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Boardroom Q&A: Taylor Fritz & Ajla Tomljanovic on Netflix’s ‘Break Point’

Taylor Fritz and Ajla Tomljanovic discuss their roles in the new Netflix tennis series Break Point, from the makers of F1’s Drive To Survive.

The first five episodes of the long-awaited, 10-episode Netflix documentary series Break Point launched Friday, much to the delight of tennis fans everywhere.

From the makers of the Formula 1 smash hit Drive To Survive, the show’s second episode centers around Australia’s Ajla Tomjlanovic preparing for the Australian Open with then-boyfriend Matteo Berrettini, while the third episode focuses on American Taylor Fritz, a California native, getting ready for Indian Wells. Boardroom spoke with Fritz and Tomljanovic about their experiences with the documentary, how it came about, and their impressions when they finally saw it.

Note: The following has been edited for length and clarity.

Shlomo Sprung: How and when were you approached about doing the show, and did you know you wanted to participate?

Taylor Fritz: I don’t remember exactly when I was approached or agreed to do the show, but when they explained the series and the goal to grow the sport of tennis by showcasing tennis players, I knew I wanted to participate.

Ajla Tomljanovic: I was approached at the end of 2021. I never saw Drive To Survive at that time, but I thought it could be a fun experience and hopefully show some insight into our sport and bring new fans. I was hesitant at the beginning because I knew that it was important to be completely transparent and let the cameras in on almost all the vulnerable moments we go through in our career. For me, the pros outweighed the cons and I was on board. 

SS: Did you watch Drive To Survive, and did you think it would work in a tennis format?

TF: I have watched some of F1 DTS and loved it, so I knew what they were trying to achieve going into it. 

AT: I did watch it later in the year after we already started filming and thought if we had half the success they did, I’d be happy. I think there’s a lot that people don’t know about tennis and if they got to know the players more and learned more about it they could become fans. I was a new fan of F1 after Drive To Survive.

SS: Had you participated in a documentary before? If so, what was your experience like?  

TF: I haven’t, but I enjoyed my experience filming Break Point. I never felt forced filming. The crew basically followed me around and caught things I would say, which made it super authentic. I tried to not think about the crew being there so I could act as I would in any other setting.

AT: I’ve never participated in a documentary before but always had an interest in it.

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SS: What was the filming like, and where and when did it take place? How long did filming last? 

TF: Filming was fine and they followed me to a bunch of tournaments. I can’t remember the exact amount of time, but I think maybe over the course of 6-9 months.

AT: We filmed a lot throughout the year. We started in Australia and finished at the U.S. Open. We filmed all the slams and 1,000 tournaments. We filmed whenever we could, before practice and after, before matches and after matches, dinner with the team, drives back from the site to the hotel. Some moments in the hotel room before big matches. 

SS: Have you watched the finished product of the episode you’re in, and what did you think of it?

TF: I watched some of it. It was hard to view it because it was over a conference call with the ATP. It was cool because it was such a special moment to film at Indian Wells, and I’m excited for viewers to see a tennis tournament shown in a more personal light separate from what they normally see on their television screens, where they watch matches normally.

AT: I did watch it. For me, that whole period was a pretty tough month. I was really disappointed with my Aussie summer and was struggling in different ways. I thought that I didn’t come off too down about it and I guess that means I don’t let it show on the outside, haha. 

SS: What should viewers expect from Break Point?

TF: Viewers should expect a new perspective of the world of tennis. It was a main focus to highlight our lives and all the behind-the-scenes moments leading up to, during, and following a match. They’re able to see more than just the match itself and can get a bigger glimpse into our world. I hoping the documentary opens up the world of tennis to more people.

AT: They should expect a lot of information on how tennis works. What goes through our mind in certain situations, how we deal with the wins, losses, lifestyle, and the different pressures. What our whole year basically looks like. 

SS: Will you be featured in the second half of the season? If asked to participate in season two, would you do it?

TF: I’m not sure, but I hope so and would definitely consider participating in season two.

AT: I’ll be in the second part of the season. I’m looking forward to that because that’s when I had my success on the court and it’s nice to see the progress from January. I’ve heard that my character could potentially be in season two, but haven’t thought much about it yet. 

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