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Zendaya Takes Up Tennis for New Role

By Alberto Amalfi | @Tennis_Now | Tuesday, October 18, 2022

Zendaya is a long-time tennis fan.

Now, she's a tennis star.

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The Euphoria actress portrays a tennis player turned coach in the new Luca Guadagnino movie Challengers.

Zendaya, a big Serena Williams fan who attended the 23-time Grand Slam champion's win over No. 2 Anett Kontaveit at US Open in August, took tennis training for three months for the role.

Embed from Getty Images

Director Guadagnino told Variety all that training paid off in Zendaya's tennis scenes.

“She’s wonderful,” Guadagnino told Variety. “I mean, wow. We edited the movie and we almost actually don’t use any of her [tennis] double.

"She’s so good.”

The film features a tennis love triangle as Zendaya stars as a player-turned-coach who is coaching her husband, played by Mike Faist, for his showdown against his childhood best friend and Zendaya's ex portrayed by Josh O'Connor. The director calls the movie "a sexy comedy on tennis"

We're not sure if Serena offered Zendaya any tennis tips. Guadagnino reports ESPN analyst Brad Gilbert, who previously coached Andre Agassi, Andy Roddick and Andy Murray, is the tennis technical adviser on the project. Gilbert coached all three stars.

An accomplished dancer since childhood, Zendaya finished second on season 16 of Dancing with the Stars. She's the latest actress to take on tennis.

Remember Emma Stone's convincing star turn as Billie Jean King in the film Battle of the Sexes.

Former ATP pro Vince Spadea trained Stone for the tennis scenes in that film.  

Photo credit: Getty