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Game, set and must-watch: The ultimate guide to tennis films and documentaries

Spain's Carlos Alcaraz walks after a training session at Wimbledon Championships, 25 June, 2024
Spain's Carlos Alcaraz walks after a training session at Wimbledon Championships, 25 June, 2024 Copyright John Walton/PA Wire
Copyright John Walton/PA Wire
By Tokunbo Salako
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As Wimbledon currently captivates audiences around the globe, it's the perfect time to delve into the world of tennis beyond the courts at SW19 with our top picks for tennis films and documentaries.


To complement the excitement of this iconic grass court tournament, we've curated a selection of must-watch films and documentaries that celebrate the playing, passion and drama of tennis.

So, get the popcorn and your drink of choice ready because from gripping biopics and teary romcoms to insightful documentaries and all-access, behind-the-scenes docuseries, we have you covered.

From remarkable returns to breathtaking rallies, the beauty of these films is that although tennis plays a starring role, there's still plenty of highs and lows from life and love off-court for anyone not so moved by little green balls.

Battle of the sexes

Emma Stone and Steve Carell lead an ensemble cast in this light-hearted 2017 film inspired by the 1973 exhibition tennis match between women's world number one Billie Jean King and the men's ex-champion Bobby Riggs with a flair for showmanship. The clash helped spark changes that transformed the fortunes of the women's game

Battle of the Sexes | Official HD Trailer | 2017

King Richard

Will Smith won a 'Best Actor' Academy Award for this flick (and I think we all remember that year's Oscars ceremony - Chris Rock certainly does). The film is based on the story of Venus and Serena Williams' rise to tennis stardom, guided by their determined father, Richard (Smith).

KING RICHARD – Official Trailer

Borg vs McEnroe

This biographical drama, starring Sverrir Gudnason and Shia LaBeouf, delves into the intense rivalry between Swedish great Björn Borg and fiery American legend John McEnroe, culminating in their iconic 1980 Wimbledon final.

Borg vs McEnroe trailer


Wimbledon is a 2004 romcom starring Paul Bettany and Kirsten Dunst. Bettany plays a journeyman tennis pro struggling with age and form. After meeting an inspiring young female player and rising star (Dunst) he rediscovers his drive to compete again at the highest level in arguably tennis' most historic championships - Wimbledon.

Wimbledon (2004) Official Trailer


Recently released, Challengers is the latest film by Luca Guadagnino and stars Zendaya, Josh O'Connor and Mike Faist. Former tennis prodigy Tashi coaches her husband to success, but his comeback depends on defeating his ex-best friend, who is also her ex-boyfriend. Our resident film critic David Mouriquand was quite impressed but our colleague Lauren Chadwick had an alternative view to level up the match.**

Challengers - Official Trailer

Match Point

Directed by Woody Allen and starring Jonathan Rhys Meyers and Scarlett Johansson, Match point is a 2005 psychological thriller that sees a former pro tennis player marry into a wealthy family. His social position is threatened when he begins having an affair with his brother-in-law's girlfriend.

Match Point - trailer


Prepared to be served with a series of tennis documentaries this month as interest in the racquet sport shows no sign of abating. A changing of the guard is already here with the retirement of one of the game's greatest male players, Roger Federer, and that's very likely to be followed by Andy Murray while Rafael Nadal's also cast doubt on his future. All this mean nostalgia is very much in the air so settle back with these deep dives into what goes on off-court and beyond.

Strokes of Genius

This fabulous documentary explores the rivalry between two of the sport's greatest players, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, and in particular the pair's epic five-set, five-hour battle for the 2008 Wimbledon championship title.

Strokes of Genius - trailer

Citizen Ashe

The 2021 documentary, directed by Rex Miller and Sam Pollard, centres on the life and career of three-time Grand Slam winner Arthur Ashe and his impact on tennis and HIV activism.

Citizen Ashe - Official Trailer

Love Means Zero

Jason Kohn takes us on a trip into the world of one of tennis' most famous coaches, Nick Bollettieri. A fierce disciplinarian, Bollettieri (who died in 2022) coached a generation of tennis champions and world number ones, but his relentless desire to win cost him the relationship he valued most - his relationship with Andre Agassi.

Love Means Zero - Official Trailer

Venus and Serena

Directed by Maiken Baird and Michelle Major, Venus and Serena is a 2012 documentary film that dives into the lives and careers of tennis greats, Venus and Serena Williams.  

Venus and Serena - Official Trailer

Break Point

With the huge success of 'Drive to Survive', Netflix followed that up with 'Break Point'. The docuseries (now cancelled after its second season) gives viewers a behind-the-scenes look at some of the major players and tournaments on the ATP and WTA Tours.

Break Point | Official Trailer | Netflix

Andy Murray: Resurfacing

Olivia Cappuccini documents Andy Murray's injury journey from 2017-2019, showing his vulnerability from surgery to home life. It reveals why Britain's greatest tennis player endured so much to return to the sport he loves. Expect repeat viewing figures to soar after his emotional farewell to Wimbledon's Centre Court after his doubles defeat alongside his brother.

Andy Murray: Resurfacing - Official Trailer | Prime Video

Additional sources • j-cut productions

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