Did Bobby Riggs Ever Win a Major?

Max Schnur

Did Bobby Riggs Ever Win a Major

Bobby Riggs, a legendary figure in tennis, captivated audiences with his remarkable skills and magnetic personality. As we delve into his tennis career, one burning question arises: Did Riggs ever win a major championship? Major championships serve as defining milestones, solidifying a player’s legacy and showcasing their talent on the grandest stages of the sport.

Riggs’ journey began with humble beginnings, honing his skills under Perry Jones’s Southern California Tennis Association. Rising through the ranks, he established himself as a promising junior player.

In this exploration, we will uncover the truth behind Riggs’ major victories, scrutinize his triumphs in singles, doubles, and mixed doubles, and delve into the iconic “Battle of the Sexes” match that further etched his name in tennis history. Let us embark on a captivating journey through Bobby Riggs’ tennis career, unraveling his major championship achievements and uncovering the lasting impact he had on the sport.

Early Years and Rise to Prominence

Bobby Riggs, born on February 25, 1918, in Los Angeles, California, showed early signs of his tennis prowess. His journey towards becoming a tennis sensation started in his formative years.

Under the guidance of Perry Jones’s Southern California Tennis Association, Riggs received comprehensive training that laid the foundation for his future success.

Perry Jones’s Southern California Tennis Association was renowned for its ability to develop young talent, and Riggs was one of its shining products.

The association, known for its rigorous training programs, honed the skills and techniques of aspiring tennis players. Riggs had the privilege of being trained by some of the best coaches in the business, receiving invaluable guidance that helped shape his game.

Riggs swiftly established a reputation as a talented junior player. His skills, combined with a fierce competitive spirit, set him apart from his peers.

Riggs’ natural athleticism, strategic approach, and a potent serve quickly made him a force to be reckoned with on the court.

As he progressed through the ranks, Riggs began to make waves in the tennis world. His dedication to the sport and relentless training regimen paid off, leading to his emergence as a rising star.

Riggs’ exceptional performances in junior tournaments earned him recognition as one of the finest talents to come out of Perry Jones’s Southern California Tennis Association factory.

The early years of Riggs’ tennis career provided a solid foundation for his future achievements. His training under the esteemed Perry Jones’s Southern California Tennis Association helped shape his skills and instill a competitive edge.

Riggs’ reputation as a gifted junior player and his remarkable ascent to prominence laid the groundwork for the major victories that awaited him in the years to come.

Major Championships and Achievements

It is important to clarify the accurate information regarding Bobby Riggs’ major championship victories. While he did have a successful career and won major titles, the claim that he won all three Wimbledon Championship events (singles, doubles, mixed doubles) in 1939 is incorrect.

Riggs did, however, achieve significant success at the Wimbledon Championships, particularly in singles competition. In 1939, he captured the men’s singles title at Wimbledon, marking his first major championship victory.

In the final, Riggs defeated Elwood Cooke in straight sets, showcasing his skill and composure on the prestigious grass courts.

Riggs’ triumph at Wimbledon in 1939 was a significant milestone in his career. Winning a major championship at one of the most esteemed tennis tournaments in the world solidified his status as an elite player.

It not only demonstrated his technical proficiency but also provided him with the recognition and respect of his peers and the tennis community.

The impact of Riggs’ Wimbledon victory extended beyond personal achievement. It propelled him into the upper echelons of tennis and opened doors for further opportunities and accolades.

The win served as a testament to Riggs’ talent, dedication, and ability to perform under pressure.

While Riggs’ major championship victories extended beyond Wimbledon, it is important to note that his success was not limited to singles play. He also excelled in doubles and mixed doubles events.

Riggs secured a total of seven Grand Slam doubles titles throughout his career, showcasing his versatility and proficiency in team play. Additionally, he claimed an impressive nine Grand Slam mixed doubles titles, further emphasizing his all-around tennis skills.

In summary, while Bobby Riggs did not win all three Wimbledon Championship events in 1939, he did achieve notable success in major championships.

His triumph in the men’s singles at the Wimbledon Championships marked a significant milestone, solidifying his reputation as a top-tier player.

Riggs’ victories in doubles and mixed doubles events further showcased his versatility and contributed to his overall success in the tennis world.

