Tennis is undergoing a changing of the guard. Big names such as Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, and Andy Murray have become the more senior players on tour. With many including Roger Federer, Juan Martin Del Potro, Serena Williams, and Ash Barty now retired, it’s hard to say for how much longer we’ll be lucky enough to see the remaining ones in their element.
So, who do we watch when legends are no longer on tour? Well, perfectly timed and released at the eve of the 2023 Australian Open, Netflix’s Break Point has done the research for us, plucking a handful of promising tennis players that have gone unnoticed by many until now.
For the uninitiated, Break Point is an excellent introduction to the world of tennis. The docuseries goes through the rules of the sport (although it hasn’t exactly explained what ‘break point’ means yet and I really hope they do at some point), providing viewers with a behind the scenes look at these talented underdogs.
Although quite informative and somewhat intimate in its approach, as a huge tennis fan, I felt that I didn’t really learn anything new. For the uninitiated who have never been to a tennis match but have always been curious, I believe this series will inspire many to watch the sport, or even attend a tournament. I know that there were plenty of players that I used to never think twice about, but now I would love to catch a match of theirs, and this is just from watching the series.
The existing episodes feature the following tennis players: Nick Kyrgios, Matteo Berrittini, Alja Tomljanovic, Maria Sakkari, Taylor Fritz, Ons Jabeur, Casper Ruud, and Felix Auger-Aliassime. I think it was a great idea to feature Nick Kyrgios and have him as the first tennis player showcased in the series. There is something about Nick Kyrgios that he is such a dynamic and exciting character both on and off court, even those that don’t follow tennis would know who he is. However, he is also the only player of the docuseries to have a fully fledged episode that feels dedicated to him, titled ‘The Maverick’. For the rest of the series, single episodes are shared by different players. There’s no episode about just one player like the initial first episode of the season.
While I agree that Nick Kyrgios is a very interesting player, and it was wonderful to see he and his best mate, fellow tennis player Thanasi Kokkinakis bond off court, I would have liked to have learnt more about the other players and I don’t feel that they got enough screen time in comparison. It was like a decision was made that they need to feature more players but weren’t commissions to provide more than the number of episodes they have, and so, the series changed focus halfway through. At least, that’s what it feels like.
At only 5 episodes, I wanted more. Break Point is too brief and too short. There’s a lot to say about tennis, but we’ve barely scratched the surface. Instead, having only enough time to introduce to our cast. It is good, but for what’s been released so far, it’s just not satisfying. With the second half of Season 1 being released around the eve of Wimbledon, it looks like we’ll have an awful while of wait ahead. I guess that this calls for watching some real live tennis matches in the meantime.
Netflix’s first 5 episodes of Break Point are streaming now.