Luca Guadagnino

Tennis romance that doesn’t contain much tennis: Challengers reviewed

It sounds straightforward enough: a tennis romance starring Zendaya, idol of the mid-teen demographic and last seen riding a sandworm in Dune: Part Two. She plays Tashi Duncan, a junior player tipped for greatness, who finds herself in a love triangle with two other juniors: spoilt-but-roguish Patrick (Josh O’Connor) and nice-but-needy Art (Mike Faist). You might anticipate a girl-power version of Richard Loncraine’s Wimbledon (2004), with white skirts fluttering in summer breezes, coy glances at a face in the crowd, and a dramatic climax featuring a net rally in a final-set tie-break. Despite the lengthy game sequences, it’s not a film about tennis But Challengers is a very different kettle