Billie Jean King commented on the inspiring story of Coco Gauff and her grandmother in the context of the 50th anniversary of equal prize money.
On the 50th anniversary of equal prize money at the US Open, American legend Billie Jean King responded to an interview with People and expressed her excitement about Coco Gauff's achievement in winning the US Open title against Aryna Sabalenka two weeks ago with a score 2-6, 6-3, 6-2.
The 12-time Grand Slam champion shared her excitement about Gauff being the champion in the latest edition of the tournament:
“Coco winning was just fantastic. When I see her, she's the reason we fought so hard 50 years ago. I think she's such a force,” said Billie Jean King.
“It comes from her grandmother. Her grandmother was the first Black child to go to an all-white school in Delray. To hear her story, if you're a granddaughter and you're hearing your grandmother talk about going to a white school, being the only Black child, I think she's such a force. But I want her to be happy, number one. She's really exciting to watch and a great athlete,” she said about Coco Gauff.
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The 79-year-old King reminisced about the match she played against Bobby Riggs in the Battle of the Sexes, where she emerged victorious in three sets and captured worldwide attention just before achieving equal pay at the US Open:
“Sometimes it feels so long ago, and other times it feels like today,"
“With women's sports particularly, they paid a lot of attention to that match because there was a guy involved. If you got a guy involved, you got a lot more attention. I still think that holds true today to a certain degree, but not to the extent it was back then,” she added.