During the Federation Cup competition, King hinted at retirement from future major singles competitions and said that she was "sick and tired of continued surgery" in trying to get fit enough for those events. [9] The pair became engaged while still in school when Billie Jean was 20 and Larry 19 years old and married on September 17, 1965 in Long Beach.[19]. This was followed in successive weeks by a loss in the Jacksonville final to Marie Neumannova Pinterova and in a St. Petersburg semi-final to Evert (6–2, 6–3). When the open era began, King campaigned for equal prize money in the men's and women's games. In 2009, Billie Jean was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor in American society. During the European summer clay court season, King lost in the quarterfinals of both the Italian Open and the French Open. (This was the last ever singles match between those players, with Court winning 21 and King 13 of their 34 matches.) It's a long, arduous process. During the first half of 1979, King played only one event – doubles in the Federation Cup tie against Spain – because of major surgery to her left foot during December 1978. [173], Billie Jean and Larry King were engaged in fall of 1964[9] and married in Long Beach, California, on September 17, 1965. Billie Jean has spent much of her later years devoted to helping younger tennis players access the sport, and continues to work on the foundations put in place by the passage of Title IX. [124], Billie Jean and Larry remained married through the palimony suit fallout. "[94] King and her partner Ray Ruffels lost in the final of mixed doubles in straight sets. She also won the women's singles in the Ojai Tennis Tournament. I'm really disappointed. The museum is the home of the Billie Jean King International Women's Sports Center, a comprehensive women's sports hall of fame and exhibit. This has been interpreted as a signal on gay rights, in the context of concerns and controversies at the 2014 Winter Olympics regarding LGBT rights in Russia. To start the year, King was the runner-up in Houston and Kansas City (losing to Martina Navratilova in both) and in Philadelphia (losing to Chris Evert). In 1966, Billie Jean King achieved the goal she set for herself as a young girl when she was ranked #1 in the world in women’s tennis. After a series of losses to top-seeded players in various competitions around the country, King made sports headlines for the first time in 1961, when she and Karen Hantze Susman became the youngest pair to win the Wimbledon women's doubles title. The match garnered huge publicity. Looking back, King said, "I wasted 1976. Reverend Bernice A. [9] She furthered her tennis career at the Los Angeles Tennis Club. Billie Jeannjfvcxi, Pancho Gain Pacific Southwest Finals". I was playing enough as it was. Stephen King is a 'New York Times'-bestselling novelist who made his name in the horror and fantasy genres with books like 'Carrie,' 'The Shining' and 'IT.' If you go back and look at the old quotes; they played for the love of the game, we played for the money.