Naomi Osaka Imitates “Challengers” — After Movie's Screenwriter Says It Was Inspired by Her 2018 US Open Win

The four-time Grand Slam champion channels the movie's vibe in a hilarious TikTok



Naomi Osaka is a fan of Challengers!

On TikTok May 1, the tennis star served up her own tribute to the movie, which stars Zendaya as a tennis player-turned-coach who is involved in a love triangle.

“No one: ” Osaka, 26, captioned her video, before adding: “Me after watching Challengers.”

In the video, the four-time Grand Slam champion is seen working on her serve, twirling her racket and adjusting her ponytail, all while the movie’s score plays in the background.

While Osaka is channeling Challengers’ vibe as a fan, she was one half of the match that helped inspire the film.

In an interview with Business Insider, screenwriter Justin Kuritzkes said the romantic drama is not based on any tennis players.

But the 2018 US Open final — in which Osaka defeated Serena Williams — did figure prominently as inspiration for the movie, he shared.

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Related: Naomi Osaka Thanks Fans for Their 'Patience' as She Gets Ready for Her Return to Tennis

“Immediately, this struck me as this intensely cinematic situation where you’re all alone on your side of the court and there’s this one other person in this massive tennis stadium who cares as much about what happens to you as you do, but you can’t talk to them,” Kuritzkes told the outlet.

In the memorable match, Williams argued with the umpire, accusing him of being a “thief” for giving her three code violations. Osaka went on to win 6-2, 6-4, and tearfully gave a speech afterwards telling Williams and the fans, "I'm sorry that it had to end like this."

Related: Everything to Know About 'Challengers' Starring Zendaya

“For whatever reason, it just clicked in my mind,” Kuritzkes said. “Well, what if you really needed to talk about something? And what if it was something beyond tennis? What if it was something that was going on with the two of you? And what if it involved the person on the other side of the net? How would you have that conversation and how could you communicate the tension of that situation using the tools that are specific to film?”

In Challengers, Zendaya plays Tashi Duncan, a former tennis player who now coaches her husband Art Donaldson (Mike Faist).

Throughout the movie, which is told in a series of flashbacks interwoven within the main storyline, Art faces the couple’s friend turned enemy, Patrick Zweig (Josh O’Connor), in a Challengers match.

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