Warning: spoilers ahead. If you just finished watching Challengers, you may have left the theater feeling a little confused by the ending. Fear not, Zendaya, lead actress of the film, is breaking down her own interpretation.

And of course we trust her opinion, not only because she produced the film, but because she’s Zendaya! Keep reading to see her thoughts on the movie’s closing. 

How Does ‘Challengers’ End?

Major spoiler warning! In the final scene, Art (played by Mike Faist) and Patrick (played by Josh O’Connor) are battling it out on the tennis court. Nearing the end of the intense nail-bitting match, Art swings his racket and slams the ball to the other side, in which Partick misses.

Art jumps over the net and into his arms where the two fall on the ground. The camera then cuts to Zendaya’s character, Tashi, as she screams “come on!” with a smile, ending the 2-hour film.

What Does the Ending in ‘Challengers’ Mean?

So, who won? Did Tashi end up with Patrick? Did she end up with Art? The audience is left with so many questions and not enough answers.

“Isn’t it so beautiful that we have an open ending that people like?” Luca Guadadigno told The New York Times in April 2024. “Because everybody says, ‘No. Never open ending. You have to know what happens at the end.”

Zendaya revealed her own interpretation to the ending during the same interview. Her theory is that Tashi’s expression at the end is of approval, and she’s happy that the two boys are finally playing real tennis.

However, her own mother saw things a bit differently.

“My mom is like, ‘She’s pissed because they realize that they don’t need her anymore.’ I was like, ‘But I smile a little bit at the end!’ My mom was watching it behind me and every time my character does something bad or cheats on her husband or whatever, she’s like, ‘Why do you do that?’”

She continued, “But it’s interesting, I was like, ‘What? I don’t know where you got that from.’ I’m in the movie and I feel like I have a good sense of what I thought this ending was supposed to be, and she was like, ‘No. This is what it is. So sorry.’”

Hmm, maybe her mom does have the right idea, especially since the director of the film liked her interpretation!

“Maybe your mom is right, maybe Tashi wants them to find each other,” Luca told the same outlet.

“Maybe,” Zendaya added. “I was like, ‘Maybe she’s pissed. I don’t know.'”

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