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Unraveling Athena Explores Journey to Top

Powerful inspiration is a fuel that drives champions.

Director and composer Francis Amat examines the fascinating and disparate journeys to the top of the tennis world in the new documentary Unraveling Athena.

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The documentary, which has been honored by several film festivals around the world, debuts on July 13th on Amazon Prime Video in the United Kingdom and Europe. AppleTV, Amazon and GooglePlay are among the digital platforms that will air the documentary in North America on August 11th.

Working with producer and former world No. 1 Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario, Amat interviewed 20 women who have held the world No. 1 ranking in singles or doubles. Some, including Martina Navratilova, Martina Hingis and Kim Clijsters, held the top spot in singles and doubles simultaneously.

Tennis Express

The result is a fascinating film that tells the story of their journeys.

"In films, not always but in general, when women are protagonists they are not always depicted as winners," Amat told Tennis Now. "They struggle, yes, like these champions, but for some reason after the struggles they don’t always win. And I think is important to have films where women win big time.

"This is my personal opinion of course, but if we want to talk about equality, we have to start recognizing that women also win. I think that’s the right way to respect them."

Unraveling Athena offers entertaining and emotional stories from champions including Angelique Kerber, Ana Ivanovic, Billie Jean King, Chrissie Evert, Martina Navratilova, Justine Henin, Caroline Wozniacki, Jelena Jankovic and Venus Williams.

While the champions took decidedly disparate route to the top, the film unlocks a shared common quest in their journey. Each No. 1 dared to dream big and defied their fears and self doubt passionately pursuing a vision.

In many cases, they were inspired by parents whose tennis experiences varied wildly, but whose passion and belief in their children was unwavering. Chrissie Evert and Martina Hingis were both daughters of coaches, while Billie Jean King and Ana Ivanovic were both from families with no tennis background.

"All of them have an unbelievable will to win and succeed," Amat said. "And another trait I think they have is that they didn’t look back, always forward."

Photo credit: China Open