Tennis player Renée Richards, born Richard Raskind, fought — all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court — for the right to play professional tennis as a woman at the 1977 U.S. Open. She won. Here, she is seen in July 1977. Renée Richards (born August 19, 1934) is an American ophthalmologist and former tennis player who had some success on the professional circuit in the 1970s, and became widely known following male-to-female sex reassignment surgery, when she fought to compete as a woman in the 1976 US Open. The United States Tennis Association began that year requiring genetic screening for female players. She challenged that policy, and the New York Supreme Court ruled in her favor, a landmark case in transgender rights. As one of the first professional athletes to identify as transgender, she became a spokesperson for transgender people in sports. After retiring as a player, she coached Martina Navratilova to two Wimbledon titles.