The Netflix tennis docuseries ‘Break Point’ lacks surprises

Less than 10 minutes into the first episode of “Break Point,” Netflix documentary series about professional tennis Which kicks off on Friday, Nick Kyrgios He was seen training ahead of last year’s Australian Open and was heard pondering out loud whether to make another appearance at the tournament.

“I don’t know if it will be the last time,” Kyrgios says. “Nothing good lasts forever, though, yeah?”

It captures the atmosphere surrounding tennis lately, with the retirements of Serena Williams, Roger Federer and Ash Partey all arriving in 2022. It also helps open a window on upsets and pressure – a word that has been invoked again and again over the first five episodes of the series – these are constant factors for WTA players. and the ATP who will return to the Grand Slam stage when plays begin at Melbourne Park on Monday (Sunday night EST).

This isn’t the first time Kyrgios, who ended up reaching his first Grand Slam final at Wimbledon in July, has asked questions about his future, and in fact, there aren’t many overt surprises for those who follow the sport closely. However, there are occasional unexpected moments throughout the first half of Season 1’s 10 episodes (the rest are set to be released in June), such as when Kyrgios discusses his drinking habits with his manager or when Maria Sakari says in Episode 3 that she retired for four days after Lost a match point and lost in the semi-finals of the 2021 French Open.

“Break Point” is, in some ways, an advertisement for tennis, introducing casual fans – or people who aren’t fans at all – to some on-court personalities, laying out basic rules and formats, and offering a limited number of recaps of the past season’s events.

There is no attempt to fully cover what happened in the sport. One example of something that was only briefly addressed: Novak Djokovic’s unvaccinated saga – will it or not – play in Australia that has fascinated the world for more than a week. Barty’s historic championship at the Australian Open and stunning retirement soon after went undetected.

“At the end of the day, the show is about the human condition, what this particular sport does to the human condition and how people respond to being in this place and time. Said Executive Producer James Guy Reese, who is also one of the people behind ‘Formula 1: Drive to Survive’ It’s very connected.

“They are people we can all relate to,” Jay Reese said in a video interview. “If that’s the case, anyone can watch it and find something.”

There is a mixture of recent and archival footage. There are interviews with coaches, agents, family members, other VIPs, journalists, and former players such as Chris Evert, Martina Navratilova, Andy Roddick, and Maria Sharapova.

The focus is on the tales of current players and their struggles, though don’t expect much gossip or infighting. There are tears. There’s a candor, particularly in the “confessional” style, looking directly at the camera sessions so popular on reality TV.

Paula Badosa, a Spaniard who came in second place, talks in Episode 4 about dealing with depression. America’s highest-ranking man, Taylor Fritz, gives viewers a behind-the-scenes look in Episode 3 at a player dealing with an injury before the biggest game of his career. Agila Tomljanovic, the Australian who beat Williams at the US Open in the tournament’s 23-time final, offers insight into the difficulty of the task.

“If you don’t win the event, you’re a loser every week,” says Tomljanovic, whose relationship with 2021 Wimbledon runner-up Matteo Berrettini takes up the bulk of Episode Two. . “


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