Tennis movies are not the usual Hollywood fare. When sports movies are made, it seems like baseball, football and even golf get much more play than tennis. However, tennis has been used as the backdrop for several key scenes in movies that have been quite memorable. Here’s a look at five tennis movies that ace it like tennis stud Roger Federer. If you want more sports action, and we know you do, you should also check out Buzzer Beat when you get a chance.
“Pat and Mike.” In this movie, Pat Pemberton (Katherine Hepburn) is a brilliant all-around athlete who takes on all comers in every sport. One of her best sports is tennis, but when her fiance comes around she gets nervous and does not play at her best. She eventually enlists the help of a shady sports promoter named Mike Conovan (Spencer Tracy) to help her out with some of her problems. Those include confrontations with the mob and having to deal with a jealous boxer. The Hepburn-Tracy love affair was on full display in this movie.
“Match Point.” Tennis pros like Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Andy Roddick all tend to date beautiful women, and the movie “Match Point” brought this point home. Chris Wilton (Jonathan Rhys Meyers) is a former tournament pro who is coming to grips with the end of his competitive career and is looking for a position as a teaching pro. He makes friends with Tom Hewett (Matthew Goode) who is engaged to the sultry Nola Rice (Scarlett Johansson). Chris wants Nola in the worst way and she likes him as well, but they know that going behind Tom’s back is wrong. Nevertheless they begin an affair and Chris has to hide his feelings from Tom.
“Clueless.” This classic coming-of-age movie about a well-to-do rich California girl and her friends uses the sport of tennis for two of the funniest lines ever uttered about tennis. Cher (Alicia Silverstone) and Dionne (Stacey Dash) find themselves in gym class learning to play tennis, when Dionne is asked to line up behind the baseline and take a few forehands. Instead, Dionne tells the teacher that her private tennis coach has asked her not to play in gym class because it will “ruin” her game. Later on, another girl tries to get excused from class because she has just had a nose job and her surgeon wouldn’t want “balls flying at her face.” “There goes your social life,” says Dionne, without missing a beat.
“Strangers On a Train.” Alfred Hitchcock directed this classic thriller. in which Bruno Antony (Robert Walker) is sick of his father and wants him dead. When he meets tennis pro Guy Haines (Farley Granger) and discovers that he wishes his wife was dead so he could marry the love of his life, Antony concocts a scheme. He will murder Haines’ s wife if Haines will kill Antony’s father. Haines doesn’t believe Antony is serious and tries to back off. But Antony threatens to implicate the tennis pro if he does not help.
“Wimbledon.” Peter Colt (Paul Bettany) is an English tennis player who used to be one of the best tennis players, rising as high as No. 11 on the rankings. As he reaches his thirties, his ranking starts to decline and he goes all the way down to 119 in the world. He is from a well-to-do family and he is thinking of his next move away from the tennis courts. However, he meets American player Lizzie Bradbury (Kirsten Dunst) and he becomes enamored with her and inspired to play once again. However, Colt must find a way to overcome Bradbury’s overprotective father and manager.