Warning: This post contains spoilers for Challengers.


  • The ambiguous ending of
    emphasizes the importance of the trio’s relationship over who actually won the tennis match.
  • Director Luca Guadagnino wanted to show the trio back together, rather than focus on a clear winner, to highlight their dynamic.
  • The ending of
    , while open to interpretation, showcases the tension and chemistry between the characters, sparking discussions.

Challengers director Luca Guadagnino opens up about the ending of the recently released romantic sports-drama, and how the ambiguous final moments serve its legacy well. Starring Zendaya, Mike Faist, and Josh O’Connor, the movie follows a love triangle between three professional tennis players, two of whom get married, igniting personal and professional rivalries. Challengers has received strong reviews, and even ranked as #1 at the box office during the traditionally slow April period. The movie concludes with an ambiguous ending, choosing not to reveal who won the grudge match between Patrick and Art.

In an interview with EW, Guadagnino weighed in on the Challengers ending and gave his explanation of the final moments. The movie ends precisely as Art crashes into Patrick on the tennis court, falling into his arms as Tashi cheers on the sidelines. No winner is declared, but the whole movie hypes up the importance of who becomes the victor. Guadagnino revealed that the important part of the story was not who won, but the trio being back together. Read the Call Me by Your Name director’s comments below:

They are acting out for 13 years the possibility of going back to that hotel room to find again that beautiful moment of burgeoning desires and innocence. And at the same time, to feel at ease with one another, the way they were there. So, throughout the entire arc, that’s what they’re trying to do. And finally, with the rivalry at that heightened level, the triangle finally found itself sitting in the same place, but now on the court.

I needed to get this very, very visually amped up and really immersed for the audience to understand
how much it meant for them not to win over the other, but to be back together, all of them.


Challengers Cast & Character Guide

The cast of Luca Guadignino’s romantic sports movie Challengers is filled with talented actors who transform this story into something fun and alive.

Why The Challengers Ending Works So Well

Challengers’ Ambiguous Approach Helps It In Many Ways

Part of Challengers‘ strength as a movie is through how the story develops, and how the ending fulfills the promise of the premise. As Guadagnino suggests, the ambiguity of the ending feeds into what is important in the movie: the relationship between the trio. The winner is almost irrelevant, and audiences don’t get to find out the result, because it doesn’t matter. All of them are back together, and that tension and chemistry is palpable.

So many movies lose their audience with the ending, which either disappoints, contradicts, or feels like it hasn’t been earned. The reason Challengers seems to have worked well is that Guadagnino, and writer Justin Kuritzkes, choose to let the audience decide how some of the elements of the story end, which could only lead to more discussion. No stranger to building tension and developing complicated relationship dynamics, most of Guadagnino’s best movies explore these kinds of themes, and Challengers is no different.

Whether the ending of the movie is enough to make Challengers a modern classic remains to be seen, and time will tell how it is viewed retrospectively. However, buoyed by a strong performance from rising star Zendaya, intimate direction from Guadagnino, and Kuritzkes’s strong script, the movie is faring well with audiences. As it sparks impassioned debate and speculation, Challengers marks a strong entry in the filmography of all those involved.

Source: EW

Challengers Poster


Challengers is a romantic sports comedy film by director Luca Guadagnino. The film stars Zendaya as a retired Tennis legend who, while trying to coach her husband and lead him to victory in an upcoming Tennis match, discovers his coming opponent is her ex-lover.

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