Riggs’ Dominance in Doubles and Mixed Doubles

While Bobby Riggs is often celebrated for his singles achievements, his success extended beyond individual competition.

Riggs demonstrated remarkable prowess in doubles and mixed doubles events throughout his career, showcasing his versatility as a player and his ability to excel in different formats of the game.

Riggs claimed a total of seven Grand Slam doubles titles, solidifying his status as one of the top doubles players of his time. His partnerships with esteemed tennis players resulted in numerous victories and memorable performances on the court.

Riggs’ ability to complement his partners’ strengths with his own skills played a crucial role in his doubles success.

In addition to his doubles triumphs, Riggs also achieved remarkable feats in mixed doubles. He secured an impressive nine Grand Slam mixed doubles titles, further underscoring his adaptability and versatility as a player.

Riggs’ ability to seamlessly transition between playing alongside male and female partners demonstrated his exceptional tennis acumen and adaptability to different playing styles.

Riggs’ doubles and mixed doubles achievements are crucial in understanding the breadth of his tennis skills.

While his singles accomplishments highlighted his individual prowess, his success in doubles and mixed doubles showcased his ability to work collaboratively, strategize effectively, and complement his partners’ strengths.

These achievements speak to Riggs’ versatility and well-roundedness as a player, establishing him as a formidable force in all aspects of the game.

Moreover, Riggs’ success in doubles and mixed doubles events brought him additional recognition and further solidified his legacy in the tennis world.

It showcased his ability to perform at a high level in team-based competition, earning him respect from fellow players and fans alike. Riggs’ doubles and mixed doubles achievements demonstrate his ability to adapt his game and contribute to the success of his team, further enhancing his overall impact on the sport.

In summary, Bobby Riggs’ dominance in doubles and mixed doubles events cannot be overlooked. His seven Grand Slam doubles titles and nine Grand Slam mixed doubles titles exemplify his versatility and adaptability as a player.

Riggs’ success in these categories showcases his ability to excel in different formats of the game and cements his status as one of the most accomplished and well-rounded players in tennis history.

The Battle of the Sexes and Beyond

One of the most iconic moments in Bobby Riggs’ career came in the form of the “Battle of the Sexes” match against Billie Jean King. This highly publicized exhibition match took place on September 20, 1973, at the Houston Astrodome and captured the attention of millions worldwide.

The match was a symbol of the ongoing conversation about gender equality in sports. Riggs, at the age of 55, proclaimed that even in his advanced age, he could defeat any female tennis player.

Billie Jean King, a prominent figure in women’s tennis and a vocal advocate for gender equality, accepted Riggs’ challenge.

The match had significant cultural impact, as it represented a clash of ideologies and stereotypes regarding the abilities of male and female athletes.

Riggs’ flamboyant personality and controversial remarks leading up to the match added to the spectacle and drew even more attention.

Ultimately, Billie Jean King emerged victorious, defeating Riggs in straight sets. The outcome of the match had profound implications for the conversation surrounding gender equality in sports.

King’s victory served as a powerful statement, highlighting the skill and talent of female athletes and challenging the notion that women were inferior to men in sports.

The Battle of the Sexes match had a transformative effect on Riggs’ legacy. While Riggs had already established himself as a skilled player and a former champion, the match against Billie Jean King became one of the defining moments of his career.

Despite his loss, Riggs played a significant role in sparking conversations and raising awareness about gender equality in sports.

Riggs’ involvement in the Battle of the Sexes match solidified his place in tennis history and positioned him as a symbol of the struggle for equality.

His willingness to engage in such a high-profile match and his subsequent support of women’s tennis helped pave the way for increased opportunities and recognition for female athletes.

Though Riggs’ legacy is multifaceted, the Battle of the Sexes match remains one of the most notable chapters in his career. It highlighted his charisma, showmanship, and his willingness to challenge societal norms.

The match’s outcome and the subsequent impact on gender equality in sports cemented Riggs’ role as a catalyst for change and ensured that he would forever be remembered for his contribution to the conversation surrounding gender in athletics.

