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Navratilova serves up match of the century

Hellen Wills poses for photographs

Three factual prodcos have teamed up for a feature doc about the ‘match of the century’ tennis game between Suzanne Lenglen and Hellen Wills in the 1920s, with tennis legend Martina Navratilova exec producing.

Canada’s Handel Productions and London-based duo Cornelia Street Productions and Arrow Media are working on The Goddess & The American Girl alongside nine-time Wimbledon singles champion Navratilova.

The feature doc will tell the story of French prima donna Suzanne Lenglen and California sensation Helen Wills ,who were widely considered the best female tennis players in the 1920s but had never faced each other until February 1926 at the Carlton Club tournament in Cannes.

Featuring unprecedented access to original 1920s footage, which will be colourised for the first time, The Goddess & The American Girl explores the emerging role of women through the lens of Lenglen and Wills’ very public battle.

Navratilova said: “Everything was a man’s world and these women transcended the sport. They blazed that trail. They affected women’s rights and gave women the right to dream. To hope.”

Jon Wertheim, exec editor of Sports Illustrated, also exec produces. His book Strokes of Genius: Federer, Nadal & the Greatest Match Ever Played was adapted into a highly successful feature documentary.

Sarah Sapper and David Kerr exec produce for Cornelia Street Productions, alongside Alan Handel for Handel Productions and Tom Brisley for Arrow Media.

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