Playing the game with perseverance

Rebecca Chapman  |  Features
Date posted:  1 Jul 2024
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Playing the game with perseverance

We have started a summer of sport – the Euros, then Wimbledon, Tour de France, and of course, the Paris Olympics.  Tennis especially seems to be having a cultural moment.

‘Tenniscore’ has now been fashionable for months thanks to the film ‘Challengers’ with its tennis-based love triangle that was a huge hit at the end of April. In June Serena and Venus Williams served up some sport couture in Paris, as they walked the runway at Vogue World, with Venus wearing a dress made from recycled tennis bags. Now, tennis is about to takeover the small screen – with not only the traditional two weeks of Wimbledon, but some behind the scenes documentaries, offering further insight into what it takes to get to Centre Court. 

First, we have Roger Federer: Twelve Final Days (over on Amazon Prime), which shows us the period between the Swiss tennis great's retirement announcement and his final match at the Laver cup in September 2022.  We see a mature, composed man, confident, and perhaps overly stage-managed.  In today’s PR-focused world, his retirement isn’t so much announced to the world, nor shared, it is ‘launched’.  He has fought hard to get where he has, but that fight seems to have gone almost unnoticed by others.  He remembers being told he didn’t battle enough after a loss, saying ‘I didn’t quite understand what that meant: do I have to grunt, do I have to sweat more, do I have to shout more, do I have to be more aggressive towards my opponents?  I tried, but it was all an act. I’m not like that.’

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