Tennis is has attracted celebrities and the who’s who of the world for a long time now. We see many filmstars and famous athletes from other sports attend Grand Slams and high profile tournaments regularly. The Wimbledon every year practically is filled with big names every single day. On the other hand, we see glimpses of many Hollywood stars during the US Open as well.
But many of these famous personalities are not only fans of watching the sport but also playing it. Here we shall look at some of the famous personalities who love the sport. They have either played tennis at a competitive level or still play regularly.
Matthew Perry, Chandler from Friends
Chandler from FRIENDS, best known for his sarcasm was also an avid tennis player and at one point became a top-ranked junior tennis player. The Ottawa-born star with dual American and Canadian citizenship loved the sport as a kid.
In an interview a few years ago he admitted that he was keen on making it to the professional level. He almost practices 10 hours a day when he was young. He thought about taking up tennis more seriously before moving into acting. Perry is still a regular player and is spotted in the crowd during the US Open regularly.
Kate Middleton, The Duchess of Cambridge
The Duchess of Cambridge has been long been a tennis fan and has even inspired her husband, Prince William to be a much more active player of the sport. She is seen at the Wimbledon Championships each year. But her love for the sport dates back years, long before she was associated with the royal family.
The royal couple are close friends to Roger Federer who even gave their son Prince George private lessons! Kate took over the role of patron of the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club from the Queen in 2016 and is a regular visitor at the club.
Bill Gates, Co-Founder of Microsoft
Formerly world’s richest person and the co-founder of the software giant Microsoft, Bill Gates has been a life long fan of tennis. He has been playing the sport since his younger days and even now plays the game regularly. In a recent documentary made on him, he admitted that at times he plays tennis for up to 3 to 4 hours at a stretch.
He has regularly been teaming up with tennis starts especially Roger Federer to play matches for charities. In 2017 he raised over $2 million from “Match for Africa” for the Federer foundation & participated in another match a year later in Silicon Valley raising over $2.5 million.
Scarlett Johansson, Black Widow from Marvel Superheroes
The American actress and singer is well renowned for her role as the Black Widow in the Avengers series of movies. She was the highest-paid actress since 2018 in the world and a regular in the Forbes celebrity 100. But one particular film that she did made her fall in love with tennis.
She worked in a movie named “Match Point” in 2005. She had to play tennis every single day in order to prepare for her role in the movie. The actress got hooked the sport from that point onwards. She claims that her body has changed for better ever since she started playing.
She said in an interview a few years ago:
“Every day I had to practise on the tennis court – and I’d never held a racket before. Tennis is great. You don’t even notice how much you run. You get a nice body, taut legs and great butt. I’ll keep on playing if I find a good partner. But I want to win every time. I am very ambitious.”
Brad Pitt, Hollywood Actor, Producer & Philanthropist
The two times Golden Globe & once Academy award winner and the lead actor from the Fight Club, Moneyball & Ocean’s Twelve is a life long tennis fan.
The American is worth over a billion dollars and apart from being a famous actor, he is also a very successful film producer and has also done a significant amount of work in philanthropy and charity in the last few years.
His love for the game goes back a long way. He was a regular on his high school tennis team and play. He is still a regular on the tennis courts and is a regular visitor at the US Open.
Kaley Cuoco, Penny from The Big Bang Theory
Another celebrity whose love for the game is little known is Kaley Cuoco or Penny Hofstadter from the Big Bang Theory.
She has been a lifelong tennis player and still has a keen interest in the game. In fact, during her childhood, she was a nationally ranked junior player. In 1998, Cuoco was ranked 54th on the Girls’ under 14 tennis ranking in Southern California.
She started playing tennis at the age of just three and despite choosing to become a professional actor in 2001, still plays the sport regularly. She was married to former ATP player, world number 64 and winner of 2011 US Men’s Clay Court Championships, Ryan Sweeting.
Charlie Chaplin, a British Acting Icon
Yes, one of the most recognisable faces in the film history, London born Chaplin was most famous for his on-screen works during the silent movie era. He became world known for his iconic work and screen persona, “The Tramp”. It is very famous even today, after over 100 overs since it was made.
But a little known fact about him is that he was a huge fan of the sport. He played the sport regularly and was a member of the Beverly Hills Club. He even built a court to play regularly in his Los Angelos home.
Paolo Maldini, Italian & AC Milan Football Legend
Multiple Italian top-flight football championships, Champions League, runners up at FIFA World cup and an Italian & AC Milan legend are some honours that not many footballers can boast off. But one of the best centre backs in the history of football, Paolo Maldini was also a keen tennis player and even turned professional for a short period of time.
He had been a regular tennis player throughout his professional footballing career and decided to take part in a challenger tournament after retiring from football. He and his partner Stefano Landonio qualified for an ATP Challenger Tour event but lost in the first round itself.
Maldini, 46 at the time decided to call it quits after one match only. But he remains an avid fan of the sport till date.
So here was our list of some famous people who love sport and play tennis regularly. Do let us know if you have any suggestions to add to this list.