12 Oscar Nominees If They Were Tennis Players

Happy Oscar Sunday, everyone! To celebrate the festivities, I’ve taken a look at the list of nominees and tried to find their ATP or WTA equivalent. So, let’s get straight on with the tennis Academy Awards…

1. Julianne Moore (Best Actress, Still Alice) = Maria Sharapova

Always strong contenders, Moore and Sharapova have proved their worth over a long body of work that is universally respected. For all their strengths, they are often noted for their icy demeanour – Moore uninterested in playing the likeable hollywood star in favour of making far more interesting acting choices, and Sharapova cutting herself off from locker room friendships to focus on playing a solid game.

2. Michael Keaton (Best Actor, Birdman) = Roger Federer

The old man still got game! For all of those who had written of Keaton and Federer as having their best years behind them, their performances in 2014 have proved that they’re still here to play. There may be younger competitors threatening their chances of winning the biggest prize this year, but they’re not to be underestimated.

3. Into the Woods (Best Costume Design) = Victoria Azarenka

The WTA’s resident vocal superstar.

4. Rosamund Pike (Best Actress, Gone Girl) = Anastasia Rodionova

Really, really good at playing the bad girl who wants her adversaries to suffer. Really unconvincing when attempting to portray warmth and kindness. Pike probably shouldn’t be nominated for being good in only one third of a movie, and Rodionova probably…isn’t invited to the best parties.

5. Everything is Awesome (Best Song, The Lego Movie) = Dominic Thiem

Okay, the song isn’t called Everything is Mega but it’s close enough. The young Austrian’s facebook summaries of his matches have become a beloved tradition, and an insight into the positive mental attitude he brings to his game. Long may that continue.

6. Meryl Streep (Best Supporting Actress, Into the Woods) = Serena Williams

Wins everything. Always gives a strong performance. The name most likely to be seen on a trophy on any given year. Streep and Williams are undeniably the greatest in their fields.

7. Birdman (Best Picture) = Thomas Berdych


8. Emma Stone (Best Supporting Actress, Birdman) = Andrea Petkovic

They’re just…cool, you know? Stone proved on the Jimmy Fallon show that she is really good at lipsyncing, and I feel like Petkovic would give Jimmy a good fight herself.

9. Eddie Redmayne (Best Actor, The Theory of Everything) = Nick Kyrgios

Like Redmayne, Kyrgios is a new name making big noises at the right moments. While Redmayne’s fame has so far come from two big-time appearances (this Oscar nominated role and his scene stealing appearance as Marius in the Oscar nominated Les Miserables), Kyrgios has made two big splashes of his own, first by defeating Rafael Nadal at Wimbledon and then by making a deep run to the quarter-finals at his home slam in Melbourne.

10. Patricia Arquette (Best Supporting Actress, Boyhood) = Kimiko Date-Krumm

Sometimes it’s nice to celebrate those who’ve put in years of hard work. While Arquette worked on her role in Boyhood over a period of 12 years, Date-Krumm is still going strong representing the over 40s on the women’s tour.

11. JK Simmons (Best Supporting Actor, Whiplash) = Jelena Jankovic

Simmons has been praised for his role as an unrelenting, aggressive music coach who pushes Miles Teller’s desperate drummer to his limits. Now, while I wouldn’t suggest JJ reaches this level of aggression, I do wonder if her brother Marco could relate to Teller’s character were he to take in a viewing of the movie…

12. Bradley Cooper (Best Actor, American Sniper) = Ben Rothenberg

Okay, he’s not a player. But the New York Times writer and NCR podcaster is the newly appointed resident assassin of the tennis universe. Note that American Sniper hasn’t been so well received by British critics…

Any Oscar nominee / tennis player combinations you think I’ve missed? Submit your nominees in the comments below!

Note: Into The Woods was not nominated for Best Picture as originally stated, but Andrew thinks it should have been purely for that amazing Chris Pine song.

Andrew can be found in the mountains of Switzerland, watching tennis and trying not to eat too much Swiss cheese. You can follow him on twitter @BackSwings

4 Responses

  1. Jason
    Jason February 22, 2015 at 1:09 pm |

    At first I thought this was mildly forced (though with the predictable amusement provided by Berdman)…then I got to #12. All worth it.

  2. catherine Bell
    catherine Bell February 22, 2015 at 1:25 pm |

    Please explain – who assassinated who ? Ie: which tennis journalist ? And how ?

  3. Helen
    Helen February 22, 2015 at 1:33 pm |

    Catherine: Just google Neil Harman, Ben Rothenberg and Slate – the reference will become clear as day!

  4. catherine Bell
    catherine Bell February 22, 2015 at 2:02 pm |

    Neil Harman plagiarised. ‘End of story’. No excuses there. As a journalist you don’t do that.
    Don’t care how many friends he has in British media.

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