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On the evening of September 20, 1973, an estimated 90 million viewers across the world, including more than 40 million in the United States, a fifth of the country’s population at the time, turned on their TV sets and sat down to watch a tennis match. The coverage began with the famous voice of sportscaster Howard Cosell announcing, “Live from the Astrodome in Houston, Texas, the tennis ‘Battle of the Sexes,’ Billie Jean King versus Bobby Riggs.” Cosell described the atmosphere as “a wild scene almost reminiscent of college football. With the celebrities present. With the big band here. With dancing cheerleaders and all of the rest.” Of course this circus was happening in Houston and in the Astrodome. Women’s professional tennis was launched in 1970…
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