, the Wightman Cup, and the Piping Rock Invitational. Probably her biggest disappointment was losing in the second round of the U.S. Championships to Kerry Melville Reid. She finished the year ranked first in the United States by the United States Lawn Tennis Association (USLTA). Lance Tingay at the Daily Telegraph ranked her first in the world.

According to the USLTA Yearbook, King played 16 tournaments and had a 58-6 win-loss record during the 1966 ranking year. Listed below are 16 singles tournaments (10 of which she won) plus Wightman Cup and Federation Cup. Her win-loss record as listed below is 59-6 (5-1 indoor, 26-3 grass, 22-1 hard, 6-1 clay). She also won 11 women's doubles titles.

1965 Ranking Year

King serving at the start of her losing Wimbledon semifinal match against Maria Bueno.
The USLTA co-ranked King and Nancy Richey as the top players. King said, "Politics! You earn something on the court and then they take it away from you in a meeting, people who never saw you play. Why do they even have a ranking committee if they won't accept its findings? There are some things, your accomplishments, that should be beyond politics. What hurt most was that my own southern California people didn't stand up for me in that meeting. So I win Wimbledon and the grass-court tournaments in the East. So what? Last year [1965] proved that the only way they'll let me have No. 1 all to myself is if I win Forest Hills. And where has Nancy been this summer [1966]? The same place she was last year—avoiding me. She doesn't like grass, so she won't risk her record by playing a single tournament until Forest Hills. It's worked out fine for her—she got the No. 1 ranking with me."

Late in 1964, King decided to make a full-time commitment to tennis. She said, "I was in my third year as a history major at Los Angeles State College.... I still had my dream of being Number 1 in tennis, but I had yet to win a major singles title. I finally realized that I would never know whether I could make it unless I made a commitment to play full-time. I was able to make that commitment when Robert Mitchell, the same businessman who had helped Margaret Smith [Court], offered to pay my way to Australia so that I could train under the great Australian coach Mervyn Rose. I told my friends I was going to Australia to become the best player in the world. It was a frightening admission, but it helped to drive me. Merv Rose was exactly what I needed. He made radical alterations in my game, changing my swooping, wristy forehand and backhand into the crisp efficient strokes of a champion."

King finished the year co-ranked first in the United States by the USLTA, with Nancy Richey. Lance Tingay at the Daily Telegraph ranked her fourth in the world, behind Margaret Smith Court, Lesley Turner Bowrey, and Maria Bueno.

According to the USLTA Yearbook, King played 17 tournaments and had a 59-13 win-loss record during the 1965 ranking year. However, listed below are 19 singles tournaments plus Wightman Cup and Federation Cup. Her win-loss record as listed below is 61-13 (1-1 indoor, 47-11 grass, 1-1 clay, 12-0 hard). 7 singles titles. 8 women's doubles titles, including Wimbledon.

1964 Ranking Year (Age 20)

King serving to Ann Haydon Jones during their Wightman Cup match at Wimbledon.

Surely King felt in 1964 that her game was stagnating versus the best players of the world. She did not win a Grand Slam singles title. She again lost to Margaret Smith Court at Wimbledon, this time in the semifinals, and also lost to her at the Federation Cup in Philadelphia. King lost to Nancy Richey in the quarterfinals of the U.S. Championships on King's best surface and Richey's worst - grass - and ended the year with a 1-3 record against the Texan. Her other two losses were to Maria Bueno and Carole Caldwell Graebner. In doubles, King's partnership with Karen Hantze Susman resumed at Wimbledon. They won 5 titles together, including the U.S. Championships. They also won all 4 of their Federation Cup matches, including a hard fought victory over the Wimbledon champions Smith Court and Lesley Turner Bowrey. 


According to the USLTA Yearbook, King played 11 tournaments and had a 49-7 win-loss record during the 1964 ranking year. However, listed below are 12 tournaments plus Wightman Cup and Federation Cup. Her win-loss record as listed below is 50-7 (1-1 indoor, 4-0 unknown surface, 31-4 grass, 14-2 hard). She won 5 singles titles. She also won 5 women's doubles titles, including the U.S. Championships. She finished the year ranked second in the United States by the USLTA, behind only Nancy Richey. Lance Tingay at the Daily Telegraph ranked her seventh in the world.


1963 Ranking Year (Age 19)

King accepting her runner-up medal from Princess Marina, Duchess of Kent
after losing the Wimbledon final to Margaret Smith Court.
King went undefeated in her matches to help the United States win both the Federation Cup and the Wightman Cup. She lost as expected to World No. 1 Margaret Smith Court in the Wimbledon singles final but was upset by unseeded Deidre Catt Keller McMahon in the fourth round of singles at the U.S. Championships. King and Carole Caldwell Graebner teamed at Wimbledon and the U.S. Championships but lost early at both tournaments to Catt Keller McMahon and Elizabeth Starkie Wagstaff.


