BREAK POINT: Everything You Need To Know About Tennis’ New Docuseries   - UBITENNIS
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BREAK POINT: Everything You Need To Know About Tennis’ New Docuseries  

In a first for the sport, a Netflix series covers events that have taken place during this season both on and off the court. 

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The start of next year will also see a first for the world of professional tennis. 

After months of filming, the first part of Netflix’s early awaited Break Point docuseries will be broadcasted. A lot has been said about the programme but what are the most important things tennis fans need to know? 

What is Break Point? 

Inspired by the success of Formula One’s acclaimed Drive To Survive, Break Point is the tennis equivalent. The docuseries follows players’ progress on both the men’s and women’s Tour’s during the 2022 season. Looking at their experiences both on and off the court. Tennis officials will be hoping to promote the sport to a wider audience with the focus not being on either the Big Three or the Williams sisters but on other top players.

Who will be featured in the programme?

According to a press release, 15 players will be featured in the TV series. Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal are not among them but it is possible they could still feature in a minor role. 

Women’s world No.1 Iga Swiatek is involved with the programme documenting her rise in the sport this year. Paula Badosa, Ons Jabeur, Aryna Sabalenka, Maria Sakkari, Sloane Stephens and Ajla Tomljanovic will also feature. 

The ATP side will be represented by Felix Auger-Aliassime, Matteo Berrettini, Thanasi Kokkinakis, Nick Kyrgios, Casper Ruud, Taylor Fritz, Frances Tiafoe and Stefanos Tsitsipas. 

There will also be interviews with Paul Annacone, Chris Evert, Patrick Mouratoglou, Toni Nadal, Martina Navratilova, Andy Roddick and Maria Sharapova. 

What has the producer said about it?

British filmmaker James Gay-Rees is one of the executive producers of Break Point who has received various honours for his work in the industry. Gay-Rees has previously won a Sports Emmy for his work on Formula 1: Drive to Survive, a BAFTA for his involvement in the production of the film Senna which tells the life of F1 racer Aryton Senner and won multiple awards for his work on the film Amy which told the story of late singer Amy Winehouse. 

“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 told The Associated Press. “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.”

Paul Martin, who was also involved in the making of Drive To Survive, is the other executive producer. 

What have players said?

In a recent interview with Arab News, Italy’s Berrettini was confident that the programme would be a success as it provides fans glimpses of life behind-the-scenes for him and his peers. 

“It’s been fun,” he said of being part of the Netflix project.
“At the beginning I was like, what is this? Obviously when you win it’s always easy to have people around you and stuff but then when you lose, it’s tougher, you want to be by yourself, you don’t want to be bothered. But I was like, if I’m going to do this, I want to do it the right way. And that’s what I tried to do. I think it’s going to be really interesting to show people behind-the-scenes the stuff you don’t usually see.”

Meanwhile, earlier this year Kyrgios said he wanted to take part to break the stigma of tennis being “a very white privileged sport.”

“I loved the fact that I was able to show my path and the way I go about it and how I connect with people,” Kyrgios told the newspaper in April.
“I think it’s a very different side to how people would perceive most tennis players. I think it’s a special thing for other coloured athletes that do want to play tennis to see myself, you know, you have (Frances) Tiafoe out there right now, (Naomi) Osaka, us doing it the way we are doing it.”

Series format and air date

Break Point will debut on Netflix on January 13 2023 which is three days before the start of the Australian Open. 

Each episode will center around a tournament with a focus on a select few players. The first five episodes will cover tournaments that took place at Melbourne Park (Australian Open), Indian Wells, Madrid and Roland Garros. 

EP 1: Australian Open – Kyrgios and Kokkinakis
EP 2: Australian Open – Berrettini and Tomljanovic
EP 3: Indian Wells – Sakkari and Fritz
EP 4: Madrid – Jabeur and Badosa
EP 5: French Open – Auger-Aliassime and Ruud 

Another five episodes will be broadcasted but they will not be available to the public until June. They will cover what went on at Wimbledon, Eastbourne, The Queen’s Club, US Open, WTA Finals and ATP Finals. 

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Karen Khachanov wins his career title in Doha

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Karen Khachanov beat Czech Next Gen Jakub Mesnik 7-6 (14-12) 6-4 to clinch his the sixth title of his career and the first of his career. Khachanov did not drop a set during this week. 

Khachanov saved four set points in the first set before hitting a forehand return to seal the first set on his fourth set point. 

Khachanov broke serve in the opening game of the second set. The Russian player did not face a break point in the whole match and won 83% of his first serve points. 

Khachanov claimed his first ATP title since Zhuhai last September. 

“Every title is a special one. Every time, you want to win. We play around 22 tournaments per season and at the end of the day, you compete every week. For sure here in Doha here in Doha it is one of the nicest trophies”, said Khachanov. 

