The 12 Best Tennis Movies of All Time

Challengers (In Theaters)

Starring Zendaya, Josh O’Connor, and Mike Faist, Challengers features a former tennis prodigy whose career ends early due to an injury. So she seeks to help her tennis-player husband plot a comeback in the sport. His opponent? Her ex-boyfriend. The drama!

King Richard

Based on the real-life story of tennis legends Venus and Serena Williams, King Richard is a dramatic retelling of the family’s life before fame. The film garnered six Oscar nominations, with a Best Actor win for Will Smith—who played Richard Williams, the father of the future icons.

Watch on Amazon Watch on Max

The Royal Tenenbaums

Luke Wilson stars as tennis prodigy Richie Tenenbaum in Wes Anderson’s early, star-studded hit. Mirroring the turbulent personality of American John McEnroe, Richie absolutely melts down in one scene, squandering his chance at a promising career.

Watch on Amazon Watch on Apple TV+

Advertisement – Continue Reading Below

Match Point

Jonathan Rhys Meyers and Scarlett Johansson star in this Woody Allen psychological thriller, which involves murder and a tennis instructor. Allen had a tennis scene in Annie Hall more than thirty years prior, but the sport plays a more prominent role in Match Point.

Watch on Amazon Watch on Apple TV+

Strangers on a Train

There’s nothing more vigorous than a sport that pits two athletes against each other, mano a mano. In Alfred Hitchcock’s Strangers on a Train, the intensity of a tennis match is juxtaposed against the suspense of a man trying to frame one of the players for murder.

Watch on Amazon Watch on Apple TV+

7 Days in Hell

Starring Andy Samberg and Kit Harington, 7 Days in Hell is a mockumentary film inspired by the 2010 Wimbledon match between John Isner and Nicolas Mahut that famously went on over the course of three days. What if that was extended to a full week? Comedy gold.

Watch on Max

Advertisement – Continue Reading Below


Bridesmaids is one of the last truly remarkable comedy films, so of course it features a tennis scene. In an impassioned match between Kristen Wiig and Rose Byrne, the two actresses put traditional tennis aside—just to pelt each other as hard as they can.

Watch on Amazon Watch on Apple TV+ Watch on Netflix


Starring Paul Bettany and Kirsten Dunst—one a slipping tennis pro in his thirties and the other a rising star—Wimbledon is a classic romantic comedy. Even so, the tennis film features some exciting matches, including volleys against One Tree Hill’s Austin Nichols.

Watch on Amazon Watch on Apple TV+

Battle of the Sexes

Though not the greatest film on this list, Battle of the Sexes, starring Emma Stone and Steve Carell, recounts the inspiring story of Billie Jean King and the WTA. As the tennis world celebrates fifty years of equal pay for women, we have no one to thank but King, a twelve-time grand-slam champion.

Watch on Amazon Watch on Apple TV+

Advertisement – Continue Reading Below


Chevy Chase stars in 1985’s Fletch as an undercover reporter investigating a country club. While questioning his mark’s wife on the tennis court, he ends up flirting with her.

Watch on Amazon

California Suite

An all-star cast (Richard Pryor, Alan Alda, Walter Matthau, Maggie Smith, Jane Fonda, Michael Caine, Elaine May, and Sheila Frazier) appears in 1978’s California Suite, which includes a scene of Pryor busting his ass on the tennis court.

Watch on Amazon Watch on Apple TV+

The Squid and the Whale

Surely, we couldn’t end our list of tennis scenes without including one from Noah Baumbach’s The Squid and the Whale. The Jeff Daniels, Laura Linney, and Jesse Eisenberg picture features a family tennis match that turns uncomfortably competitive quickly. In classic Baumbach fashion, the scene is mom versus dad—with disastrous results.

Watch on Amazon Watch on Apple TV+ Watch on Netflix

Related Articles

Back to top button