According to the USLTA Yearbook, King played 11 tournaments and had a 40-7 win-loss record during the 1963 ranking year. However, listed below are 10 tournaments plus Wightman Cup and Federation Cup. Her win-loss record as listed below is 37-7 (11-1 hard, 21-5 grass, 4-1 clay, 1-0 indoor). She won 3 singles titles and 2 women's doubles titles. She finished the year ranked second in the United States by the USLTA, behind only Darlene Hard. Lance Tingay at the Daily Telegraph ranked her fourth in the world, behind Margaret Smith Court, Lesley Turner Bowrey, and Maria Bueno.


1962 Ranking Year (Age 18)

King and top-seeded Margaret Smith Court just after King had won their second round singles match.
In 1961, King lost to Yola Ramirez Ochoa in her first ever singles match at Wimbledon. In her second career singles match there, the unseeded King defeated top-seeded Margaret Smith Court in one of the biggest upsets in Wimbledon history. She finished the year ranked third in the United States by the United States Lawn Tennis Association (USLTA), behind Darlene Hard and Karen Hantze Susman.

According to the USLTA Yearbook, King played 13 tournaments and had an 18-12 win-loss record during the 1962 ranking year. Listed below, however, are 12 tournaments. Her win-loss record as listed below is 20-11 (9-3 hard, 10-6 grass, 1-2 clay). She won 3 women's doubles titles, including Wimbledon for the second consecutive year, and 1 singles title.

1961 Ranking Year (Age 17)

Billie Jean King's first career singles match at Wimbledon was a losing 3-set effort to
fifth-seeded Yola Ramirez Ochoa from Mexico.
Listed below are 14 singles tournaments plus Wightman Cup. Her win-loss record as listed below is 31-13 (10-6 hard, 17-5 grass, 4-2 clay). She won 2 singles titles and 3 women's doubles titles, including Wimbledon. She finished the year ranked third in the United States by the United States Lawn Tennis Association, behind Darlene Hard and Karen Hantze Susman.

1960 Ranking Year (Age 16)

Listed below are 11 singles tournaments. Her win-loss record as listed below is 20-10 (16-4 grass, 3-5 hard, 1-1 clay). Her women's doubles win-loss record as listed below is 13-7 (6-4 grass, 4-3 hard, 3-0 clay). She won 1 singles title and 1 women's doubles title. She finished the year ranked fourth in the United States by the United States Lawn Tennis Association, behind Darlene Hard, Karen Hantze Susman, and Nancy Richey.

1959 Ranking Year (Age 15)

Listed below are 6 singles tournaments. Her singles win-loss record as listed below is 10-6 (8-5 grass, 2-1 hard). Her women's doubles win-loss record as listed below is 5-3, all on grass. She did not win a singles or women's doubles title.

1958 Ranking Year (Age 14)


Listed below is 1 singles tournament. Her win-loss record as listed below is 1-1, all on hard courts. She did not win a singles or women's doubles title.


Singles Results By Year

  • 1958: 1-1 overall, 0-0 clay, 0-0 grass, 1-1 hard, 0-0 indoor, 0-0 unknown surface, 0-0 credited by USTA/ITHF. 0 singles titles and 0 women's doubles titles.
  • 1959: 10-6 overall, 0-0 clay, 8-5 grass, 2-1 hard, 0-0 indoor, 0-0 unknown surface, 0-0 credited by USTA/ITHF. 0 singles titles and 0 women's doubles titles.
  • 1960: 20-10 overall, 1-1 clay, 16-4 grass, 3-5 hard, 0-0 incoor, 0-0 unknown surface, 0-0 credited by USTA/ITHF. 1 singles title and 1 women's doubles title.
  • 1961: 31-13 overall, 4-2 clay, 17-5 grass, 10-6 hard, 0-0 indoor, 0-0 unknown surface, 0-0 credited by USTA/ITHF. 2 singles titles and 3 women's doubles titles. (3 singles and 4 women's doubles titles to date.)
  • 1962: 20-12 overall, 1-2 clay, 10-6 grass, 9-3 hard, 0-0 indoor, 0-0 unknown surface, 0-1 credited by USTA/ITHF. 1 singles title and 2 women's doubles titles. (4 singles and 6 women's doubles titles to date.)



INTRODUCTION

For about the last six years, I have been researching and compiling every competitive tennis match Billie Jean Moffitt King played from 1958 through 1990, excluding junior tournaments. I have also been locating pictures and videos of her in action.

The research is not complete, although it is complete enough to publish. So far, her overall singles record is 1,109-250 (81.6%).