RAMONA -- Bobby Riggs put his racquet where his mouth was and proved conclusively that a good male athlete could beat a good female one even when spotting her 25 years, sometimes.
Riggs may also have made the world a little sadder for women and a little pleasanter for senior citizens Sunday by easily beating Margaret Court in their ballyhooed tennis match.
But he hopes to have revolutionalized the female game at the same time.
"The women should play like me," he said afterwards. "They should use waiting tactics instead of serve, rush the net like men. I think its fun to sit back and wait."
The 55-year-old Riggs barely worked up a sweat in downing probably the greatest womens player today. He broke her serve, believed to be the best among the women, three of four times in winning the first set 6-2, and two of three times in taking the second set 6-1.
He also scored the only two aces in the match.
"I played as well as I had to maybe half-speed or 40 per cent," he said. "Theres no use jumping in with fire out of your eyes when you don't have to."
Changing pace, Riggs said Mrs. Court is a far better player than he but he knew she would wilt under pressure.
"She was carrying the banner for all the women in the world. They told her to teach me a lesson."
"She had it coming out of her ears. She knew there would be 60 million people watching because I told her. I told her this was the most important match since the beginning of tennis."
Mrs. Court had little to say, although she and Tony Trabert combined to down Riggs and Karen Hantze Susman 8-2 in a following doubles match.
Riggs' chop shots spoiled her rhythm early and she did not regain it, except for a couple of flurries when she was able to get her first serve in and then rush the net.
Riggs put the ball where he wanted and returned everything he could reach. Mrs. Court was forced to play his game and eventually lost long rallies because of errors.
"I missed a lot of easy shots I don't usually miss," she said.
She had so few chances to rush the net that she may have become over anxious.