Tennis players can be particularly superstitious, so it doesn’t bode well that there’s one thing that links a whole bunch of withdrawals from this year’s Australian Open.
Nick Kyrgios, Paula Badosa and Ajla Tomljanovic all pulled out of the Grand Slam with injury, and all three are featured in the new Netflix documentary series ‘Break Point’.
The series follows ten emerging stars of professional tennis behind the scenes across five episodes, as the sport moves on from a golden era dominated by the likes of Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and the Williams sisters.
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Italian 13th seed Matteo Berrettini is also featured, before losing in the first round to unseeded veteran Andy Murray, 3-6, 3-6, 6-4, 7-6, 6-7.
Produced by James Gay-Rees and Paul Martin, the team behind the similar behind-the-scenes Formula One documentary series Drive to Survive, the curse has not only claimed tennis players, but has also documented the rise and fall of Australian Daniel Ricciardo.
With the first round at Melbourne Park beginning to wrap up, tennis fans have noted another absence around the courts from the documentary.
Ajla Tomljanovic and Matteo Berrettini, whose relationship is documented in episode two, Take The Crown, are no longer together.
Berrettini confirmed the split in June last year at the Queen’s Club Championships, telling reporters: “I’m single but it’s not something that I’m looking for.”
The series was released on Netflix shortly before the start of the Open, and Berrettini was philosophical about the break up when asked about the episode featuring the relationship.
“I watched my episode, I didn’t watch the others,” he told the press.
“Personally, it was good – obviously a little bit (has) changed since then, but it’s part of my life.”
Only half of the stars in Break Point made it past the first round of the first Grand Slam of the year, but American Taylor Fritz has rubbished suggestions of a curse.
Winning his match against world no. 90, Georgian Nikoloz Basilashvili, 6-4, 6-2, 4-6, 7-5, the eighth seed dismissed the conjecture as he set up a second round clash with Australian Alexei Popyrin.
“I noticed people pulling out of the tournament, but I didn’t know it was a thing,” said the 25-year-old.
“I’m not going to lose my first-round match because I’m in the Netflix show.”