With many of today’s tennis matches struggling to get decent viewership, it’s hard to believe that fifty million Americans tuned in to watch a single match in 1973. But this was no ordinary match. Bobby Riggs vs Billie Jean King was dubbed The Battle of the Sexes: “All of the vaudevillian hoopla made it easy to forget the enormous stakes and the far-reaching social consequences. King was playing not just for public acceptance of the women’s game but also an opportunity to prove her gender’s equality at a time when women could still not obtain a credit card without a man’s signature.” Billie Jean King basically crushed Bobby Riggs. And now, four decades later, ESPN’s Don Van Natta explains how the match was fixed: Bobby Riggs, The Mafia, and the Battle of the Sexes. (Billie Jean King has responded by saying she is 100% sure Riggs wanted to win as badly as she did.)

+ As the U.S. Open gets underway, Lauren Collins wonders whether Novak Djokovic can learn how to act like a champion.

+ “At a certain level, they all play great tennis. And then it becomes more about what you’re willing to give and what you expect of yourself and being unafraid to bring that out.” A Q&A with Jimmy Connors.