June 15, 2020

AO Tennis 2: Tennis On The Silver Screen

AO Tennis 2

I must confess that I’ve haven’t had plenty of sports-related posts here at IndieGala. So, I feel that AO Tennis 2 is a welcomed diversion from my usual writing routine. The routine filled with monsters, zombies and stealth video games of course. But, I’m not complaining. I love my job.

To be fair, NBA 2K2020 was one solitary moment of sports inspiration (some months ago), but I’ve never had anything similar since. Which is why I’m excited about AO Tennis 2 and the opportunity to write about tennis. Probably my second favorite sport, right after football. Full disclosure, I’m a Federer supporter myself, but I also enjoy watching Nadal and Djokovic as well. What’s your favorite player? Tell us in the comment section below.

AO Tennis 2: Tennis as a base for great movies

And although most of the movies about tennis are primarily documentaries, I found some great feature-length films on the sport as well. All kinds of great movies from different genres too. Romantic comedies, mockumentaries, biopics and even psychological thrillers that also feature tennis.

However, before I dive into the movies, I feel that I must present the game as well. AO Tennis 2.

AO Tennis 2

AO Tennis 2: What’s the game all about?

Well, as the title suggests, AO Tennis 2 is a tennis video game. Developed and published by Big Ant Studios, it’s the dream game for every tennis fan out there. The game has a career mode in which the player works to become world No. #1 player in the world (after starting at the bottom of course). AO Tennis 2 also includes licenses for players (like Rafael Nadal, Ash Barty, Angelique Kerber and so many others). But at the same time, it allows you to create your own athletes, sponsorship logos, clothing and stadiums too. However, AO Tennis 2 has some pretty sleek new features as well. Features like reliving legendary matches from the past and the ability to create new challenges. Sweet right? Yup. It is.

Wimbledon

To be perfectly honest, this is the film that solidified me as a Paul Bettany fan. A Beautiful Mind and Dogville got my attention, but Wimbledon sealed the deal. How could it not? The movie not only had Bettany in the lead role, but James McAvoy and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau in supporting roles. Unlike some of the movies on this list, (Match Point for instance, but I’ll get to him in a second) Wimbledon is all about tennis. It breathes tennis from start to finish, although in its core it’s more of a rom-com than a sports movie. I don’t mind that really. And what’s Wimbledon all about? It’s the unlikely (and incredible) journey of a washed-up player to the Wimbledon title. Against all odds and with very little support of course. I highly recommend it.

AO Tennis 2

Battle Of The Sexes

It’s probably the best feature-length movie on one of the most controversial matches ever. Battle Of The Sexes. Played in Huston in 1973, Battle Of The Sexes match was an exhibition match between Bobby Rigs and Billie Jean King. And in the movie version of that event, Emma Stone plays Billie Jean King, while Steve Carell is Bobby Rigs. She was 29 and at the peak of her form, while he was a 55-year-old hustler and gambler. You just knew that this was going to be match of the century. And why you should watch this movie? Well, aside from the cultural impact, the performances from Stone and Carell are exceptionally good too.

Borg vs McEnroe

Another legendary match, but with different players. As the title leads you to believe, the biopic is about the rivalry between two of the game’s legends. Björn Borg and John McEnroe. The culmination of that rivalry was at the 1980’s Wimbledon final, and the match itself is considered today as one of the best ever played. Shia LaBeouf is McEnroe while Sverrir Gudnason is Borg in this movie. For the real tennis fans, this is a real treat. However, it’s a real shame that despite the good reviews the movie was a box office bomb.

Match Point

It’s not a biopic about a legendary tennis player per se, nor is it a fictitious tale of a Grand Slam match. No, it’s a psychological thriller about greed, lust, money. It’s also one of Woody Allen’s finest movies with fantastic performances from Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Scarlett Johansson and Emily Mortimer. Tennis is the thread that’s intertwined throughout the movie’s plot, and it’s fantastic. And not only it’s the first of the three Woody Allen’s movies in total that have Scarlett in the lead role, but it’s also the favorite movie of Woodie Allen as well. That’s right. It’s the director’s favorite movie ever. So, make sure to check it out, if you haven’t already.

AO Tennis 2

7 Days In Hell

What better way to end this list than by adding a mockumentary to light things up? A TV movie no less? 7 Days In Hell is in fact, a mockumentary that’s inspired by a real-life event. Indeed, and it’s pretty funny, I must admit.

Inspired by the legendary Isner–Mahut marathon men’s singles match at the 2010 Wimbledon Championships, the movie is filled with laughs and a fantastic cast. Andy Samberg, Kit Harrington, Karen Gillian, Will Forte, Michael Sheen, Fred Armisen, Jon Hamm are part of the stellar cast. Oh and the Oscar winner Mary Steenburgen as well. And just what was so special about this particular match? Well, it’s the longest match in history, measured both by time and number of games. The final set alone was longer than the previous longest match.  In total, the match took 11 hours, 5 minutes of play over three days, and it was fantastic to watch. A decade has passed since the legendary match, and it’s still iconic as ever. John Isner was crowned winner of this match, but after all that effort I feel that both men deserved to win. Don’t you think?

7 days in hell tennis GIF by HBO

AO Tennis 2: Your picks

What are your favorite tennis players? Furthermore, what are your favorite tennis movies of all time? Is it Wimbledon? Or some other great movie? Tell us all about them in the comment section. We’d love to know for sure.

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