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Challengers writer reveals how Serena Williams and Naomi Osaka inspired plot

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Exclusive: Challengers writer reveals which pro tennis players inspired film

Serena Williams and Naomi Osaka’s 2018 US Open match inspired Challengers, writer Justin Kuritzkes has revealed.

Luca Guadagnino’s new film follows Tashi (Zendaya), a tennis prodigy turned coach, who seeks to transform her husband Art’s (Mike Faist) losing streak - but finds himself standing across the net from Patrick (Josh O’Connor), his former best friend and Tashi’s ex-boyfriend.

Kuritzkes told The Independent the infamous match, for which Williams received multiple code violations, struck him as “really cinematic.”

“You’re all alone on the court and there’s one other person who cares as much about what happens to you as you do but you can’t speak to them... how could you communicate that tension?”

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