"I was ready to see it fail": Andrea Petkovic was left pleasantly surprised by Challengers film after expecting to hate it

Saturday, 04 May 2024 at 06:30
andrea petkovic
The reviews are in for Challengers, the latest tennis-themed movie in Hollywood. Although it has drawn mixed responses from critics, retired WTA star Andrea Petkovic admitted to enjoying it more than she anticipated.
Challengers features rising Hollywood star Zendaya, who portrays a former tennis player bent on seeing her tennis player husband rise to superstardom. The film has been given the seal of approval by others in the tennis community, including Venus and Serena Williams.

Petkovic was "ready to hate" the movie

The German tennis star, who retired in 2022, admitted she was reluctant to see the movie. With several tennis-based movies of the past drawing criticism from the tennis world, Petkovic believed Challengers would follow the same route. However, she found herself pleasantly surprised.
“I was ready to see it fail," wrote the former World No.9 in a column for The Guardian. "I was ready to hate Challengers….because I was traumatized by all the tennis movies that had come beforehand. Not all of them are bad (although some are) but they depict tennis in ways that are at times wrong, and at other times laughable.
“Kirsten Dunst testing the tightness of her strings by tapping the racket frame only for a string to break at precisely that moment in the movie Wimbledon haunts me to this day. Who allowed that to happen?
“Challengers is not that. It is something entirely different and, spoiler alert (to continue the film jargon), I loved it. I never thought I would write these words, but it’s a very sexy sports movie. Which is interestingly the only thing it gets wrong about tennis. Challengers gets every other detail about tennis right, as if the film itself had played on tour for 10-plus years."

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