When we remark that a docuseries did more harm than good, we usually imply that it glorified a despicable person or spread misinformation about a significant historical event. In the case of the new tennis documentary series Break Point, however, it appears that Netflix may be cursed. Every rising tennis star highlighted in Break Point Part 1 has been eliminated from the 2023 Australian Open thus far. In some cases, this is due to a chronic injury, although the majority of players choked in the early rounds. The lone survivor, Felix Auger-Aliassime, made it to the Fourth Round, but his loss against Jiri Lehecka was a shocking surprise.
Is it true? Is Netflix placing a curse on each tennis player featured in Break Point?
The Netflix curse exists
Tomljanovic — Injury-related withdrawal from the AO
Badosa – Injured and out of action
Kyrgios — Injury-related withdrawal from the AO
R1: Berrettini is out of AO. R2: Ruud is out of AO.
Fritz – Out of Area of Operations in R2 pic.twitter.com/aAbzKDLQS7
— Bastien Fachan (@BastienFachan) January 19, 2023
Break Point, produced by the same team as Netflix’s Formula 1: Drive to Survive, follows 15 of the sport’s most intriguing up-and-coming stars. The series’ idea is quite straightforward. As tennis legends such as Serena Williams and Roger Federer retire, there is a narrow window for new superstars to emerge and challenge older champions such as Rafael Nadal. Who has what it takes to defeat the remaining greats and win a Grand Slam beyond 2023? Break Point Part 1 tracked* Felix Auger-Aliassime, Paula Badosa, Matteo Berrettini, Taylor Fritz, Ons Jabeur, Thanasi Kokkinakis, Nick Kyrgios, Casper Ruud, Maria Sakkari, and Ajla Tomljanovic during the first half of the 2022 tennis season.
Part 2 of Break Point will feature Aryna Sabalenka, Sloane Stephens, Iga witek, Frances Tiafoe, and Stefanos Tsitsipas this summer, prior to Wimbledon and the U.S. Open. These episodes will air throughout the latter portion of the 2022 season.
On January 19, tennis enthusiasts began to notice that the group of players featured in Break Point Part 1 had been performing, um, poorly at the 2023 Australian Open. The hashtag #NetflixCurse began to circulate on social media, along with photographs of Break Point actors being crossed off one by one. The significance? If you took the time throughout the 2022 season to sit for glossy interviews for Netflix’s new series, you would choke at the 2023 Australian Open.
Only two Break Point players survived after the first two rounds: Maria Sakkari and the aforementioned Felix Auger-Aliassime. Sakkari was ousted in the Third Round by the Chinese player Zhu Lin, while Auger-Aliassime lasted the longest. In Round Four over the weekend, he was cursed.
The Netflix Curse does not discriminate between genders.
The last remaining player, Felix Auger-Aliassime, is eliminated.
Jiri Lehecka has been an utter revelation at this year’s #AusOpen, despite never reaching his A-game.
22 January 2023 — The Tennis Podcast (@TennisPodcast)
So, does Netflix have a curse? Are all of the tennis players featured on Break Point doomed to fail? Well, Netflix’s official UK and Ireland Twitter account has already responded, tweeting “#NetflixCurse is not real” with a tennis ball emoji in their profile. Could it be that the producers of Break Point just chose the incorrect group of athletes to follow? Has anyone featured by Break Point survived the Australian Open thus far?
What about the five players that have yet to appear prominently in Break Point? Those saved for the Wimbledon/U.S. Open episodes scheduled to air this summer? Sloane Stephens was eliminated in the first round, Frances Tiafoe in the third round, while Iga witek advanced to the fourth round.
The glad tidings? Aryna Sabalenka and Stefanos Tsitsipas both advanced to the quarterfinals of the tournament. This indicates that the Netflix Curse has not yet felled them. Obviously, this could alter in their upcoming match.
As for how the tennis community is feeling about Netflix’s Break Point in general? This tweet from a fan pretty much says it all.