The production company behind Formula 1: Drive to Survive aims to recreate the docuseries’ smashing success by going behind the scenes at tennis’ four grand slams.
A harsh reality facing tennis and its fans is that the sport lacks major interest in the United States. In its heyday, the likes of John McEnroe, Billie Jean King, Andre Agassi, and Jimmy Connors were household names. Now, a casual fan in the States tunes in for the occasional Grand Slam final and really only cares about a very short list of players headed by all-timers like Serena Williams.
The truth is, tennis is a sport brimming with intriguing, exciting, and eccentric players who are just beginning their long journeys in the sport. Like golf, athletes can be found beefing on social media and in the locker room, and like other major sports in the US, they have fully-formed lives off the court.
Now, at long last, both professional tennis tours — the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) and Women’s Tennis Association (ATA) — have teamed up along with the four grand slam tournaments to put forth an ambitious documentary series on Netflix. It’s being produced by Box to Box Films, the same company that brought us Formula 1: Drive to Survive, a docuseries which helped F1 skyrocket in popularity here in the United States.
Netflix will begin shooting for the series at this year’s Australian Open, offering “an unfiltered look at life inside the competitive sport of professional tennis through the perspective of the players and their teams.”
It will include behind-the-scenes footage and show tennis players as they are, which are human beings who are oftentimes incredibly fascinating.
Greek tennis star Stefanos Tsitsipas — currently ranked No. 4 in the world — will be among those featured in the documentary. He’s successfully used social media to establish himself as one of the young players on tour with plenty of personality and interests outside of the sport, which include being a travel vlogger on YouTube.
Tsitsipas also undoubtedly brought us the social media story of the decade in tennis when he dressed up as Dude With Sign (the resemblance is uncanny) and gave the world Nick Kyrgios’ phone number on the Aussie’s birthday.
Most exciting of all for fans here in America will be watching colorful homegrown tennis stars like Tommy Paul, Jen Brady, and Frances Tiafoe interact off the court. Judging by their social media posts and the fact that most live within close proximity in Florida, they are quite close to one another.
The possibilities for behind-the-scenes content are incredibly exciting given the personalities on tour.
The character development of tennis players and a look into what their training entails will be an essential piece in getting the younger generation of sports fans interested in the sport. If we’re to believe this will be anything like Drive to Survive, you’ll likely want to buy a tennis racquet and some shoes now before they go out of stock upon the series’ much-anticipated release.