Thank you very much for your article covering the match between Margaret Court and Bobby Riggs (Mother's Day Ms. Match, May 21). It portrayed Riggs in true form—as a scheming old man. In my opinion the only good thing resulting from the encounter was the "Bobby Riggs Bleah!" buttons.
Studio City, Calif.
After reading Curry Kirkpatrick's account of the Bobby Riggs-Margaret Court tennis match, one would think that Riggs won the match by employing supernatural devices. The fact of the matter is that Riggs showed himself to be a superb tennis player. Though Bobby effectively varied the tempo of his shots, on many occasions he returned the ball as hard as or harder than Margaret. And most of the service aces that I can recall were by Bobby, not Margaret.
Whether Riggs could beat Court four out of seven or whether he can defeat Billie Jean King are matters of opinion, but one thing is certain. No woman will ever beat Riggs as decisively as he defeated Court. Why not give the devil his due? Bobby Riggs is one heck of an athlete.
GILBERT E. GILDEA
Gloria Steinem, get a mop! Betty Friedan, brush up on your brownie recipes! Bella Abzug, learn how to sew! While he may not be a male chauvinist hustler, Bobby Riggs is the male chauvinist's male chauvinist, and he has put the world back in its proper order.
WILLIAM E. CARSLEY
I was utterly amazed by your article. I completely disagree with the idea that it was a win for male chauvinism.
On the pro tennis tour, men are considered the harder hitters, and the women tend to have longer rallies. Keeping these facts in mind, Mr. Riggs would seem to have a more feminine style of play than Ms. Court. I am not questioning Mr. Riggs' masculinity or Ms. Court's femininity but in my opinion the "Match of the Century in the Battle Between the Sexes" was won by Riggs using the feminine style of play.
It is interesting to note that Bobby Riggs is now in the same position as the women players against whom he was originally arguing. His theory was that women players were only 25% as good as the men and therefore deserved only 25% of the money.
Apparently he will no longer apply this logic now that he can command more money for a single match against a woman than Smith, Laver and Ashe can against their fellow pros. The fact remains that many of the younger men players who are still making only pocket money could beat Riggs in straight sets.
ABBOT M. FRIEDLAND
Being a feminist and an athlete as well, I watched with interest the tennis match between Margaret Court and Bobby Riggs. Personally, I found the match ridiculous—not because it was played between a man and a woman, but because both men and women were using it as some sort of "contest" between the sexes to determine which is superior. The question in my mind is, who appointed Bobby Riggs as representative of all male tennis players? And since when does Margaret Court represent all the women? Margaret lost not because she is a woman, but because Riggs was smart enough to force her to play his game—which is exactly what any good woman player would have attempted to do against Ms. Court. And as for the theory that men play harder and faster than women, here it was Riggs who had to use tricky tactics against Court's stronger game.
It is rather demoralizing to one of the world's best to feel that she is being toyed with by an egocentric male who is out to prove some obscure—and, so far, unproved—point about sex differences. No wonder Billie Jean King turned him down. She undoubtedly has better things to do—such as play serious tennis.