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Tennis Style

Our top 10 in movies

Tennis Style  Our top 10 in movies
Il Giardino dei Finzi Contini, Vittorio De Sica (1970)

Kate Middleton loves it. Anna Wintour watches it. Hugh Grant is an assiduous spectator.

It's tennis. More than a sport, a style statement. That must be why stars like Farrah Fawcett, Katharine Hepburn and Jackie Kennedy loved it, and athletes such as Suzanne Lenglen and Maria Sharapova have become icons.

Just remember René Lacoste, the French tennis player from the '20s who conceived the jersey petit piqué fabric that still characterises the polo shirts with the crocodile today. Or, going back to our days, think of Serena Williams, who along with her sister introduced lace tank tops and fluorescent colours on the field, and in 2016 was the protagonist of the Pirelli calendar and Beyoncé's video Sorry.

Il Giardino dei Finzi Contini, Vittorio De Sica (1970)

These days in Paris is all about the Roland Garros, tournament become famous over the years as a must-see event to be noticed, while a week ago, in Cannes, Shia LaBeouf presented American Honey, film in which he plays John McEnroe. 

The seventh art has a penchant for racket and ball. From Tati to Allen, passing by Antonioni, Hitchcock, Minnelli, Rohmer, De Sica, many directors have talked about it, even marginally, but still creating wonderful portraits and looks to copy and get inspired by.

Here's our top 10 of the best Tennis style in movies.


#1 The Royal Tenenbaum (2001)

Bjorn Borg left the competitive activity at 27. Richie "The Baumer" Tenenbaum at 26. Same fate in tennis, same look with polo shirts and shorts, beard, headband. Only the first was in love with Loredana Berté, the second with his sister Margot.


#2 Bridesmaids (2011)

Annie Walker (Kristen Wiig) and Helen Harris III (Rose Byrne) play against each other, competing for the cup of Lillian's best friend. Resentments and rivalries emerge with Sharapova style gestures. While Helen's stepson comments: "They play even better than in the tampons advertising".


#3 The Garden of the Finzi-Continis (1970)

1938. The Italy of fascism and racial laws. The tennis court of the Finzi-Contini family becomes the background of the love and life plans of a group of young Jews.

Based on a book by Giorgio Bassani, which in 2016 celebrates its centenary, it was directed by Vittorio De Sica. The elegance of actress Dominique Sanda and the rest of the cast remains unattainable, so much that Franca Sozzani defines the film as "true testament of Italian style".


#4 Wimbledon (2004)

Paul Bettany and Kirsten Dunst. He is a former champion in decline, she's a young athlete on the rise. They meet during the Winbledon tournament, fall in love, thwarted by her father-coach. A cute and unpretentious comedy. If you like it you can also watch Two Weeks Notice, starring Hugh Grant and Sandra Bullock.


#5 Match Point (2005)

The protagonist Chris, aka Jonathan Rhys Meyers, is a tennis teacher who begins his social climbing after marrying one of his rich pupils. Case, luck and guilt alternate governing the man and the entire film.

Tennis is a metaphor for life and virtual deus ex machina because: "Who said luck is more important than talent understood the essence of life".


#6 Annie Hall (1977)

Another movie by Woody Allen. Another tennis scene. This is how the protagonists meet, in a game organised by mutual friends. A masterpiece of cinema and style.


#7 Lolita (1997)

Nabokov was a great tennis player, as much as Dolores Haze, his Lolita, who in the film version of '97 practice this sport in an iconic white swimsuit.

The author writes: "...But all this was nothing, absolutely nothing compared to the ecstasy that aroused in me on her way to play tennis - the hallucinated and tempting feeling wavering on the brink of otherworldly harmony and splendor".


#8 Pat and Mike (1952)

Pat is a golf champion, who also excels in many disciplines, but failed to win in front of her macho boyfriend. She ends up falling in love with Mike, her coach.

Katharine Hepburn plays with Spencer Tracey, his great love in real life, in a play by George Cukor.

It seems that the screenwriters, Garson Kanin and Ruth Gordon, wrote the film after seeing the actress playing tennis.


#9 Clueless (1995)

The ‘90s and Alicia Silverstone. Two symbiotic worlds. If you have been teenagers in that decade, this 1995 film is a cornerstone of your pseudo-trash culture. Each scene is equivalent to a change of look, equal in number only to the times you changed clothes to your Barbie.

Curiosity: Iggy Azalea has made a remake of it for her video Fancy.


#10 Belle de Jour (1967)

Not only a good movie, but an aesthetic treasure from which to copy every look (by Yves Saint Laurent).

Catherine Deneuve is beautiful, sensual, elegant.