‘When we played, I was twice your age!’ Austin is slapped by Bille Jean King over a tennis remark.
BILLIE As they reminisced about the last time they squared off on the tennis court, Jean King made a witty remark to Tracy Austin, a former foe.
As panelists, Billie Jean King and Tracy Austin discussed the odds of the last eight female candidates to win Wimbledon this year. Former tennis players Andy Murray and Coco Gauff were debating the possibility of Coco Gauff being world number one in the coming years, a scenario that both agreed could happen. Austin reminded Billie Jean King that they had met twice on center court at very different phases of their careers as they discussed Gauff’s chances.
“I played you twice on center court, Billie,” Austin added.
“I guess you beat me, didn’t you?” King answered.
The former tennis number one remarked that they had each won a match against each other, with Ms Austin remarking that she had beaten her when she was only a teenager: “I won once and lost once.” I was 16 or 17 years old at the time…”
As a result, King retorted, “Oh, I was more than twice your age when we played.” What do you think about that?”
The pair met at Wimbledon twice, the first time in 1979, when Austin, then 17 years old, defeated King, then 36, 6-4, 6-7, 7-2.
Austin and King met again in London in 1982, but this time King, the 39-time Grand Slam winner, won.
Gauff was eliminated from Wimbledon on Monday, losing 6-4 6-4 to Germany’s former champion Angelique Kerber in a battle of the generations on Centre Court.
On Monday, Britain’s hopes of seeing its first female tennis champion win at Wimbledon were again shattered when wildcard Emma Raducanu was forced to quit from the competition.
After a sudden surge in attention following her spectacular run through the early stages of Wimbledon, Austin believes the “event grew too enormous” for Radecanu.
“I suppose the situation just grew too large,” she explained. When you look back a week, she was a complete unknown.
“I didn’t know who Emma Raducanu was, and I didn’t know how to utter her name last week because no one except intel Brits knew who she was.
“As a wild card, she has won three matches and has played quite well. She was playing on court one for the first time, and she even admitted that she was playing above her level.”
“Now, all of a sudden, she takes a day off, and she’s all over the papers,” she continued.
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