That evening the reactions of the protagonists during their magnificently grotesque entrances foretold all. As Billie Jean rode above the multitudes, laughing and waving, she spotted actress Jo Ann Pflug going fairly berserk just below. "How do you like it?" shouted Pflug.
"I love it," shrieked Billie Jean.
Minutes later, surrounded by all of Bobby's Bosom Buddies and half the cameras in the Western world, Riggs arrived. He was not laughing, not even smiling. "How's it going?" he muttered to nobody. "Where is she?" Bobby Riggs was actually tight, nervous, grim. He did not look like he loved it anymore.
Probably his fate flashed before Riggs sometime during the fourth game of the opening set. Serving at 15-all, he hit every shot in his cotton arsenal yet King kept coming on. Back and forth they went, huffing and running on both sides for about nine exchanges. Then King hit a backhand wide and Riggs waddled across the sideline, breathed heavily and smiled down at the floor. The psych was over and he knew it. Now it was tennis only, and he was in against a champion 26 years his junior.
Riggs broke King's service three times, once in each set, but every time she broke back in the following game. King won the first set when Riggs double-faulted at set point. She served a love game to win the second. At 4-2 in the third, Riggs took an "injury break" for hand cramps; he gulped pills and water and tried to get wind or new legs or a Sugar Daddy. Something, anything. But it was all over.
On the third match point—with most of the women jumping up and down in glee, most of the men morose and silent, with the gift pig fast asleep beside the court—an eerie wail came from out of the crowd. "Close him out, Sissy. Close him out."
Billie Jean Moffitt King did. Sissy closed all the pigs out.