‘Break Point,’ Netflix’s ‘Drive’ for tennis, debuts Jan. 13

Dec 13, 2022, 5:00 PM | Updated: Dec 14, 2022, 1:45 pm

FILE - Ajla Tomljanovic, of Australia, returns a shot to Serena Williams, of the United States, dur...

FILE - Ajla Tomljanovic, of Australia, returns a shot to Serena Williams, of the United States, during the third round of the U.S. Open tennis championships on Sept. 2, 2022, in New York. Tomljanovic is one of the tennis players featured in the new Netflix docuseries “Break Point,” which is scheduled to debut on Jan. 13, 2023. The show is from the producers of “Formula 1: Drive to Survive.”(AP Photo/John Minchillo, File)

(AP Photo/John Minchillo, File)

A Netflix docuseries about professional tennis called “Break Point” — think of it as that sport’s answer to the popular “Formula 1: Drive to Survive” — will debut on Jan. 13, three days before the start of the 2023 Grand Slam season at the Australian Open.

Netflix revealed the title and launch date on Wednesday, when it also released a 30-second teaser.

The first five episodes — focusing on Melbourne Park, Indian Wells, Madrid and Roland Garros — will be available next month. The season’s other five installments — which look at Wimbledon, Eastbourne, Queens Club, the U.S. Open, WTA Finals and ATP Finals — arrive in June.

Players featured include Grand Slam champions Iga Swiatek and Sloane Stephens, and Grand Slam runners-up Nick Kyrgios, Casper Ruud, Stefanos Tsitsipas, Matteo Berrettini and Ons Jabeur. Also appearing: Felix Auger-Aliassime, Taylor Fritz, Frances Tiafoe, Ajla Tomljanovic, Paula Badosa, Thanasi Kokkinakis, Aryna Sabalenka and Maria Sakkari.

Not at the center of the streaming series: Serena Williams and Roger Federer, both 41 and done with their playing days, or Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic, both in their mid-30s and winners of major titles this year.

“It’s hard to imagine another sport which has been so dominated by a handful of individuals for so long. But they are at the end of the cycle — barring, obviously, Novak and Rafa, to some extent. The changing of the guard is happening,” executive producer James Gay-Rees said in a video interview with The Associated Press.

“And therefore, the timing was really good, too. Because I love tennis, but I’m like, ‘Who is Tsitsipas?’ Do you know what I mean? In all honesty,” he said. “But actually, you realize, ‘My God, he’s No. 5 in the world. He’s a really, seriously, good tennis player and he’s a really interesting guy. And I’d like to know more about him.’ Because all I’ve heard for the last 15-20 years is, ‘Roger, Roger, Roger. Serena, Serena, Serena.’ For a reason, right? Obviously we’re not disputing that, because they’re legends and icons. But I think it was really exciting shining a light on a new generation.”

Gay-Rees and fellow executive producer Paul Martin of Box to Box Films also made “Drive to Survive,” among other projects, and are working on series about the worlds of golf and surfing.

The fourth season of “Drive to Survive,” released in March, drew its largest audience so far and made the Netflix top-10 TV list in more than 50 countries. It is widely credited with helping grow interest in Formula One racing.

“You obviously want to keep the core audience happy — the tennis enthusiasts — but if we’re doing our job correctly, then the show should appeal to people who’ve got no interest in tennis at all,” Gay-Rees said. “The pre-‘Drive to Survive’ Formula One demographic might have been described by some people as fairly male, pale and stale. And I think that the show, alongside some other factors, has contributed to the demographic shifting significantly younger for that sport, which is obviously manna from heaven if that’s what your objective was.”

Martin acknowledged that some might think of other sports-based series as what he called “Drive to Survive for XXX,” but he said the characters and the way a tennis season is structured give “an entirely different feel” to “Break Point.”

He believes it showcases “the physicality, the mental side, the rivalries, the pain” seen in tennis.

Which are all connected to the name of the show and its double meaning. Even though it wasn’t made public until Wednesday, Martin said “Break Point” was the working title from Day 1.

“We always felt like we were going to find something better,” he said. “The honest answer is we didn’t. And it just seemed to work.”


AP tennis: https://apnews.com/hub/tennis and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Associated Press

Ex-Packer Guion gets 1 year for domestic violence assault

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Former Green Bay Packers defensive tackle Letroy Guion was sentenced to one year in jail after pleading no contest in a domestic violence assault at his home last fall. Brown County Circuit Court Judge Thomas Walsh also ordered Guion on Tuesday to serve three years’ probation and complete a domestic […]

1 year ago

Joe Jarzynka...

Associated Press

Durant eager for Suns debut vs. Hornets after knee injury

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Kevin Durant has been through quite a bit during his 15-year NBA career — but joining a new team midway through the season is a new one for the 13-time All-Star. The 34-year-old Durant doesn’t seem all that worried. Durant makes his highly anticipated Phoenix Suns debut on Wednesday night against […]

1 year ago

FILE - Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores stands on the sideline during the second half of an N...

Associated Press

Judge: NFL coach can press discrimination claims in court

NEW YORK (AP) — NFL Coach Brian Flores can pursue some of his discrimination claims against the league and its teams in court rather than through arbitration, a judge ruled Wednesday. The written decision by Judge Valerie Caproni in Manhattan was issued months after lawyers for the league tried to get the lawsuit moved to […]

1 year ago

Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Alex Stalock cools off in the first period during an NHL hockey game ...

Associated Press

Kane trade reinforces hard reality of Blackhawks rebuild

CHICAGO (AP) — After days of speculation, the harsh reality of the Chicago Blackhawks’ situation was reinforced by one move in a flurry of transactions ahead of the NHL trade deadline. Showtime is over, at least in Chicago, and a seemingly bright future is, well, way off in the distance. The reverberations of Chicago’s decision […]

1 year ago

FILE -  Yves Jean-Bart, president of the Haitian Football Federation, wearing a protective face mas...

Associated Press

Disgraced ex-Haitian soccer president announces he’s back

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) — Haiti’s former soccer federation president whose lifetime ban from sport over sexual abuse allegations was overturned last month announced Wednesday that he is reclaiming his position. Yves Jean-Bart’s defiant announcement could lead to a standoff with FIFA, which already has appointed an emergency management committee to lead the Haitian Football Association […]

1 year ago

FILE - Green Bay Packers' Aaron Rodgers walks off the field after an NFL football game against the ...

Associated Press

Rodgers says decision on future will come ‘soon enough’

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Aaron Rodgers says he will make a decision on his future “soon enough” as the four-time MVP quarterback ponders whether to play next season and if his future remains with the Green Bay Packers. Rodgers, 39, discussed his future while speaking on an episode of the “Aubrey Marcus Podcast” that […]

1 year ago

‘Break Point,’ Netflix’s ‘Drive’ for tennis, debuts Jan. 13