Last updated 26 minutes ago. from the tennis category.
It's being marketed as the Drive to Survive of tennis, the equivalent of the F1 documentary series that took both ardent followers and newcomers behind the scenes of the biggest moments with (some of) the biggest names.
The first five episodes of Break Pointexternal-link are now available on Netflix, and they demonstrate just "how rough being a tennis player actually is," in the words of top-10 player Taylor Fritz.
The American says, "You lose each and every week.". "To keep returning, one must have a strong sense of self. ".
Ons Jabeur talks about the challenges female tennis players face when they want to start a family, and Fritz is one of the main stars of the series, which also includes Nick Kyrgios disclosing his early 20s drinking problems.
According to producer James Gay-Rees, the show partially captured the lonesomeness of life for athletes touring.
You frequently travel alone, stay in hotels by yourself, and go out to play alone, he observed.
"A tournament can only have one winner. There are fleeting moments of happiness amidst the seas of loss and regret. ".
Maria Sakkari, the sixth-ranked player in the world, stated: "We don't lead normal lives; that is a fact.
"This is a fantastic chance for people who don't understand tennis on a deep level to actually see the struggles. ".
The most erratic player in the game, Kyrgios, is profiled in detail in the first episode of Break Point.
It has been nearly nine years since a young Kyrgios stunned the world by defeating Rafael Nadal at Wimbledon.
Kyrgios, who is now 27 and the world's number 21 tennis player, claims that match "changed everything" for him.
He recalls that "from that day on, there was a massive expectation on me to be the next big thing.".
Despite his early promise and undeniable talent, Kyrgios hasn't won a major singles championship, and his sporadic outbursts on and off court have received a lot of negative press.
In the series, he talks about picking up bad habits in his early 20s.
The Australian claims, "For four, five years of my career, it was just so chaotic.". "I was drinking every night, and my life was just kind of getting out of control. ".
Daniel Horsfall, Kyrgios' manager and confidant, recalled following the athlete's movements on his phone.
Before competitions or matches, he recalls, "Some mornings, I would have to physically go and find where you were - what hotel you were at, whose house you were staying at.".
Additionally, Kyrgios is very candid about how he handles his relationship with tennis.
For the sake of my mental health, I could never play year-round again, the player claims.
The series also chronicles Sakkari's frustrating 2021.
The 27-year-old Greek participant in eight semi-final matches that year did not win any of them.
In episode three, she says, "I was just struggling because I could see the finish line and then I would lose the match.".
"In a match, my mind would wander so far before I just couldn't come to a conclusion. I was too elated. Though I wasn't there at the same time, I was almost there. " .
Sakkari lost to Barbora Krejcikova in the French Open semifinals on match point, which was probably the most upsetting of her semi-final losses.
She says, "I just didn't know how to handle that situation.".
For three days, I had trouble sleeping. I was simply trying to fall asleep while lying in bed because I was feeling both anxious and depressed. I had a hard time dealing with it. My coaches were informed of my desire to retire. ".
Sakkari returned four days later, and by March 2022, she had risen to third place in the world rankings.
She admitted to BBC Sport that she had to grow to accept defeat.
There are only a handful of players who have actually won every week, so I know I can't do that, she said.
"I'm aware that I'm giving it my all on the court and that I'm currently among the best players in the world. I have to keep reminding myself of that. ".
Jabeur, a Tunisian, is the highest-ranked African and Arab player in history and is currently ranked second in the women's rankings.
Defying stereotypes as an Arab woman is a topic she discusses in episode four.
I always thought I could be a professional tennis player, but being a tennis player from Tunisia was something else entirely, she says.
People guessed that I would give up tennis and settle down to be a housewife, but I always had faith in my aspirations. ".
Maria Sharapova, a five-time Grand Slam champion, applauds Jabeur's accomplishments.
"What that means for her country, for herself, and for her family. To come from nowhere, with no resources, and to overcome all the obstacles. It's incredible," she exclaims.
Jabeur, 28, has aspirations to win a major championship and last year made it all the way to the Wimbledon and US Open finals.
She also wants to start a family, though.
Margaret Court, Evonne Goolagong, and Kim Clijsters are the only three women to have won a singles Grand Slam title after giving birth.
Jabeur is also acutely aware of the pressures that women in tennis face.
Women make a lot of sacrifices, she claims. "If you want a child, you can't just go ahead and have one; you might have to give up something you value, like family, for a career.
"I wish I were a man, you know, 'I want to have a baby, done,'" she said. ".
The 22-year-old Canadian tennis player Felix Auger-Aliassime, who is currently ranked seventh in the world, is a rising star in the sport.
Toni Nadal was added to his coaching staff in 2021. Rafael's famous uncle, Nadal, coached him from the age of three until 2017. Rafael achieved this by winning 16 important victories.
Rafael defeated Auger-Aliassime in the French Open final in May of last year.
Toni made a controversial statement before that match in which he said he wanted his nephew to triumph. In the series, Auger-Aliassime claims he sees that as standard practice.
Once we began collaborating, he says, "It was very obvious to me that if I had to play Rafa, he wouldn't necessarily want me to win – like, he wouldn't want me to beat his nephew.".
Bernard Duchesneau, the agent for Auger-Aliassime, states: "We respect the fact that it's family. He doesn't want to place himself in a precarious situation. All is well. It made sense to us. ".
The year 2022 was a standout one for Fritz.
After defeating Rafael Nadal to win the Indian Wells Masters, the 25-year-old native of California rose to an all-time high world ranking of eighth.
Fritz is referred to as "one of the toughest, most strong-willed players I've ever been around" in Break Point by his coach Paul Annacone, who previously coached tennis greats Pete Sampras and Roger Federer.
And in episode three, Fritz's mindset is well-illustrated.
In the Indian Wells semifinal match against Andrey Rublev, Fritz suffers an ankle injury that puts his participation in the championship match in doubt.
According to Dr. Patrick St. Pierre, he might have "a little fracture.".
He hears the words, "You might do more harm than good.". "I find it extremely difficult to accept that numbing it is the best course of action. ".
Dr. St. Pierre and his coaching staff may have advised Fritz not to miss the championship, but Fritz is adamant that he will.
He declares, "I've prepared for this moment my entire life.". "I'd be thinking about it forever if I walked away. ".
He said to BBC Sport in response: "It's hard for anyone who isn't me to understand the level of pain I was feeling. It took a lot for me to be certain that I wouldn't be able to play. There was no chance, in my opinion. First, numbing injections were administered to reduce the pain.
It's frightening whenever you experience that kind of pain. I'm very obstinate because it's my biggest match ever and a home tournament. There is no way I could prevent myself from playing. ".
Fritz, who defeated Nadal and became the first American to triumph at Indian Wells since Andre Agassi in 2001, was fortunate to have no regrets.