Tennis news: Billie Jean King commemorates National Tennis Month and a Wimbledon champion run-in

  • Billie Jean King shares throwback photo to kick off National Tennis Month
  • Carlos Alcaraz and Elena Rybakina meet in passing at Madrid
Robert Prange/GettyImages

Did you know May is National Tennis Month? Tennis legend Billie Jean King was among the first to kick off the social media festivities with a great throwback photo of her and Chris Evert.

BJK said the photo was taken during a rain delay at the 1973 Wimbledon final. The black and white picture shows King and Evert peeking out the window at the fans outside The All England Club. It is hard to imagine this photo happening in the modern era. Fans and television viewers can see players in public areas off-court (hallways and warm-up areas) before matches. King and Evert were enjoying each other's company and did not have their game faces on yet because the match ended up being postponed until the next day. King went on to win the 1973 Wimbledon Championship in straight sets 6-0, 7-5.

The semifinals at that Wimbledon were an American and Australian affair featuring the top four seeds, Margaret Court, Billie Jean King, Evonne Goolagong, and Chris Evert respectively. King defeated Goolagong and Evert knocked off the top seed Court to make the final an all-American event.

Speaking of champions, we saw a Wimbledon champion run-in in the Madrid hallway

As mentioned above, tennis players are viewed behind the scenes at these big tournaments with television cameras in the hallways and warmup areas. It is always fascinating for fans to see the collection of people in one general gathering place or when players pass each other in the hallway.

After her miraculous comeback in the quarterfinals, 2022 Wimbledon Champion Elena Rybakina was walking through the halls when she caught the attention of 2023 Wimbledon Champion Carlos Alcaraz who was getting ready for his quarterfinal match against Andrey Rublev.

Rybakina was likely ready to relax after a tough three-set win over fellow Kazakhstanian player Uulia Putintseva. Rybakina played from behind for most of the match losing the first set and falling behind 2-5 in the third set, saving two match points along the way, before winning 4-6, 7-6 (7-4), 7-5. Alcaraz was his usual smiling self trying to get her attention. Honestly, Netflix should have shown more of this type of footage during its limited-run Break Point docuseries, and more fans may have been hooked.

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