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Serena in the Arena: ESPN Serves Up Documentary Series on Tennis Legend

Last Updated: July 1, 2023
Tom Brady and Gotham Chopra are among the big names behind the project in addition to Williams’ own Nine Two Six Productions.

In the wake of 10-part 2021 streaming documentary series Man in the Arena capturing Tom Brady‘s Super Bowl history and GOAT-level career taking home last year’s Sports Emmy Award for Outstanding Documentary Series, an upcoming In the Arena sequel is in the works. On Tuesday, ESPN and Religion of Sports announced that Serena Williams will be the focus of its next iteration.

Serena’s journey from teenage phenom to an icon with 23 Grand Slam singles titles will play out in a multi-part series co-produced by ESPN, Religion of Sports, Brady’s 199 Productions, and Williams’ and Caroline Currier’s Nine Two Six Productions. RoS co-founder Gotham Chopra will direct the series just as he did for the Brady doc.

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In The Arena will feature exclusive interviews with Williams and key figures throughout her life in chronicling her greatest tennis triumphs and personal challenges, her biggest matches, her lowest moments, and her transition from life on the court to becoming a mother and entrepreneur.

Other details on the ESPN+ streaming series will be forthcoming. In the meantime, it’s worth considering how much of the Man in the Arena playbook this Serena sequel replicates. Over the course of the 10 Brady-centric episodes, additional shoulder content included Inside the Arena, a postgame show of sorts after each new airing hosted by ESPN NFL analyst Field Yates and former New England Patriots teammate Teddy Bruschi. There was also After the Arena, an ESPN social media show starring Shae Cornette, Jason Fitz, and Skubie Mageza, and a Man in the Arena-inspired podcast series hosted by Chopra himself presented from his own point of view with guests like Tottenham superstar (and known Pats fan) Harry Kane.

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