We Finally Understand The Ending Of King Richard

When the trailer for "King Richard" dropped earlier this year, it already had the internet teary-eyed. The biographical film is based on the origins of Venus and Serena Williams. Today, they are known as two of the biggest megastars in tennis, but they started out as young players coached by their father, Richard Williams. Will Smith stars as the sisters' father in the film, and upon its recent premiere, "King Richard" looks like a solid awards season contender. On Rotten Tomatoes, the movie already has a collective 91% score from critics.

Part of what makes "King Richard" such a winner is that the movie aims to offer an honest and grounded look at the relationship between Richard and his children. It also depicts the early tennis careers of Venus and Serena, played by Saniyya Sidney and Demi Singleton, respectively. For people who don't know too much about the sisters' early days, certain events depicted in the movie might come as a surprise, especially the ending. While giving an interview about the new movie, "King Richard" screenwriter Zach Baylin gave some insight into the film's conclusion.

Spoilers for "King Richard" ahead.

The ending is based on an actual Venus Williams match

At the end of "King Richard," a young Venus Williams ultimately loses in her pro tournament debut, which actually did happen for the tennis star. Per Tennis Majors, the event was the 1994 Bank of the West Classic, during which Venus, only 14 years old at the time, played against the then No. 2 tennis player in the world, Arantxa Sánchez-Vicario, and led her in the first two games before losing the following 11. "King Richard" shows that Venus loses her momentum early in the match after Sánchez-Vicario takes a bathroom break.

Per USA Today, Venus confirmed the moment, recalling, "I had a huge lead. She took a bathroom break and I fell apart." Choosing this moment as the film's finale, rather than another high career point for Venus, might not have been what some fans expected. But as "King Richard" screenwriter Zach Baylin noted to The Wrap, the ending with the tournament loss is pivotal for the focus of the sports biopic.

Baylin explained his reasoning, stating, "That was a real jumping off point for me of what the movie would be framed around. If she had won that match, the movie would've lost some of that dramatic tension of what we had been building towards." Ending with the tournament loss certainly makes "King Richard" more accurate, and it makes sense given the movie's general tone and direction. Of course, as we all know, Venus' career didn't suffer at all for it.