Saluting Hispanic heritage: Pioneer in women's sports
Tennis legend Rosie Casals shares her story
- Duration 5:59
- Date Sep 28, 2012
Tennis legend Rosie Casals shares her story
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The stance of the music our special series honoring Hispanic heritage month continues this morning this week we sit down with.
Former tennis player Rosie casals before there was rosy there was -- -- And -- chanted -- She too could run -- the impossible exciting crowds with her -- creativity that may be more importantly in an era where men were paid four times more for their work on the baseline.
This Salvadorian spit -- fought for women's tennis and demanded equal pay for equal play.
Police -- Acuna is in palm -- it's.
I'm gonna hit you you just do what you -- yet.
It's like to hear you there.
If you dream and you can do it to me.
It's always you.
You're the one that's gonna make the difference here the one.
You particularly want it bad enough he he he got -- -- trying get a car can get back cassettes out.
Winner I think what came about was my desire to want to win.
We sort of came from the wrong side of the tracks from reporter -- -- tennis was a rich person's sport and it was important for me to beat them.
Why ECU had to beat them.
Well I think that sort of gave me a level playing field they may have their white outfits and they may have their you know nice cars and houses.
But I had my tennis yeah.
Morning San Francisco Rosie was brought -- by her great aunt and uncle a former athlete her uncle Manny introduced her to the game and drove her around to local tournaments.
Half the time I bet the push cart to get started when he's delivering a little hill.
And that's Judy baker would sit there my dad would say okay jump in and then pushes you double -- and started and that I would.
He would push the -- down the hill I was starting around the block and -- -- up.
Outstanding it just by two and a quarter Rosie won most points on guts and pure hustle.
And quickly established herself as the best player in northern California.
He loved to get behind.
The court and get out he had come on and yell at me.
Yeah the Becket yeah.
He's -- did -- job.
But that doesn't Bob the Google weights.
Don't talk to mid morning but -- got a deep -- me you know because I didn't know coaching is allowed.
At sixteen she met -- 21 year old Billie Jean King in the state finals.
And quickly made an impression.
She just gave it in every thing she had she always -- -- guts on the court.
And she was a kind of -- -- straight in the -- their baby blues and say.
It may be we may be down match point -- we're gonna win this match.
And believe me we won that match.
-- -- -- form one of the most formidable doubles teams of all time winning seven grand slams together.
Was she easy to play with no she was not easy to play with.
But she brought out the best -- name because.
I believed in her and I think with a partner and a team yeah -- you've got to believe you gotta believe your partner I was much more uptight.
Can show formats may be enough not hit a ball.
And she sound files you know I haven't got our five minute warmup before we started like shaking my -- like you -- -- -- You know like this is not this is not the way to win.
When she was awful I could be very good pitchers went when I -- -- said that she could be very good when both of us who.
-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- Then in 1968.
The Grand Slam tournaments opened up their draws to allow professional players to compete against amateurs for the first time.
This open era finally gave players a chance to make a living playing tennis.
What was tennis life back then for women how of one person.
I can tell you that we we we weren't given the same.
That the guys had.
Where there was prize money.
The ratio was ten to one so you are second class citizens and that was very difficult to take after a while.
Because how we felt we were equal.
After repeated attempts to get Jack Kramer and the US TA to increase women's prize money.
Rosie Billie Jean and seven other players decided to boycott Jack's very own southwest Pacific tournament a move that didn't sit well with the US TA.
We never looked back I was the best move the women could have ever made.
Because that really put women's tennis on the map.
They became the original nine and signed one dollar contracts and started what would become the Virginia slims tour.
A lucrative ten week tour that brought women's tennis into the mainstream.
We were scared that you know -- sometimes you just have to that leap of faith and Rosie was right there and just persuading people to listen.
We have this idea it's going to work.
You know Rosie did such a great job you've given so much to tennis what his tennis -- you kind tennis.
Tennis is given me my life I think really why am I now like our generation would we we never made enough money.
That we can say how we're retirement aren't they do anything this generation can't.
But I've gotten a lot of -- out of it so.
I'm tennis I -- in Genesis.
But the good thing.
-- -- Good great job at least -- -- we'll talk about given back as you saw in that story Rosie so coaches she works with kids in the Palm Springs area.
The US TA has come a long way in terms of supporting women's tennis in 2006 they named the National Tennis Center.
The side of the US open after.
Billie Jean King.
And those one dollar contracts have matured as well this year the total prize money of the women's tour was more than 96.