Break Point Season 1 Review – a smash hit!

By Marc Miller
Published: January 14, 2023 (Last updated: February 7, 2023)
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Break Point has kinetic energy and a nuanced look at the mental health of professional athletes that make this docuseries a smash hit.

We review the Netflix sports documentary series Break Point Season 1, which was released on January 13th, 2023.

Tennis is one of the most popular sports in the world. More than 87 million hitting that fuzzy yellow ball with an overpriced racket. That’s about 1.17% of the popular plays and is very popular in North America and Europe. So it’s no wonder why Netflix, an expert at expanding its demographic, chose five-part docuseries from the makers of Formula 1: Drive to Survive.

However, this is not just a marketing ploy to attract new viewers. It’s the filmmaker’s approach (pun intended) with Break Point that will satisfy diehards and create new ones.

Break Point Season 1 Review and Plot Summary

Produces Paul Martin and James Gay-Rees follow fifteen tennis players who are now being touted as the up-and-coming new Serena Williams of the sport. A mix of men and women, Break Point focuses on who can now take over and be the greatest of all time (GOAT). This doesn’t just cover the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) but the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) as well. The camera captures the highs and lows of a sport that desperately needs a new face. There are no more Pistol Pete, The Lion of Leimen, The Flying Dutchman, Ice Bog, Ice Maiden, or Psychedelic Strokeswoman (I have no idea who this person is, but what a nickname!) to grace magazines and fill your high-definition screens.

Break Point combines an almost reality show competition with King Richard’s escapades. That means to see who rises, who falls, and the grueling nature of what it takes to be great. This feat is accomplished by following these junior GOATs across worldwide tournaments in over 28 countries. This includes all four Grand Slams. (The first batch of episodes focuses on the French and Australian Opens).

This immediately piques your interest mightily. Why? Because even the most novice tennis fan understands their importance of them. These are behind-the-scenes insights that are interesting and compelling for tennis aficionados. The viewer learns an eye-opening amount of information. This is why Martin and Gay-Rees separate their docuseries from others. Not the pageantry and the athletic feats, but what it takes mentally to succeed in the name of grueling professional athletics.

One critical point of view the series lacks is that because Williams has called it a career, there is a lack of stars. However, the men’s side still has the Swiss Maestro (Roger Federer), the King of Clay (Rafael Nadal), and The Joke (Novak Djokovic), still churning out wins in majors. However, these players are past their prime. They are no longer in the spotlight or even holding up the sport. In a game that saw a massive increase in North American marketing, younger stars looking to turn the sports sex appeal into money-making machines, the sport has hit a critical point. They don’t need marketing ploys but a youthful athlete with an additional ability to sustain greatness.

The least interesting part of the series, which I know tennis fans will appreciate, is giving credence to the formula and the subjects of the documentary through stars of the sport. You have cameos; interviews and archival footage by Nadal, John McEnroe, Andy Roddick, and Maria Sharapova feel like quite a bit of filler. Even though the latter two are perfect examples of tennis trying to turn out young stars for marketing purposes in the 21st century. Ironically, the series tends to focus on such stars, mainly Nick Kyrgios, who is the “bad boy” of the group.

Is Break Point Season 1 on Netflix good?

Yes, Break Point is well worth your time, but diehards will appreciate it more. While combining a surprising amount of kinetic energy with the series’ electric cinematography, the suspense of a reality show (because athletics are the original reality competition), and a surprising amount of insight, the first half of the season succeeds in what it sets out to accomplish. With the other episodes set to stream this summer, this could be a smash hit for Netflix.

What did you think of the Netflix sports documentary series Break Point Season 1? Comment below.

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