BIRMINGHAM, England -- Billie Jean King retained the $90,000 Edgbaston Women's Tennis Cup Sunday with a straight-set triumph over American compatriot Alycia Moulton.
It took the 39-year-old King, still ranked 10th in the world, just 58 minutes to defeat her fellow-Californian, 18 years her junior, 6-0, 7-5.
In the first set, Moulton seemed awed and unable to come to terms with the champion's full arsenal of weapons.
The second set brought a marked improvement, with Moulton managing to control her first service. However, her first double fault of the set allowed King the crucial break, and the champion followed up to take her own service for the match.
King lost only 13 points on her nine service games as she prepares for another challenge at Wimbledon. Indeed, King retained one Wimbledon trophy, and in a manner which suggests that she is still capable of winning the tournament for a seventh time. King's victory Sunday allowed her another year's possession of the Edgbaston Cup, the original Wimbledon women's trophy, won in 1884 by Maud Watson.
The triumph also gave King $18,000, compared to Moulton's $9,000, the biggest prize of her career.
The loser's performance may well project her several places higher than the world ranking of 42nd she held at the start of the week. Although the challenger had chances to win both the third and fifth games, she could clinch neither.
'I'm quite depressed about the way I played, particularly in the first set,' said Moulton. 'I made a lot of unforced errors and didn't get my first serve in enough.
'Another big thing was that Billie Jean doesn't give you any free points. Even people ranked around 20th do that occasionally.'
When Moulton was within a point of losing her service again in the opening game of the second set, she fought back to hold and, as her confidence rose, a real contest developed.
Serving and volleying more freely, Moulton not only held her service up to 5-4, but forced more errors from her opponent in her non-serving games.
However, after Moulton cracked by conceding her service to love, she duly clinched the match on her own service.