Break Point review – is tennis boring? This documentary suggests as much
This series from the makers of F1: Drive to Survive fails to make the racket sport seem interesting – despite exclusive access to bad boy Nik Kyrgios
Break Point, Netflix’s new behind-the-scenes documentary series about the 2022 tennis season, is by the team behind the excellent F1: Drive to Survive – but although it emulates that show’s slick presentational sheen, making tennis as exciting a subject as motor racing is difficult. Blokes who race cars are gossipy playboys enjoying a sport full of controversy, political manoeuvres, garish eccentricity and the real risk of fiery death. Tennis cannot compete with that: the big dramas happen inside the players’ heads, and Break Point is an only intermittently successful attempt to capture them on screen.
This style of documentary, where kinetic game footage is mixed with revealing interviews and a lot of blustery cliche about how epic and exciting everything is, just doesn’t suit tennis very well. Whereas team field sports – rugby, soccer, American football – have big moments that energise other popular series such as All or Nothing, tennis matches are attritional, technical battles, decided gradually in matches that can last for several hours. There are no big-money transfers or arguments over team selection. How about the in-game pep talks from coaches that are often the best bit of a sports doc? Nope. Not really a thing in tennis. Like us, the coaches observe helplessly from the stands.