Review: Netflix’s new docuseries ‘Break Point’ breaks my expectations


Photo credit: Netflix Promotional Images

 Players featured in Netflix’s new series, “Break Point” compete mid-match. The series was released on Netflix Jan. 13 and quickly gained a high recognition from the athletic community.

By Francie Wallack, Multimedia Editor

Every episode of Netflix’s new docuseries “Break Point” is action-packed, heartfelt and inspiring. “Break Point” follows the lives of 10 professional tennis players as they train and compete in the most highly acclaimed tournaments of the professional tennis season.

Executive Producers Paul Martin and James Gay-Rees co-founded Box To Box Films, a sports Television company, and signed a deal with Netflix in 2019. In March of 2019, they released a docuseries following the Formula One Championships. “Formula 1: Drive to Survive” won a British Academy Television Craft Award for Best Sound, an Emmy in Sports Television and an American Cinema Editors Awards for Best Edited Non-Scripted Series. After seeing how much recognition this series gained, Martin and Gay-Rees were inspired to create a similar series that followed professional tennis.

Each episode of the series focuses on one or two professional tennis players as they compete at the most prestigious tournaments of the year. The first episode of the series spotlights the No. 13 ranked tennis player in the world, Nick Kyrgios. The episode follows Kyrgios’ experience at the The Australian Open, one of the four Grand Slam tournaments of the year. Despite his impressive playing style and undeniable credentials, Kyrgios has everything except for a respected reputation.

For his entire career, Kyrgios has been known for his disrespectfulness, poor sportsmanship and rude behavior on the court. During the episode, various professional players were interviewed about Kyrgios. Although the players spoke about his incredible career, they mostly spoke about his ruthless and disrespectful behavior. However, instead of only highlighting his poor qualities, the episode showed the audience the sides of him that are never talked about. They showed him spending time with his family and friends, opening up about his struggles with his mental health and, most importantly, being a nice and genuine person. Without watching this docuseries, I might have never learned about what he is truly like off the court.

My favorite episode of the series focuses on Taylor Fritz, who is currently ranked No. 9 in the world. I loved this episode because I have grown up watching all of his matches on broadcasted television but have never really learned about him. What was his early life like? When did he begin playing tennis? What is he like off the court?

Fritz’s episode followed his journey at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells in 2022. Although it is not a Grand Slam, it is still considered to be one of the major tournaments of the year. This tournament is a great chance for the players to improve their ranking and gain recognition. As a California native who grew up attending the tournament each year with his dad, this tournament was very close to his heart. He spoke about his lifelong dreams of winning the tournament, which became a reality when he won the tournament in 2022.

In every match, players face some type of adversity. For Fritz’s championship match at the BNP Paribas Open, the adversity came prior to playing. He fractured his foot while warming up and was struggling to walk. When I watched this match live in 2022, I had no idea that he was playing through a major injury. It was extremely impactful to see how much dedication goes into playing professional tournaments — even during impossible circumstances. “Break Point” effectively uncovered many under-represented components of the sport that are very important but are not talked about.

If there’s one story that everyone loves, it’s the story of an underdog, and Ons Jabeur’s story is just that. Jabeur became the first ever Muslim and Arab tennis player to reach a Grand Slam final. Jabeur’s episode of Break Point follows her experience at the Madrid Open

What I appreciated most about Jabeur’s episode was that not only did it focus on her tennis career, but it focused on her identity’s impact on her career. Being the highest ranked African and Arab tennis player in history did not come easy to Jabeur. While speaking with her family in the docuseries, she talked about the struggles of entering the professional tennis world from a low income country and family. She was never able to hire a fancy coach or use the best equipment so she had to learn and persevere on her own.

Jabeur also spoke about the realities of the sport while being a woman. She explains that women in tennis practically have two choices when it comes to having a family: have a baby and end your career, or continue your career and not have a baby. This aspect of being a woman in tennis is rarely talked about, even though it is extremely significant and a large struggle for female players.

While watching interviews of players after their matches, they so rarely talk about their lives outside of tennis. Tennis is only one part of these players’ complex identities, which is why “Break Point” was such an impactful series. We are able to see pieces of the sport and of the players that we otherwise would have never learned about.

As a lifelong tennis player and avid consumer of professional tennis matches, I know how much effort goes into the sport. “Break Point” was a refreshing reminder of how rigorous and tedious professional tennis can be. This coming June, Netflix is releasing a second part to the series, and I am already looking forward to learning about the next batch of players.

  • Story
  • Acting
  • Technical Quality
  • Enjoyment
  • Impact


“Break Point” is a Netflix docuseries following the lives of 10 professional tennis players as they compete in tournaments, visit their hometowns and spend time with loved ones. After it’s release on Jan. 13, it quickly received 80% on Rotten Tomatoes.