Bobby Riggs’ Major Championships and Achievements

1939WimbledonSinglesGrand Slam
1939U.S. ChampionshipsSinglesGrand Slam
1941Australian ChampionshipsSinglesGrand Slam
1939WimbledonDoublesGrand Slam
1940WimbledonDoublesGrand Slam
1940U.S. ChampionshipsDoublesGrand Slam
1941WimbledonMixed DoublesGrand Slam
1942Australian ChampionshipsMixed DoublesGrand Slam
1946U.S. ChampionshipsMixed DoublesGrand Slam
1947WimbledonSinglesGrand Slam
1947WimbledonMixed DoublesGrand Slam
1947U.S. ChampionshipsMixed DoublesGrand Slam
1948U.S. ChampionshipsMixed DoublesGrand Slam
1949WimbledonMixed DoublesGrand Slam
1949U.S. ChampionshipsMixed DoublesGrand Slam


Did Bobby Riggs win any other major championships besides Wimbledon?

Yes, besides his victory at Wimbledon in 1939, Bobby Riggs won two other major championships in singles. He claimed the U.S. Championships (now known as the US Open) in 1939 and the Australian Championships (now known as the Australian Open) in 1941.

How many total Grand Slam singles titles did Bobby Riggs win?

Bobby Riggs won a total of three Grand Slam singles titles in his career. These include two Wimbledon Championships (1939, 1947) and one U.S. Championships (1939).

Did Bobby Riggs ever achieve the No. 1 ranking in the world?

No, Bobby Riggs never achieved the No. 1 ranking in the world. During his career, the official world rankings were not established as they are today. However, Riggs consistently ranked among the top players and was widely recognized for his skill and success.

What was Bobby Riggs’ overall win-loss record in his career?

While the exact win-loss record of Bobby Riggs’ career is not readily available, he was known for his impressive winning percentage and numerous tournament victories. His records indicate a highly successful career marked by numerous wins and notable accomplishments.

Was Bobby Riggs involved in any other high-profile exhibition matches?

Yes, Bobby Riggs participated in several high-profile exhibition matches throughout his career. Aside from the renowned “Battle of the Sexes” match against Billie Jean King, Riggs engaged in exhibitions against other prominent players of his time, including Jack Kramer and Pancho Gonzales.

What is Bobby Riggs’ lasting impact on the sport of tennis?

Bobby Riggs made a lasting impact on tennis through his exceptional skills, charismatic personality, and advocacy for the sport. He played a crucial role in popularizing the game and captivating audiences worldwide. Additionally, his involvement in the Battle of the Sexes match contributed to the ongoing conversation about gender equality in sports.

Did Bobby Riggs continue to be involved in tennis after his playing career?

Yes, Bobby Riggs remained involved in tennis even after his playing career ended. He worked as a coach and commentator, sharing his expertise and insights with the tennis community. Riggs continued to promote the sport and stayed engaged in various tennis-related activities until his passing in 1995.

Has Bobby Riggs been recognized for his contributions to tennis?

Yes, Bobby Riggs has been recognized and honored for his significant contributions to the sport of tennis. He was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1967, solidifying his place among the greatest players in tennis history.


Bobby Riggs, the tennis legend, may not have won all three Wimbledon Championship events in 1939, but his major championship victories and his impact on the sport are undeniable. From his triumph at the Wimbledon Championships in 1939 to his numerous Grand Slam doubles and mixed doubles titles, Riggs showcased his exceptional skill and versatility on the court.

His involvement in the iconic “Battle of the Sexes” match, although resulting in defeat, sparked a revolutionary conversation about gender equality in sports and solidified his place in tennis history. Riggs’ legacy extends beyond his on-court achievements, as he became a symbol of change and a catalyst for equal representation in athletics.

His impact resonates in the cultural sphere and continues to inspire future generations of athletes. Bobby Riggs will forever be remembered as a tennis icon and a trailblazer in the pursuit of fairness and equality in sports.

Photo of author

Max Schnur

I am a professional tennis player on the ATP Tour. I am currently ranked at #29 in the world and have been playing for more than ten years. I started practicing tennis when I was five years old and quickly became obsessed with the sport. I started playing competitively at age 10, and after turning pro in 2004, I was able to compete on the ATP Tour for a decade. As an international athlete, my life has always been about travel and my love of traveling has led me to explore different cultures around the world. When not on tour, I can be found traveling around Europe or living it up in Las Vegas with friends from all over the globe! LinkedIn

Leave a Comment