Peter Colt, an English tennis player in his thirties whose ranking slipped from 11th to 119th in the world, considers he never really had to fight for anything as his wealthy but all but close family easily put him through studies and allowed him to pursue his tennis ambitions, bravely exchanges jokes with his German sparring partner Dieter Prohl, in a similar position, but feels it's about time to admit he's getting too old to compete with fitter coming men (or boys) and intends, after a last Wimbledon, to take a job with the prestigious tennis club instead. Just then, by accident, he bumps into Lizzie Bradbury, the American rising star of female tennis, falls in love with her and finds her interest in him changes his entire perception, even gives him the strength to win again. But where will it lead them, especially when her overprotective father-manager Dennis Bradbury proves determined to nip their relationship in the bud, believing it detrimental to her career?
Brit Peter Colt is at the end of his professional tennis playing career, currently ranked #119 in the world - over 100 placings lower than his career high 11 six years ago - and not having beaten a top-10 player in three years. He has a reputation of not being able to finish the big matches, hence never having achieved greatness in the sport. He is a wild card entry in this year's Wimbledon, which will be his last tournament ever before he reluctantly moves onto the next phase of his life as a tennis pro at an upscale country club. On the other end of the spectrum is American Lizzie Bradbury, who is entered in her first ever Wimbledon this year, and is touted as possibly winning the championship on her first try. She is a temperamental player, who uses that temperament to fuel her drive. The two meet for the first time at the tournament. Because of their mutual attraction combined with the fact of trying to remain focused on the task of winning, they embark on a casual sexual relationship during the tournament whenever the mood strikes either of them. But that casual relationship soon becomes something deeper for both of them. While their burgeoning love drives Peter to play better than he has in years, it becomes more a distraction for Lizzie, which does not sit well with her manager/coach father, Dennis Bradbury. Peter and Lizzie have to decide if they can continue their romantic relationship and still stay focused on winning the championship, and if not which is more important, the answer which may be different for the two at their different points in their respective careers.
In just two summer weeks, a British tennis player who was ranked 119th in the world (Bettany), and generally considered to be on his last legs as a professional player, gets his one last chance to win both the All-England Lawn Tennis Championships on the grassy courts of Wimbledon... and the heart of the rising star "bad girl of tennis" (Dunst) as well...
A pro tennis player has lost his ambition and has fallen in rank to 119. Fortunately for him, he meets a young player on the women's circuit who helps him recapture his focus for Wimbledon.
- Peter Colt, a British professional tennis player in his thirties whose ranking has slipped from 11th to 119th in the world, has never really had to fight for anything, as his wealthy family allowed him to easily pursue his tennis ambitions. Though he earns a wildcard spot to the Wimbledon tournament, he feels it's time to admit he's getting too old to compete with fitter up-and-coming younger players and intends, after this last Wimbledon, to take a job with a prestigious tennis club.
As Wimbledon begins, he bumps into Lizzie Bradbury, the American rising star of female tennis. They fall in love and her interest in him changes his entire perception, even giving him the strength to win again. As their love grows, Peter's game becomes better and better. Lizzie's overprotective father-manager Dennis Bradbury is determined to nip their relationship in the bud, believing it detrimental to her career. One day, Dennis comes to Peters old flat and yells at him for spoiling his daughter's game. She overhears this and decides to leave him and focus on her game.
The night before their semi-final matches, Peter sneaks into Lizzie's hotel room and persuades her to have sex. The next day, he performs quite well and wins in straight sets but Lizzie loses. Lizzie angrily breaks up with Peter, saying his selfishness made her lose, and decides to immediately return to the U.S. to train.
Peter has to play the final match against Jake Hammond, an arrogant American star, but finds himself outclassed. At the airport, Lizzie watches an interview on TV in which Peter apologizes and declares his love for her. She returns to Wimbledon.
As Lizzie reaches the stadium, Peter has lost two sets and is behind in the third. When the game is suspended due to rain, Lizzie appears in the dressing room and forgives him. She tells him the secret of Jake's tricky serves and Peter recovers to win the title (36, 26, 64, 76(6), 64). He and Lizzie get married, and with his support, Lizzie goes on to win the U.S. Open and Wimbledon twice, ultimately achieving her dreams. In the final scene, Peter is with their youngest child, a boy, watching Lizzie and their eldest child, a girl, playing tennis together on a neighborhood court in New York City.