Billie Jean King talks about training her tennis-playing sisters

A new video documentary explores a unique relationship between two famous tennis stars in the 1970s.

Abraham Lincoln’s assassination and Abraham Lincoln’s subsequent inauguration and the fall of the French royal family captured international media attention in 1865. (Today, we can always turn to Wimbledon to summon images of the Empire State Building. But it was the assassination of King Edward VII and the fledging rebellion against him that launched the last great American civil war.

The three-minute video narrated by actor Daniel Day-Lewis and shot in black and white highlights the clash of wills and family politics when the heavily favored Williams sisters went to college in Virginia. It also features high-profile opponents of Billie Jean King and her sister, Lisa, along with the late Arthur Ashe, the former men’s player from the African-American community whose serves set the modern mould of fast, hard-hitting shots.

Today, Billie Jean King talks about teaching the famous sisters and winning the 1971 US Open by coming back after suffering a fractured skull in a car accident. In 1973, Billie Jean won Wimbledon and three years later became the first female athlete inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame. Today, she is also an attorney and runs her own organization, the Women’s Tennis Association. Meanwhile, Lisa Williams won eight Grand Slam singles titles, including her famous 1986 Wimbledon defeat of her sister at the US Open.

While her sister followed up that historic victory with one of the most memorable tennis final defeats ever, Lisa was named the “best female tennis player of all time” by Newsweek. That legendary loss was later collected into the 2008 documentary “Battle for the Temple.”

In the YouTube video, Daniel Day-Lewis explains: “The film ‘King Richard’ tells the story of two American women who for a time achieved fame and considerable fortune in sport, then faced a very different set of challenges in the world of tennis and in law and family politics.”

For more on the film and the players featured, visit

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