If Tennis Players Could Win Oscars

Last night was Hollywood’s grand slam, the 87th Academy Awards, and whether you’re an awards show junkie who was live tweeting about Lady Gaga’s rubber gloves, or would rather play tennis in a snowstorm than watch Neil Patrick Harris make uncomfortable jokes, you probably can’t escape the media’s coverage of this event. We at MyTennisLessons aren’t film buffs by any means, but we do like to stay current, so I decided to create the Academy of Motion Picture Serves and Volleys and award the first-ever Oscars to our deserving tennis stars.

Best Performance by an ATP Player in a Leading Role


The nominees: Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, Andy Murray

Winner: Novak Djokovic

In 2014, actor Eddie Redmayne added a bunch of trophies to his shelf and married his longtime girlfriend with whom he initially became acquainted in high school. Novak Djokovic had a fairly similar year — winning seven titles, including Wimbledon, and marrying his high school sweetheart. Also he had a kid, who we can only assume is adorable. Basically these guys are smiling so big because they’re thinking about how awesome their life is.

Best Performance by a WTA Player in a Leading Role


The nominees: Li Na, Maria Sharapova, Petra Kvitova, Serena Williams

Winner: Serena Williams

Julianne Moore and Serena Williams have been in the game since the late 90s, when Moore starred in Boogie Nights and Williams wowed at the U.S. Open. Both are seasoned vets in their respective industries as Moore has been nominated for more than 100 acting awards and Williams has won more than 60 WTA titles. Decades after their debut, these women are incredibly deserving of their queen bee status, and despite what Hollywood or pro tennis has to say about age, we have a feeling they’ll be taking trophies for years to come.

Best Performance by an ATP Player in a Supporting Role


The nominees: Grigor Dimitrov, Milos Raonic, Kei Nishikori, Marin Cilic

Winner: Marin Cilic

Last night, JK Simmons took home the best supporting actor award for playing a psycho music teacher, which surprised no one because he crushed it this awards season, winning a total of 22 times. But prior to this year Simmons had won nothing and you probably knew him best for starring in crime shows or being Juno’s dad. Marin Cilic basically has the same story as Simmons because he turned pro in 2004 and didn’t win a grand slam until the 2014 U.S. Open. We wouldn’t call him the Daniel Day-Lewis of tennis just yet, but he killed it in 2014 and we can’t wait to see what he does this year once he recovers from injury.

Best Performance by a WTA Player in a Supporting Role


The nominees: Eugenie Bouchard, Simona Halep, Caroline Wozniacki, Ekaterina Makarova

Winner: Eugenie Bouchard

Boyhood actress Patricia Arquette worked 12 years for this award and Eugenie Bouchard’s been working about the same amount of time to reach the top of the tennis ladder. (Seriously, people were investing in her tennis career when she was 9.) This was Bouchard’s breakthrough year as the 20 year old reached the semi-finals of the Australian and French opens and the finals of Wimbledon. We’re pretty sure it won’t be another 12 years before she wins one of these events.

Best Director (Coach)


The nominees: Amelie Mauresmo for Andy Murray, Boris Becker for Novak Djokovic, Michael Chang for Kei Nishikori, Toni Nadal for Rafael Nadal

Winner: Amelie Mauresmo

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has only given one woman the Best Director award in its 87-year history, but here at the Academy of Motion Picture Serves and Volleys, we know girls run the world, so Mauresmo is the clear winner in this category. Murray is the first elite male tennis player to hire a female coach outside of family members, so props to him for being a smartie. Since hiring Mauresmo, Murray has has made it to the finals of the Australian Open and climbed in the rankings to no. 3 on the tour.

Best Costume Design


The nominees: Adidas, Nike, Under Armour

Winner: Under Armour

Milena Canonero, who won Best Costume Design for The Grand Budapest Hotel, already had three Oscars prior to last night, so she was probably like, “whatevs” when her name was called. Adidas and Nike are kind of the Milena Canoneros of pro tennis, but honestly I’m just so obsessed with the way Under Armour dressed Sloane Stephens this year that I have to give them the little gold man.

Best Motion Picture (Grand Slam Final)

Marin Cilic

The nominees: Stan Wawrinka def. Novak Djokovic (Australian Open), Li Na def. Dominika Cibulkova (Australian Open), Rafael Nadal def. Novak Djokovic (French Open), Maria Sharapova def. Simona Halep (French Open), Novak Djokovic def. Roger Federer (Wimbledon), Petra Kvitova def. Eugenie Bouchard (Wimbledon), Marin Cilic def. Kei Nishikori (U.S. Open), Serena Williams def. Caroline Wozniacki (U.S. Open)

Winner: Marin Cilic def. Kei Nishikori (U.S. Open)

The Academy doesn’t like films that don’t do well in the box office, and if the 2014 men’s U.S. Open final were a movie it would have bombed. However, it was the only men’s grand slam final this year that didn’t include Djokovic and one of two finals in which a “Big Four” player didn’t win. This year’s Oscar for Best Motion Picture went to Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) and if you didn’t see the movie (like me) and don’t understand the parenthetical subtitle (like me) it’s basically referring to lack of knowledge being a good thing for the main dude in the film who’s trying to direct his first play. We could say ignorance was a very unexpected virtue for Cilic and Nishikori because who predicted these less experienced players would meet in the finals on one of the biggest stages in tennis? Obscure comparisons to cinema aside, this was the most interesting final to me, and because there’s only one member in the Academy of Motion Picture Serves and Volleys — it wins.


I grew up in a tennis family with three younger sisters as doubles partners. If you enjoyed a blog post of mine or want to know more, feel free to email me at avery@mytennislessons.com. Thanks for reading and staying connected with MyTennisLessons!
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