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Facts mix with fiction yet Battle of the Sexes may still be underplayed | Richard Williams

Billie-Jean King’s match against the 1939 men’s Wimbledon champion in 1973 provides the main thrust of a new film but like other sporting movies the facts are often massaged to augment the story

After the credits finished rolling at the end of the Battle of the Sexes, the new cinematic re-creation of the events surrounding the famous tennis match in 1973 between Billie Jean King, the world’s No1 female player, and Bobby Riggs, the Wimbledon men’s singles champion of 1939, I asked myself if the staging of the event could really have been as preposterously over the top as it is depicted in the film.

The answer, after consulting an eyewitness, was that, for once, Hollywood might have underplayed the reality.

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