Roundtable: Feelings Ahead of the Release of Break Point

Screenshot: Netflix

Tennis fans may be optimistic or pessimistic regarding the impending release of the first five episodes of Break Point, a tennis-based docuseries on Netflix, but practically all of us are certainly aware of it. While the series is aiming at potential tennis fans rather than existing ones, those who already follow the sport inevitably have hopes and expectations. A few of our writers recorded their thoughts below.

Peter Childs: I for one am incredibly excited to see the Break Point series document several tennis players’ movements on tour. I got to see a few of the Netflix crew trail Taylor Fritz and Morgan Riddle among others at Indian Wells. This doc will help grow the game and make more people who don’t usually watch tennis get excited for new personalities, much like I got into F1 after watching Netflix’s series, Drive to Survive. Any coverage is good coverage. Let’s go!

Hanya El Ghetany: I’m excited to see that tennis is getting the glam it deserves. It will really be interesting to know if the series ends up increasing the size of the tennis fanbase or having a counter effect. I’m not sure if it will add anything to current fans’ experience besides maybe some behind-the-scenes action and getting to know the players more off the court.

Vansh Vermani: I’m excited for the docuseries as a fan of tennis. There’s no doubt that narratives will be exaggerated and hyperboles will be made, but ultimately this series isn’t made for diehard tennis fans who follow the tour week in and week out. It’s about introducing new fans to the sport and showcasing the future of tennis, not to mention to allow fans more insight into players’ raw emotions, and behind-the-scenes access to routines, feelings, and expectations. It’ll be interesting to see how the sport is showcased from a unique and different angle.

Owen Lewis: I’m a little concerned. Though it wasn’t a surprise, I was disappointed to hear that the series sensationalizes certain parts of the tour (like Nick Kyrgios winning a major in doubles) and diminishes others (Iga Świątek’s 37-match winning streak isn’t mentioned in the first five episodes). As someone who thinks simply watching a tennis match is enough to become interested, I’m selfishly hoping that the sport I know and love isn’t distorted too much in an effort to appeal to casuals. If you run into me at some point in the next couple weeks, you may find me feverishly repeating, “I am not the target audience.”

Ashlee Woods: As someone who has been campaigning for the evolution of tennis coverage, this is a good start. I’m upset that it’s not offering much outside of what I normally know, but it’s not geared towards tennis diehards. Eventually, tennis will need documentaries that dive deeper into the world of tennis. But, as an introduction, I’m okay with this and I hope it’s a success.

Myles David: I truly do love the initiative the producers have taken to show off the sport to a broader audience and introduce athletes to players who may not be house hold names yet. The major stakeholders in tennis seem to have rallied around the series (getting this much player access is quite the feat) and want to see it do well. I just hope it breathes some sort of new life into the sport because I’ve seen so many people just causally blurt out something to the effect of, “I really don’t care anymore now that Serena and Roger are done.”

Jethro Broughton: I’m honestly not too bothered about watching Break Point, though I’m sure I will at some point when I feel like it. From what I’ve heard from journalists who’ve watched it already, it won’t offer much to me that I don’t already get out of tennis. And the big Kyrgios focus is off-putting to say the least.

Archit Suresh: I’m curious to see what kind of impact Break Point has in terms of making tennis more of a mainstream sport and what kind of changes to both coverage and inside access it brings to the table. I always love getting any kind of inside look at players given how little tennis is promoted compared to most major sports, but from what I’ve gathered I also know that I’m not the target audience for this as someone who’s invested in daily results of Challenger events and hopes to work in the sport. I’m a bit concerned with directions they’ve chosen not to go in (or not been allowed to go in) but I’m relatively optimistic that this is something tennis desperately needs and is ultimately good for the long term growth of the sport in a post Serena/Big Three world.

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