10 Great Tennis Movies To Watch To Get Excited For Zendaya’s Challengers


  • Challengers
    release date is delayed due to SAG-AFTRA strike, but there are other great tennis movies to watch in the meantime.

  • Wimbledon
    Match Point
    are must-watch tennis movies to get excited for

  • King Richard
    Borg vs. McEnroe
    , and
    Final Set
    offer insights into competitive tennis and will get viewers hyped for the upcoming Zendaya movie.

Those excited for Zendaya’s upcoming tennis movie Challengers should watch 10 other fantastic tennis movies. Challengers follows a retired tennis player turned coach named Tashi who gets caught in a love triangle with her husband Art and their former best friend Patrick. This comes to a head when Art and Patrick go up against one another in a challenger competition, the lowest level of professional tennis tournament. Based on the movie’s trailer, Challengers is filled with a great cast, and it’s expected to be spicy and dramatic.

The much-anticipated romantic dramedy Challengers was supposed to be released in 2023, premiering at the Venice International Film Festival; however, the production company pushed the release date due to the ongoing SAG-AFTRA strike. The movie is now set for theatrical release on April 26, 2024 (via Esquire). While this is a positive change that supports the actors in the film, many may be disappointed by the delay. Luckily for viewers who can’t wait to see Challengers, other fantastic tennis movies exist to watch in the meantime.

Related: Challengers: Release Date, Cast, Story & Everything We Know

10 Wimbledon (2004)

Peter and Lizzie lay on a tennis court together.

In preparation for the movie Challengers, viewers should watch Wimbledon. The rom-com Wimbledon is a sweet romance movie set against the backdrop of tennis. As washed-up tennis player Peter Colt prepares for what might be his last Wimbledon tournament, he develops a romance with the up-and-coming tennis star Lizzie Bradbury. Their relationship becomes contentious because of tension from her father and their differing success on the tennis court. The tennis matches depicted in Wimbledon are highly compelling. Since both movies center on tennis romances, Wimbledon is bound to get you excited for Zendaya’s upcoming movie Challengers.

9 Match Point (2005)

Chris and Nola looking in the same direction in Match Point

The psychological thriller Match Point follows a tennis instructor named Chris Wilton who becomes good friends with his wealthy client Tom Hewett. Chris marries Tom’s sister, Chloe, in order to get a better job working for their millionaire father. However, he also begins an affair with Tom’s girlfriend, Nola Rice. Throughout Match Point, tennis is a prolonged metaphor for luck and social status. The performances of Scarlett Johansson, Jonathan Rhys-Meyers, and Emily Mortimer make it a must-watch. Based on Challengers‘ preview, it seems the movie will also involve a love triangle that builds suspense and drama. As such, Match Point is a great way to get ready for Challengers.

8 King Richard (2021)

King Richard moving a cart with his two daughter in King Richard

In the biographical sports drama King Richard, Richard Williams helps train his young daughters, Venus and Serena, to become professional tennis players. He starts planning the strategy before they’re even born. As kids, they go through multiple coaches, trying to balance their rising success with a normal childhood. This movie will help prepare people for Challengers by introducing them to the ins and outs of competitive tennis. The characters in Challengers also start out in junior competitions like Venus and Serena did before they shifted their focus to education instead of competing in King Richard.

Related: Where to Watch King Richard

7 Borg vs. McEnroe (2017)

John McEnroe and Bjorn Borg stand on the tennis court in front of a full audience.

Borg vs. McEnroe tells a dramatized version of the rivalry between Björn Borg and John McEnroe at the 1980 Wimbledon. The two characters are drastic opposites of one another, and their competition makes for a compelling narrative. The career pressure of staying at the top of the rankings also adds to the drama. Challengers is also set to feature a major rivalry between excellent tennis players; however, the characters have a previous childhood friendship that complicates their relationship more. Borg vs. McEnroe will get viewers excited about the upcoming Zendaya movie.

6 2nd Serve (2012)

Two tennis teams look at each other from across the court.

The comedy movie 2nd Serve will get people in the mood to watch more tennis movies like Challengers. After a fall from grace, professional tennis player Owen Match takes on a job coaching tennis at the local YMCA. He must get the dysfunctional team of misfits into shape for the Combo Cup Tournament in which they’ll compete against his old team from the Fountain Club. Aside from their tennis-centric plots, 2nd Serve seems extremely different from Challengers. 2nd Serve is a redemption comedy whereas Zendaya’s upcoming movie is billed as a romantic dramedy focusing on a rivalry.

Related: 11 Sports Movies Where The Good Guys Should Have Lost

5 First One In (2020)

The tennis team sits together on the court in First One In.

A great movie to get viewers excited for Challengers is the 2020 comedy First One In. In First One In, unemployed real estate agent Madi Cookie joins an underdog tennis team to beat her rival real estate agent’s team. First One In is low stakes and feel-good. The tone of the movie seems drastically different from what’s seen in the Challengers preview and notably, the team in the comedy aren’t professional players. Still, First One In will keep viewers laughing from start to finish.

4 Break Point (2014)

A family stands together in the Break Point poster.

The movie Break Point is a great movie to watch while waiting for the Zendaya movie Challengers. In Break Point, Jimmy Price is a professional doubles tennis player who burns all his bridges by acting like a child. After his partner drops him, he must convince his estranged brother to play with him in the upcoming grand slam tournament. Break Point focuses on comedy and family, whereas Challengers is about drama and romantic relationships. Both movies include stellar acting performances and will surely get viewers excited about the sport.

3 Battle Of The Sexes (2017)

Emma Stone and Steve Carell at a press conference in Battle of the Sexes

Though one’s biographical and the other is fictional, Battle of the Sexes will get viewers excited about the release of Challengers. This movie tells a dramatized version of the 1973 competition between the women’s world champion Billie Jean King and the former men’s champion Bobby Riggs. Battle of the Sexes focuses on the emotional stakes, characters, and drama involved in the match rather than the actual competition itself. In a similar vein, the romantic dramedy Challengers seems character and emotion-driven based on previews.

2 Final Set (2020)

Thomas stands on the tennis court wearing a backwards baseball hat.

The movie Final Set will get viewers excited about the sport of tennis before the upcoming movie Challengers comes out. In Final Set, a 37-year-old former tennis prodigy named Thomas Edison decides to compete in the French Open one last time before he retires, despite his physical fitness wearing down. The movie Final Set shows the passion and drive necessary to compete in professional tennis. Thomas is a compelling character and Challengers seems like it will also be narrative-driven, though less inspirational than Final Set.

1 7 Days In Hell (2015)

The 7 Days in Hell poster shows Aaron and Charles, the two tennis rivals.

The comedy mockumentary 7 Days in Hell sets up the competitive world of tennis for viewers of Challengers. This short movie sets up a rivalry between the professional tennis players Aaron Williams and Charles Poole. The players compete in a match that lasts a total of seven days, the longest in tennis history. 7 Days in Hell provides a more lighthearted tone than what’s expected for Challengers. The characters are overblown personalities for comedic effect. However, both movies are competitive, fast-paced, and packed with A+ actors.

Source: Esquire