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Break Point stars shrug off ‘Netflix curse’ as Fritz, Ruud move on in Melbourne
The tennis docuseries has become a hot topic at the Australian Open, with only half of the featured players advancing to the second round.
Published Jan 17, 2023
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Tennis players are famously superstitious, but this is a new one: There may be a “Netflix curse” wreaking havoc in Melbourne. At least, fans following the Australian Open think so, after just half of the players featured on the newly released Break Point made it into the second round.
Produced by the same team behind Formula 1: Drive To Survive, the tennis docuseries loosely follows 10 ATP and WTA players across five episodes as cameras film intimate, behind-the-scenes moments during their parallel—or diverging—journeys at the same tournament.
What the series did or didn't capture has been a topic of discussion among players, fans and media, after the first batch of episodes dropped just days before the Australian Open began.
“I watched my episode. I didn't watch the others,” Matteo Berrettini told press. “Personally, it was good… nice memories. Obviously a little bit [has] changed since then, but it's part of my life. It's part of what I experience…
“I don't know what they're going to show in the second part, but hopefully it's going to be good, as well.”
Berrettini became one of the first casualties of the so-called ‘curse’ on Tuesday, after he lost a marathon five-setter to Andy Murray, 6-3, 6-3, 4-6, 6-7 (7), 7-6 (6) in the first round.
Of course, three of the series’ featured players weren’t able to begin the tournament at all, as Nick Kyrgios (knee), Ajla Tomljanovic (knee) and Paula Badosa (abductor) had to withdraw due to injury.
Just five Break Point stars made it into the second round, with Taylor Fritz, Maria Sakkari, Ons Jabeur, Casper Ruud and Felix Auger-Aliassime overcoming their initial hurdles. Thanasi Kokkinakis, who featured alongside Kyrgios in the series pilot, was leading Fabio Fognini 6-1, 6-2, 4-2 on Tuesday before their match was suspended due to rain.
“Actually, I didn't know that was a [thing],” Fritz mused in press. “Obviously I noticed the people pulling out of the tournament, but I didn't know it was a thing, like, I'm going to lose my first round because I'm in the Netflix show. I didn't think of that.”
Bad omen or not, it’s not stopping more players from signing on to the potential sequels. Holger Rune revealed that he is already participating in an apparent second season of the project, with cameras already rolling in Melbourne capturing the start of the new season.
“We are already starting to do it. They are filming a little bit,” the 19-year-old confirmed after his straight-sets win over Filip Krajinovic. “I think the plan is to do some filming for my next match as well.
“I'm excited to do it. I think it's going to be great. It's good for tennis. It's good for us players. [The] more fans we can get into the sport, it's better. I'm just very positive about it.”
Stream the first five episodes of Break Point now on Netflix, and click here to read the official Baseline review of the docuseries. The second batch of episodes is expected to release in June 2023.