Break Point premiered to global audiences on Netflix last week and while it has received mixed reviews, one thing that is certain is that it might have just created a curse for the players featured so far.
Of the nine players that have been featured so far, six have either been eliminated or not even taken to the court at the Australian Open.
The term ‘Netflix curse’ has now been reverberating around Melbourne Park.
It’s a fair point too, as Ajla Tomljanovic and Paula Badosa withdrew days before the event due to injury to create a murmur about how the documentary could be plaguing some of the sport’s biggest stars.
It continued when Nick Kyrgios pulled out of the event before his scheduled opening round match against Roman Safiullin with a meniscus tear in his left knee.
Then the matches started, and Matteo Berrettini fell victim to an inspired performance by former World No.1 Andy Murray in the opening round.
It continued into the second round today as second seed Casper Ruud was sensationally eliminated by American Jenson Brooksby.
Taylor Fritz was another expected to enjoy a significant stay at Melbourne Park but even the in-form Californian wasn’t above the curse as Australian Alexei Popyrin produced a stunning performance to knock him out in a five-set thriller.
Finally, in the final women’s singles match of the second round, World No.2 Ons Jabeur was overcome by 2019 French Open runner-up Marketa Vondrousova.
Even the players that are still in the draw have been dealt hard tasks to extend their time at the Open, as Felix Auger-Aliassime emerged victorious after coming from behind in both of his matches against Vasek Pospisil and Alex Molcan, the latter being a two-set deficit.
Maria Sakkari was also tested against 18-year-old Russian qualifier Diana Shnaider, who took the opening set in their second round encounter before the Greek star rallied to prevail.
The curse hasn’t excluded players who were somewhat of a second-hand feature in the documentary, with Peruvian lucky loser Juan Pablo Varillas featuring in episode five of the show in his match against Auger Aliassime.
Varillas fought magnificently against 12th seed Alexander Zverev, but would ultimately fall in five epic sets.
Even World No.1 Carlos Alcaraz was plagued with a leg injury that prevented him from making the trek down under, with the second episode of the series focussing heavily on his marathon match with Berrettini at last year’s tournament.
Thanasi Kokkinakis was a pivotal character in the Nick Kyrgios narrative of the pilot episode, and with his excruciating loss to Andy Murray, he has also been scalped by the curse.
Perhaps the most notable player to gain a lot of screen time without directly featuring is Rafael Nadal, who’s early 2022 heroics could not go unnoticed.
Unfortunately for the Spaniard and his legion of fans, the curse knows no boundaries and took his scalp as well, falling to Mackenzie McDonald in straight sets in the second round.
It was the first time Nadal had fallen to an American at a major outside of the US Open and just the fourth time a man from the USA had defeated him at a Slam.
Maybe Frances Tiafoe’s later features have kept him invisible to the curse so far, as he is set to be focused on heavily throughout the US Open, where he would progress to the semifinals.
Who knows, it could even be his swirly outfit, but what we all know is that Break Point is causing cataclysmic damage to the players appearing on the show.