Mesnik made a major breakthrough this week beating Alejandro Davidovich Fokina and three former Doha champions Andy Murray, Andrey Rublev and Gael Monfils en route to his first tour level final. Mesnik is projected to a career-high number 87 in the ATP Ranking. He is currently in the lead in the ATP Race to Jeddah. 

“For sure this week will be unforgettable for me. From the beginning, I did not even get to the tournament on my own ranking. I had to use the Next Gen spot, so I tried to enjoy every moment on the court. I did not expect that I will go through to the final. I am really happy with my performance”, said Mesnik. 

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Jasmine Paolini wins the first WTA 1000 title of her career in Dubai

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Jasmine Paolini came back from one set down to beat qualifier Anna kalinskaya 4-6 7-5 7-5 in 2 hours and 13 minutes in the final of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships. 

Paolini rallied from one break down in each of the second and third sets to clinch he the second WTA Tour title of her career and her first trophy at WTA 1000 level. Paolini has become the third Italian player to win a WTA 1000 title following in the footsteps of Flavia Pennetta in Indian Wells in 2014 and Camila Giorgi in Montreal 2021. 

Kalinskaya earned an early break in the first game of the opening set. Paolini broke back in the fifth and sixth games. 

Kalinskaya broke serve in the ninth game to take a 5-4 lead with a passing winner and closed out the first set at 15. 

Kalinskaya broke Paolini with a return winner in the opening game to build up a 6-4 3-1 lead. Paolini slammed a return winner to break back for 3-3. Paolini forced and error on set point with a crosscourt backhand to break serve in the 12th game. 

The third set started with three consecutive breaks. Kalinskaya broke for the second time in the third game and held at 15 with an ace in the sixth game to take a 4-2 lead.  Paolini broke back in the 10th game  to draw level to 5-5 when Kalinskaya was serving for the match. 

Paolini earned three championships point at 6-5 after Kalinskaya made a double fault. 

Paolini drew a long error from Kalinskaya on the first match point. 

Paolini wo 60% of her first serve points.

Paolini beat Kalinskaya in Portoroz in 2021 en route to winning the first WTA title of her career. The Italian player played in three more finals in Cluj Napoca, Palermo and Monastir, but she lost all of them. Kalinskaya beat Paolini in the Round of 16 at last January’s Australian Open. 

Paolini has become the second Italian player to win the Dubai title after Sara Erraini claimed this trophy in 2016. The Italian player is projected to move into the top 15 in the WTA Ranking. 

“I am really happy how I managed to come back. It’s unbelievable. I don’t know. I am just so happy. I am proud of all the work I made this year. It’s not easy to bring this work in the match sometimes. I am playing good tennis. I played well at the end of the last season I started the season well with the second week at the Australian Open. Now I try to be more relaxed on court, to try to think more what I have to do, to be more present every point. I think it works. It’s not going to be every week like this, but I am going to do my best”, said Paolini during the post match press conference. 

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Jordan Thompson needs seven match points to upset Alexander Zverev in the Los Cabos semifinal

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Jordan Thompson converted on his seventh match points to upset top seed Alexander Zverev 7-5 4-6 7-6 (7-2) in a thrilling 3-hour and 40-minute at the Mifel Tennis Open by Telcel in Los Cabos. The match finished after 1 a.m. 

Thompson set up a final against Casper Ruud in Saturday’s final. The Australian player fought back from 0-6 0-3 down before saving three match points against Alex Michelsen in the quarter final. 

Thompson won the first set, which featured five break points. Zverev earned the first break to open up a 2-0 lead. Thompson saved four break points in the third game before breaking serve to love to draw level to 2-2. Both players traded breaks in the fifth and sixth games to draw level to 3-3. Thompson broke serve for the third game in the 12th game to win the first set 7-5. Zverev earned a break in the fifth set to take a 3-2 lead and did not face any break point to win the second set 6-4. Both players went on serve until the 10th game, when Thompson earned five break points which doubled as match points at 6-5. Zverev saved them to hold serve after seven deuces. Thompson won six consecutive points from 0-1 down to take a 6-1 lead in the tie-break and sealed the win on his seventh match point. 

“It does not feel effective. It was over three and a half hours. It was just a great match and I just competed until the end. I am pretty tired”, said Thompson. 

Casper Ruud beat defending champion Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-4 7-6 (7-4). Ruud saved five set points in the second set. Ruud did not drop a point on his first serve and broke serve in  the seventh game to win the first set 6-4. 

Ruud came back from 0-40 down to save three set points at 4-5. The Norwegian player rallied from 15-40 to fend off two more set points in the 12th game. Ruud raced out to a 4-0 lead in the tie-break with two mini-breaks.  Tsitsipas won three consecutive points from 1-5 down to claw his way back to 4-5. Ruud sealed the tie-break 6-4 on his first match point. 

“It was a really close match, especially in the second set. I was fortunate to save a few set points and hold him off. I was just a bit lucky, and in the tie-break I played really well from the beginning, so I am very happy with the win”, said Ruud. 

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