Three incredibly perfect tennis movies you should watch

These are all worth your watch.
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The 2024 Oscar Awards are on Sunday. Unfortunately, no tennis-related films are nominated for Oscars this year. Potentially next year as Challengers, starring Zendaya and Josh O'Connor, comes out later this year and looks to be very good.

Still, let's assume tennis fans want to watch a tennis-related movie before watching the Oscars. There are several to choose from including a number of great documentaries. Fewer fictionalized films surround the sport, though.

Of the three that follow, two of them do have tennis as a point of the central narrative. One has an iconic scene that is all about the sport. All are worth watching.

Three great tennis-related movies to watch before the Oscars

Wimbledon (2004)

A comedy-drama with the two lead actors being Paul Bettany and Kirsten Dunst? Yes, please! But even better, this one is about an aging men's player in the midst of participating in his final Wimbledon and he meets a young women's player and the two start a relationship. Bettany and Dunst are so good that they could be doing anything other than tennis but the sports augments the story arc.

One would not watch this film as any kind of tennis lesson, but the scenes of matches are not horrible and they are shot well. Are there some cheesy and obvious moments as well? Yes. But the film has enough heart and good intent that whatever the negatives, you will likely fall in love with the movie anyway.

Monsieur Hulot’s Holiday (1953)

This is not a movie that heavily involves tennis, but there is a scene that involves the sport that is unforgettable and central to the plot. I won't give too much away as you need to see the film, but the general idea behind the narrative is that Monsieur Hulot is vacationing along the French coast and his buffoonery causes all kinds of chaos.

Is the movie worth watching without the tennis scene? Sure. But take the scene away and the film is not the same. You can thank me later.

Seven Days in Hell (2015)

This is a complete goof of a film that could have gone spectacularly bad. The movie incorporates lots of different elements of tennis but is heavily influenced by the 2010 Wimbledon match between John Isner and Nicolas Mahut which changed the sport in many ways. In real life, Isner and Mahut played a five-set match that because of daylight fading on two different days was played over three days with a score of 6-4 3-6 6-7(7) 7-6 (3) 70-68. (No, that final set is not a joke, and tennis rules have changed so that that kind of score never happens again.)

What makes the "documentary" work is the case. Andy Samberg plays Aaron Williams while Kit Harington plays Williams' long-time rival, Charles Poole. Chris Evert, Serena Williams, and John McEnroe also make appearances. There is nothing overly serious about the film but that simply makes it serious fun.

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