Zendaya Reveals What Serena Williams Told Her After Watching “Challengers”

The actress plays the role of tennis player-turned-coach Tashi Duncan in the April 26 film

<p>Lia Toby/Getty</p> Zendaya; Serena Williams

Lia Toby/Getty

Zendaya; Serena Williams

Zendaya's performance in Challengers has already won over Serena Williams!

The actress, 27, revealed to ET that the tennis superstar, 42, has seen her latest performance as tennis player-turned-coach Tashi Duncan in the upcoming film — and she's a fan.

"She was like, 'I know there definitely weren't real [tennis] balls," Zendaya told the outlet. "She knows. She's the best of the best."

"She did say that it was great considering that I had never, never touched a tennis ball before," she added.

<p>Gilbert Flores/Variety via Getty</p> Serena Williams at the 54th NAACP Image Awards in 2023.

Gilbert Flores/Variety via Getty

Serena Williams at the 54th NAACP Image Awards in 2023.

Related: Zendaya Wows Over Snap of Venus Williams at Challengers Premiere in Los Angeles: ‘This Is So Special’

Zendaya previously told the outlet that she was "very nervous about her seeing my tennis skills," and apologized "in advance" to Serena and her sister Venus, 43.

The actress had a fun back-and-forth with Venus on social media earlier in the week, and at the top of the month, caught up with PEOPLE about who specifically inspired her performance in the film, directed by Luca Guadagnino.

Since the film marks Zendaya's on-screen debut as a mom, she explained that the "mothers in my life and around me" were to thank for the role. As she explained, she's even had some practice taking care of kids.

“I have many, many nieces and nephews, so they’re like my borrowed children, you know? I get to have fun and give them back to their parents,” Zendaya said.

“But I’m definitely inspired by how they tackle and take on motherhood.”

<p>MGM</p> Mike Faist, Zendaya and Josh O'Connor in 'Challengers'


Mike Faist, Zendaya and Josh O'Connor in 'Challengers'

Related: Zendaya Serves a Fierce Neon Look as She Changes Into Custom Tennis Ball Gown at Challengers Afterparty

Zendaya stars in the romantic sports comedy alongside Mike Faist and Josh O’Connor, with a synopsis noting that the film follows “three players who knew each other when they were teenagers as they compete in a tennis tournament to be the world-famous grand slam winner and reignite old rivalries on and off the court.”

Director Guadagnino, 52, told Variety in 2022 that the Dune star actually “spent like three months” training with pro tennis coach and former player Brad Gilbert for the role, sharing that the team behind the film "almost actually don’t use any of her double."

The film also has some sexy scenes, Zendaya explained on Jimmy Kimmel Live, noting that her family was "absolutely" warned about them ahead of time.

“Well they know it’s a Rated-R movie OK so I was like you know, walking into this, 'If you can’t handle the heat get out the kitchen,’ ” said Zendaya, who is also a producer of the film. “But I forewarned them. It was honestly my favorite part of the night ’cause I’ve seen the movie many times.”

She added: “I know when the scenes are coming so when those scenes were happening I just was watching my family because they were behind me, so I just watched them the whole time, it was hilarious.”

Challengers arrives in theaters on April 26.

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