(Eds: APNewsNow. Will be updated. With AP Photos.) By PETE IACOBELLI AP Sports Writer Billie Jean King loves sharing the story of how the eventual Women's Tennis Association began.
King and the other eight women who forged ahead for a tour and better pay have reunited this weekend in Charleston, S.C., to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Family Circle Cup.
The nine women each signed $1 contracts with the publisher of World Tennis Magazine, Gladys Heldman, in 1970 to begin a series of women's professional tournaments.
King and the others were protesting inequities in prize money and bonuses at tournaments where men got what King said was more than 10 times what the women earned.
The WTA tour was formed in 1973, and now players benefit from millions in prize money.