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Netflix’s ATP and WTA behind the scenes documentary series “Break Point” to be released in January, updated with producer comments

ATP chief Andrea Gaudenzi hopes the documentary will do for tennis what Drive to Survive did for F1

Netflix logo Netflix logo – © Imago / Panoramic

Ever since January 2022, tennis fans have been aware that Netflix is shooting a series around the world of professional tennis. After ATP boss Andrea Gaudenzi gave some initial indications to Ouest-France, Netflix confirmed the release dates on Wednesday.

Five episodes will be released on January 13, three days before the start of the Australian Open. An additional five episodes will be released in June 2023.

Gaudenzi: Drive to Survive is the model

“We hope it can be as successful as Drive to Survive and that fans will love this documentary series,” Gaudenzi added.

In four seasons, Drive to Survive has become a benchmark for sports documentary series. Impressive figures have emerged to measure the impact the series has had on the Formula 1 following.

The series was the most-watched series in the Netflix catalogue in 25 countries in the month after its release, according to a survey published by morningconsult.com 53% of US adults admitted that the series played a role in them becoming fans, this figure rises to 74% if only those under 45 are taken into account.

It has also helped to reach a wider audience. According to Andrew Westacott, the CEO of the Australian Grand Prix, 75% of the people coming to its event before 2019 were men (the year the first season of the series aired), since then they have dropped to 60% of the audience.

Also, the number of subscribers on Formula 1’s social networks has increased by an average of 40% each year since the series began.

Pierre Gasly Alpine
Pierre Gasly Alpine, © DPPI / Panoramic

The ATP and WTA have been trying for years to reach a younger audience and Gaudenzi knows that a documentary on a platform as followed by young people as Netflix (according to mediamétrie, 48% of users are between 15 and 34 years old) may be a winning formula:

“The audience wants to know more about what goes on behind the scenes, about the life of the players, we can’t fight with these platforms anymore, we have to be on it to be able to tell different stories.”

Producer: This is the changing of the guard

“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. But actually, you realise, ’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.”

Fritz, Kyrgios, Ruud, Tsitipas, Tomljanovic among those followed

Netflix released the list of players who will be featured in the programmes. While Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray are not among them, the likes of Nick Kyrgios, Taylor Fritz, Casper Ruud, Stefanos Tsitsipas, Iga Swiatek, Ons Jabeur and Matteo Berrettini will be included.

Toni Nadal, Chris Evert, Andy Roddick and Maria Sharapova will be among those interviewed for the series.

Ajla Tomljanovic, another to be featured, has already spoken on the subject to Matt Roberts for The Tennis Podcast: “I thought a lot about agreeing to be part of the documentary because I think for it to work, you have to be completely honest, completely yourself.

“I feel like I let the cameras follow me in a lot of situations. I had fun doing it because I think it will be good for people to see that it’s not all rainbows and unicorns all the time. There’s so much going on behind the scenes that people can’t see. I think it will be fun for tennis fans and even those who aren’t to see.”

The Australian Open will be held from 16 to 29 January 2023.

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