Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo

A Beginner’s Guide To Tennis Inspired By “Challengers”

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UCLA chapter.

After six years of playing tennis, seeing a movie centered on the sport starring Zendaya had me READY. Now, as I scroll through social media, I’m thrilled to see everyone wanting to pick up a racket and hit the court; love the energy! But before you rush out to play, here’s what you need to know:


When it comes to selecting the ideal racket for yourself, it’s crucial to consider options from the top three brands: Prince, Wilson, or Head. Keep in mind that each racket is unique, so what works perfectly for your friend might not necessarily suit you. That’s why testing out a few is essential until you discover the one that feels just right. Personally, I prefer to shop for my rackets at Tennis Warehouse for a wider selection, but if you’re just starting out or playing casually, picking one up from Walmart or Target should be fine.

Once you reach pro status (and I have full confidence you will!), you can start exploring some cool accessories to enhance your game. Consider investing in a high-quality grip for your racket to prevent your hands from getting too slippery during intense matches. Additionally, a vibration dampener, also known as a worm, can help minimize the vibrations in the strings of your racket, providing you with better control and precision in your shots. These little additions can make a big difference in your performance on the court.


Investing in top-notch shoes is an absolute must! Just like Tashi, we want to ensure smooth sailing on the court without any issues. Opting for high-quality tennis shoes is crucial as they are specifically designed to provide the necessary grip on the court surface, helping to prevent injuries. When it comes to tennis shoes, you have plenty of options! You can find them at various stores like Nike, Adidas, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Tennis Warehouse, and many more. Whether you’re looking for specific brands or just browsing for the perfect pair, there’s something out there for everyone’s style and budget.

Trust me, I’ve learned the hard way after years of attempting to play tennis in improper shoes, which only resulted in holes in the soles and painful blisters. Especially on hot days, the friction from the court can quickly lead to discomfort. Having the right shoes can significantly reduce the occurrence of blisters. Don’t forget to keep some band-aids handy, just in case!

cute gear

Now onto the fun part: cute, cute, cute gear! While tennis skirts are undeniably adorable, let’s be real, they’re not always the most practical for long matches. Personally, I’m all about cute shorts paired with spandex underneath to prevent thigh rub rashes. And if you, like me, struggle with thigh rubbing, a swipe of deodorant between the thighs can work wonders.

Let’s also talk about tank tops—opting for these over t-shirts can help avoid those awkward tan lines. Speaking of tans, please, please, please remember to slather on sunscreen and wear a hat or visor every time you hit the court. Sun damage is no joke, and sunburns are just painful. Let’s keep the skin pain away while looking stylish and staying comfy on the court!


Tenniscore is taking over beauty and I’m HERE FOR IT! 🎾 Bows, braids, and more trends I think we’ll see more of as the sport gains more popularity than ever (thanks in no small part to the tennis-centered @Challengers Movie starring #Zendaya and all the looks she’s been *serving*). I especially loved the white bow + braided ponytail #UrsulaStephen did at the London premiere 💯!! Tenniscore beauty at its finest 😍 . . #tennis #tenniscore #challengers #challengersmovie #tennistok #zendayaedit #zendayastyle #tennisoutfits #tennisfashion #tennisgirl

♬ original sound – Kristina Rodulfo

Let’s talk technique! The two fundamental moves in tennis are the forehand and backhand (technique can be found on YouTube!). Once you’ve mastered these, you can take your game to the next level by perfecting your volleys and slices, but let’s not rush into that just yet. If you’re just starting out and not quite ready to hit the court with others, there’s a perfect solution: hitting against a wall!

Find any suitable wall where you won’t receive a noise complaint (LOL) and practice your swings with a ball. It’s worth noting that if you hit the ball hard against the wall, it’ll come back even faster, so start off gently until you feel comfortable. This practice method will help you refine your forehand and backhand strokes until you’ve got them down!


Honestly, tennis can feel like it has a ton of rules, and it’s totally normal to feel overwhelmed at first. But trust me, with a bit of practice, you’ll have them down in no time! I’ve linked a video below that explains all the essential rules you need to know before stepping onto the court. Wishing you the best of luck on your tennis journey; you’ve got this!

Jenny is a second-year Psychology major at UCLA, from Reedley, California. She loves working out, going on iced coffee runs, staying updated with the latest celebrity gossip, and watching early 2000's rom-coms. In her free time, you'll likely find her walking around campus with an iced coffee, music blaring, and always shopping on Bruinwalk.