About Boardroom

Boardroom is a media network that covers the business of sports, entertainment. From the ways that athletes, executives, musicians and creators are moving the business world forward to new technologies, emerging leagues, and industry trends, Boardroom brings you all the news and insights you need to know...

At the forefront of industry change, Boardroom is committed to unique perspectives on and access to the news, trending topics and key players you need to know.

All Rights Reserved. 2022.

Is There a Netflix ‘Break Point’ Tennis Curse?

All 10 players featured in the docuseries have been eliminated from the 2023 Australian Open, with only one of them even making it to the second week at all. What’s going on here?

As new Netflix tennis docuseries Break Point keeps fans glued to their couches, it’s also sending the stars of the show back to theirs.

The show, created by the producers of the popular Formula 1: Drive To Survive, is a behind-the-scenes look into the lives of some of the world’s best tennis players. Five of the series’ 10 episodes were released by Netflix on Jan. 13, and to this point, it’s proven to be a disaster for all the players involved.

While these players’ profiles may be growing, the same can’t be said for their on-court success. Entering the fourth round of the 2023 Australian Open, just one player out of the 10 featured in the first five episodes remained in the draw, and not a single one made the quarterfinals.

Yes, read that again.

Let’s take a quick look at the stars of each episode and what exactly happened to them in the week following the release of the show, because something eerie is happening here that may or may not constitute a Break Point curse.

Sign up for our newsletter

Get on our list for weekly sports business, industry trends, interviews, and more.

“The Maverick”

Episode 1 of Break Point features two of Australia’s most exciting young tennis players in Nick Kyrgios and Thanasi Kokkinakis. Last season, the duo took the crown in the Australian Open doubles draw, while Kyrgios began to realize his massive potential with the best overall season of his career.

Sadly, they weren’t afforded the chance to defend their crown this season due to a slight tear in Kyrgios’ meniscus that forced him to withdraw from the tournament on the eve of the first round.

On top of that, Kokkinakis’ stay didn’t last very long. After advancing past Fabio Fognini to the second round, he was upset in shocking fashion by Andy Murray despite being two sets to love up.

“Take The Crown”

Speaking of Aussies, Ajla Tomljanović and her then-boyfriend, Matteo Berrettini, were the focus of the second episode. Tomljanović withdrew from the women’s draw due to a nagging knee injury, while Berrettini, like Kokkinakis, fell victim to Murray in the first round. That was an upset of even greater proportions, with oddsmakers implying the 2022 semifinalist had an 83% chance of winning the match.

Inexplicably, Berrettini had an easy ball to put away on top of the net at match point and dumped it into the middle of the thing instead.

It was rather spooky.

“California Dreaming”

The third episode features two of the game’s rising stars in Taylor Fritz and Maria Sakkari, both of whom are ranked inside the top 10 in the world. Each player fell in the first week of the tournament despite being massive favorites.

Fritz was undone by Australian Alexei Popyrin, while Sakkari was taken out by World No. 87 Lin Zhu.

“Great Expectations”

Yes, Paula Badosa and World No. 2 Ons Jabeur certainly had great expectations for this year’s Australian Open after last year’s champion, Ash Barty, retired from the sport and with current World No. 1 Iga Swiatek looking a bit vulnerable.

They, too, were let down. Badosa was yet another pre-tournament casualty, pulling out with an injury, while Jabeur was rolled by Marketa Vondroušová in three sets, two of which saw her lose 6-1.

“King Of Clay”

This episode was strange, as it centered mainly around Rafael Nadal and the players attempting to de-throne him despite the fact that the production crew didn’t have direct access to Nadal like they did with the above players.

No need to worry, as Nadal was taken down along with the rest of the bunch. He lost in three routine sets to American Mackenzie McDonald, who was given just a 10% chance to win the match by oddsmakers, and picked up an injury along the way besides.

Meanwhile, Casper Ruud, who made it to two Grand Slam finals last season, looked shaky in his opening round match before he was rather easily dispatched by American Jenson Brooksby in the second round.

The Lone Fourth-round Survivor

The one player featured in the show’s final episode who has been able to avoid the “Netflix Curse” through three rounds of the tournament was Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime. He’s the only player of the 10 to be featured in the documentary series that was able to advance to the second week of the Grand Slam at all.

Right on cue, he was bounced in the fourth round of the tournament on Jan. 21 after winning the first set only to lose the next three to Jiří Lehečka.

It’s only right that Auger-Aliassime is the one to last as long as he did, considering he was arguably the most “cursed” player in the world on the men’s side. The youngster made it to the finals of seven tournaments through his first few years on tour, losing in all seven matches. It wasn’t until last season that he was finally able to get the monkey off of his back and lift a trophy, at which point he rattled off four victories.

Who Could Be Next?

There are 10 episodes of this show, and to this point, we’ve only seen five. A trailer for the second half of the series, which will be released over the summer, teased more players who granted the crew behind-the-scenes access.

Americans Frances Tiafoe and Sloane Stephens, along with Aryna Sabalenka, Stefanos Tsitsipas, and World No. 1 Carlos Alcaraz will be featured in these new episodes. It also appears that Tomljanovic, Kyrgios, Fritz, Jabeur, and Badosa will pop up in that batch as well.

So, could we see this eerie Netflix curse rear its ugly head in a few months when these episodes are released? It’s anyone’s guess — but for now, it’s undeniable that something quite bizarre is taking place with all the players showcased in this initial stage of Break Point. Let’s hope it’s all a massive coincidence and that the last five installments have the opposite effect on the players involved.

Read More:

Sign up for our newsletter

Get on our list for weekly sports business, industry trends, interviews, and more.