"I don't move around too well anymore," said King, now 68. "But I was happy with how I played today and I definitely showed I'm better than that rotten bag of bones over there," she added, gesturing across the net to the skeleton of Riggs, who died in 1995 at age 77.
King and Riggs first met on the court a year after Title IX was passed. After challenging, and defeating, Margaret Court in May of 1973, the 55 year-old Riggs then took on the 29 year-old King. The female tennis star won 6-4, 6-3, 6-3.
"I felt like I got off to a better start today than I did back in 1973," said King. "That first set almost 40 years ago was close. But today he only returned one ball on me and that was because I hit a forehead directly off of his skull and bounced back over the net."
King said she felt the match served as an important reminder that female athletes can compete and defeat male athletes, both here and in the afterlife.
"I hope there are little girls out there watching today who were inspired and learned an important lesson," said King. "And that is that they should never listen to someone who says they can't defile a corpse, as long as it's for the right reason."