NEW YORK, NY, USA - Billie Jean King played host to tennis players past and present in New York to discuss the remarkable history and culture of the WTA.
Speaking at a traveling photo exhibition highlighting her trailblazing work in the game and also in setting up the WTA, King led a forum for legends and players to discuss the association's history and share their goals and dreams, marking the 21st annual Billie Jean King Power Hour.
This year's theme reflected the WTA's IT TAKES campaign, showcasing the spirit, diversity and authenticity of players, depicting what it takes to be a successful WTA player. During the conversation players suggested that IT TAKES attributes such as: love, flexibility, resilience, results, the ability to ‘come back’, bravery, passion, dedication, determination, patience and perseverance.
A private tour also took place, with the exhibition situated at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, prior to the US Open.
During the tour, King took the players through three images that illustrated key moments in the founding of the WTA. These included a picture from 1970, when the women's game turned professional as the 'Original 9' players signed contracts with magazine publisher Gladys Heldman to compete in the Virginia Slims Series.
Another image from three years later showed King leading a meeting of 60 players at the founding of the WTA, with the third photo showing King taking on Bobby Riggs in 'The Battle of the Sexes' match in Houston.
Players in attendance in New York included Bianca Andreescu, Mariam Bolkvadze, Gabriela Dabrowski, Fiona Ferro, Anna-Lena Friedsam, Nicole Melichar, Diane Parry, Alicija Rosolska, Astra Sharma, Katrina Scott, Natalia Vikhlyantseva, Katie Volynets, Galina Voskoboeva, XinYu Wang and Dayana Yastremska.
WTA President Micky Lawler and WTA Legends Leslie Allen, Ilana Kloss and Megan Moulton-Levy also took part.