Best English Tennis Player in 2022
Lego Mini-Figures - Series 7 Tennis Player Figure
â€‹Barbie Tennis Player Doll
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Lego: Minifigures Series 3 > Female Tennis Player Mini-Figure
- Lego Minifigures Series 3
- 16 Different to Collect
- Packaging & Leaflet Insert Included
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STIGA Flow Outdoor 2-Player Table Tennis Set Includes Two Outdoor Rackets and Two Outdoor Balls
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Smiffys Eighties Tennis Player Wig
- Includes Eighties Tennis Player Wig, Brown, with Headband
- Only available in one size
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Nintendo Switch with Neon Blue and Neon Red Joyâ€‘Con - HAC-001(-01)
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Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
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Wilson Tour Slam Adult Strung Tennis Racket, 4 1/2" - Green
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- material type: Composite
Favorite Sports Movie of Tennis Fans: Wimbledon
Fading English tennis pro meets up and coming American star and romance ensues during the Championships Wimbledon. The tennis sequences are amazing and Paul Bettany shines in this favorite sports movie for tennis fans.
Released in 2004, Wimbledon includes among its cast the spectators at the June 2003 Championships Wimbledon, who cheered for the actors portraying tennis competitors during the making of the film. Also part of the atmosphere were faux commentators and Wimbledon legends John McEnroe and Chris Evert. McEnroe was stiff, but Evert more convincing. Popular American television commentator Mary Carillo also makes a cameo appearance. The grounds, courts, buildings, as well as the ball boys and girls, referees, and officials of the real Championships Wimbledon all add to the verisimilitude.
The plot of the movie is not weighty, as is typical of romantic comedies, but the actors are strong and engaging, making the most of their sometimes cliché-ridden dialog. British actor Paul Bettany (looking very heartthrob-like in this role) plays the lead role of Peter Colt, a fading English tennis pro, once ranked 11th in the world, but now somewhere past 100th. Win or lose, he is making plans to retire from the circuit after Wimbledon, where he is a wild card entrant. He is shown negotiating for a position as pro at a country club, where he will be fawned over by bored wealthy women seeking tennis lessons.
He meets young American rising star Lizzie Bradbury (Kirsten Dunst of the Spiderman films), a brash American who manages to be naked and in the shower when they meet. Colt "accidentally" is given the wrong room key; we wonder if it was something she had planned. The two of course hit it off immediately and begin sneaking around seeing each other despite the opposition of Lizzie's overprotective and controlling father, played by Sam Neill. Neill and the actors who play Colt's eccentric well-heeled parents (Bernard Hill and Eleanor Bron) are gems, as is James McAvoy, who plays Colt's seedy younger brother. Scotsman McAvoy later came up in the world to play the lead role in Atonement opposite Keira Knightley and in Becoming Jane opposite Anne Hathaway.
While the clandestine hookup/romance gives Colt's tennis a much-needed boost, it has the opposite effect on Bradbury, who begins to resent the interruption of her winning ways and dumps Peter as she and her father head off to the airport. The breakup seems destined to end Peter's run at the Wimbledon title, but Lizzie hears Peter talk about his feelings for her in a pre-match interview on television and rushes back to the All England Club to give Peter a pep talk in the vaunted locker room. Reassured of her affection, he is able to play well once more. To find out if he actually wins, and what becomes of the budding romance, see the movie!
Most reviewers raved about Paul Bettany in this film and I am in total agreement. He is incredibly charming, likeable, and credible as a professional tennis player. The tennis scenes in which he does a voice-over revealing what he is thinking and saying to himself are wonderful. His tennis strokes are good enough that one must believe he has played some tennis semi-seriously along the way. Bettany was very effective in earlier supporting roles in A Beautiful Mind and Master and Commander (both with Russell Crowe in the lead); in Wimbledon he showed that he could slip easily into the lead.
We have to wonder whether English tennis star Tim Henman saw the film (he must have...) and whether he recognized himself in the Peter Colt character. Since no English player has won a major tournament since Fred Perry in the 1930's, Henman carried a heavy weight of expectations with him at all times, and especially at the Championships Wimbledon. Henman made the semifinals four times, including 2002, and in 2003, when the Wimbledon filming took place during the tournament, a 28-year old Henman lost in the quarterfinals. It would have been fun to see him in a cameo appearance. Henman retired in 2020 at 32.
Kirsten Dunst, on the other hand, seemed too aggressive and self-centered to be likeable as Lizzie Bradbury. Further, she does not look like a serious tennis player, nor does she swing a racket very convincingly. Luckily, most of the tennis competition scenes fell to Bettany. She did have a lot of spark and self-confidence, which one would expect from a top player.
The Wimbledon DVD includes an interesting commentary by Director Richard Loncraine (veteran of BBC as well as film) and Paul Bettany. There is also a short documentary explaining how the tennis scenes were filmed using computer-generated balls. The tennis scenes were actually amazing, creative, and yet also realistic. They are a highlight of the movie.
Wimbledon is a must for serious tennis fans and highly recommended for anglophiles and casual tennis fans. Although it is not Best Picture material, it is enjoyable and of high quality in almost all respects. It is a breakthrough role for Paul Bettany. If you are the least bit intrigued after reading this review, follow through and rent or buy the DVD.
To order the Wimbledon DVD from Amazon.com for only $6.99 (eligible for free Super Saver shipping), click here. Alternatively, rent it from Netflix or your local rental store or borrow it from your public library. The film is rated PG 13 and is appropriate for older teenagers and adults, since it contains some profanity and sexual situations, although no explicit sexual content.
Internet Movie Database (IMDB) "Wimbledon," 2004
"Tim Henman," in Wikipedia
Personal experience viewing the film and accompanying materials on the DVD, visiting the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club at Wimbledon, and viewing television coverage of every Championship since 2003.