Billie Jean King and the Williams sisters, Venus and Serena Williams, have been named as part of USA Today's 100 Women of the Century. USA Today compiled the list of women who have made a significant impact to the United States in order to make the 100-year anniversary of women being able to vote in the United States.
Among tennis stars, it was Billie Jean King and the Williams sisters who made the list.
Billie Jean King, Serena Williams and Venus Williams in the list of USA Today's 100 Women of the Century
The USA Today's citation for Billie Jean King called her "one of the most dominant tennis players of her time, winning 12 Grand Slam singles titles.
Her off-court career was just as notable, founding the Women’s Tennis Association and the Women’s Sports Foundation. A passionate advocate for gender equality, she persuaded the U.S. Open to offer equal prize money to men and women.
But perhaps no moment was more important for the widespread acceptance of women’s sports than her victory against Bobby Riggs in 1973's so-called “Battle of the Sexes,” watched on TV by 90 million people and one of the most defining events of the era."
For Serena Williams, who is still competing and continuing her legacy on and off the court, the current World No. 9, USA Today says she is, "considered the greatest women’s tennis player of all time. Her 23 Grand Slam singles titles are just one shy of Margaret Court’s record of 24.
She owns 14 more in women’s doubles, all won with her sister Venus Williams, and two more in mixed doubles. Renowned for her powerful, precise serve, she also has four Olympic gold medals, three in doubles earned with Venus."
Sister Venus Williams is also in the list, as USA Today cites her for becoming the "first African American woman to gain the world No. 1 ranking in the Open era... Venus Williams has left her own mark on the sport with seven singles titles.
She is the only tennis player to win Olympic medals at four games, including a sweep of singles and doubles in Sydney in 2000. Her legacy also includes the fight, and victory, for equal prize money at Wimbledon and the French Open."
Serena Williams and Venus Williams are still active on the tennis circuit. They are both competing in the WTA event in Lexington this week where Serena defeated Venus in three sets in the second round of the tournament.