Break Point, Netflix docuseries: the brutal and lonely world of tennis


Quoc Huy Ngo, Staff Writer

“Break Point” is a 10-episode Netflix docuseries that follows some of the world’s most talented tennis players as they swing for greatness.

The first five episodes successfully hook the audience’s curiosity with its photography, a curated selection of stars and the right amount of on- and off- court drama.

The 2022 season was predicted as a turning point for tennis, as it was a year of important transitions between generations.

For the women, Serena Williams was on the verge of retirement while a younger generation of players was incoming to fill in her spot.

For the male players, the “big three,” Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic, seemed close to losing the spotlight that they built for over a decade.

These changes offered great inspiration for series producers, Paul Martins and James Gay-Rees, in order to shift the spotlight from the biggest household names to the rising stars of the court. Some players are already on the verge breaking into the Top 10, some of whom are ranked but still struggling to earn themselves a signature win. Some need developing personal narratives.

The well-curated stars successfully captivate the casual curiosity of those who are not familiar with the tennis world in the series.

The audience might question somebody like Nick Kyrgious, a typical love-or-hate bad boy with his questionable commitment to tennis. Others may have emotional encounters a with Ons Jabeur, a Tunisian veteran who plays in an unprecedented position for an African player. There is also Taylor Fritz, a man carrying the weight of a decade of struggles for American men.

Each character delivers a unique story while portraying a new generation of players for the clay court.

While the series tackles tennis as its main theme, tennis is just a small corner of what the series demonstrates.

As suggested by its name, “Breaking Point” delves into the darker aspects of the prestigious sport, such as the challenging terrain of mental health and the negative impacts of fame.

Most tennis players must deal with losing a match publicly with poise under the media glare. Throughout the first five episodes, players like Kyrgios or Sakkari are excellent examples of the support systems, peer pressures, and the impact of personal relationships on tennis careers. These unexposed corners, alongside personal struggles, are critical elements to creating a storyline that was better than any actual match action.

While the first two episodes could be rudimentary due to an overwhelming number of professional terms such as “points,” or the difference between “singles” and “doubles,” the series still fulfills its major aspiration: an unexpected glimpse into the brutal yet beautiful world of tennis.