Bobby was a hustler and a showman, but he was honest. He took his defeats and paid his debts without complaint, and he expected others to do the same. He had honor, and he had humor. It is so important in any dialogue between opponents to maintain those two things. In our case, it led to a deep regard for each other.
I said my farewell to Bobby three weeks ago. He knew it was time; he was very sick, exhausted by pain, and he spoke with his friends by phone from his home. One of his few pleasures was the planning of the Bobby Riggs tennis museum, which is being overseen by longtime friend Lornie Kuhle. Most of all he was frustrated by his immobility, his inability to play any game.
"We really did it, didn't we, Billie?" he said. "We made a difference." Then he said he loved me, and I said I loved him.