Break Point review: F1 Drive to Survive team hit another ace with Netflix tennis documentary series

From the makers of F1: Drive to Survive, Netflix’s Break Point gets unprecedented access to some of the world’s greatest tennis players for a new documentary series.

By Alex Fletcher Published: 13 January 2023 - 2.07pm

Netflix’s new tennis series Break Point comes from the makers of the streaming service's phenomenally successful documentary F1: Drive to Survive.

A notable feature of Drive To Survive’s success was the amount of viewers who frequently admitted to only have a passing interest in Formula 1, but had found themselves addicted to the behind-the-scenes dramas.

Break Point follows the same formula and serves up another hit.

Although the biggest names in the game - Nadal, the Williams sisters, Federer, Djokovic, Murray - aren’t interviewed for the series, they loom over it. And whether that was out of choice or not, it’s a benefit to the series.

As Greek tennis star Maria Sakkari puts it during the series: “We all learn how to lose… Unless you are Rafa, Roger or Novak. That’s a different story.”

Netflix

The freakish success of those tennis greats is something sports fans have witnessed and enjoyed for the last 20 years. But for the next generation who have been battling in the shadows, hoping to dislodge them from the top of the tree, there is a gripping (and perhaps more interesting) story to be told.

A constant theme throughout Break Point is coping with defeat. How do tennis players stick with the game, even when for the majority of players they are technically ‘a loser’ at every single tournament?

At the top end of the sport, there is only one ‘winner’ and for those who live out of a suitcase and sacrifice their bodies as well as time with their families, there are moments where they are mentally pushed to the limit.

Break Point delves deep into the tortured psychology and the pain but balances it out by highlighting the special personal relationships that keep them standing and the outpourings of joy during the victories, big and small.

Five episodes are released this week, ahead of the Australian Open, and five more will follow in June in time for Wimbledon. And although this still feels like a brief introduction to the sport, you’ll come away from the series emotionally attached to the players involved.

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Featured stars include racket-breaking Aussie bad boy Nick Kyrgios, Italian heartthrob Matteo Berrettini, Greek powerhouse Maria Sakkari (above), Spanish ace Paula Badosa and the next big hope for American men’s tennis, Taylor Fritz, top.

And even if you’re the sort of casual tennis viewer who just tunes in for Wimbledon for a couple of weeks every year, you’ll soon find yourself hooked on this next generation of tennis stars.

BT.com review rating

Where to watch Break Point

Break Point is released on Friday 13 January on Netflix

The first five episodes will be available to stream at launch. The next five episodes will follow in June 2023.