The first week of the 2023 Australian Open has not even finished, and some big names are already out of the tournament with a certain #NetflixCurse trending on social media.
Here’s all you need to know about the ‘Netflix Curse’
Similar to ‘Formula 1: Drive to Survive,’ Netflix in January 2022 had announced a docu-series following men’s and women’s tennis players — starting with Australian Open 2022 — to give an unfiltered view of their lives.
The first five episodes of the series, titled ‘Break Point’, were released this year on January 13, just three days before the first Grand Slam began in Melbourne.
The first five episodes majorly focus on the following players - Nick Kyrgios (Australia), Thanasi Kokkinakis (Australia), Matteo Berrettini (Italy), Ajla Tomljanovic (Australia), Taylor Fritz (USA), Maria Sakkari (Greece), Paula Badosa (Spain), Ons Jabeur (Tunisia), Felix Auger-Aliassime (Canada) and Casper Ruud (Norway) - and their journey through the first half of the 2022 season.
Kyrgios, who won the 2022 Australian Open men’s doubles title with compatriot Kokkinakis, and Badosa and Tomljanovic had to pull out of this year’s edition without playing a match due to injuries.
Berrettini, who reached the semifinals in 2022, went down 3-6, 3-6, 6-4, 7-6 (7), 6-7 (6) to the five-time runner-up and former World No. 1 Andy Murray in the first round itself this year.
Second seed Ruud, the 2022 French Open and US Open finalist, lost 3-6, 5-7, 7-6 (4), 2-6 to USA’s Jenson Brooksby and Fritz, who beat Rafael Nadal to win the 2022 Indian Wells Masters, suffered a 7-6 (4), 6-7 (2), 4-6, 7-6 (6), 2-6 loss against local wildcard Alexei Popyrin in the second round on Thursday. Later in the day, second-seeded Jabeur went down 1-6, 7-5, 1-6 to Marketa Vondrousova of the Czech Republic and Kokkinakis suffered a heartbreaking 6-4, 7-6 (4), 6-7 (5), 3-6, 5-7 defeat against former World No. 1 Andy Murray in five hours 45 minutes.
On Friday, sixth-seeded Greek Maria Sakkari went down 6-7 (3), 6-1, 4-6 to World No. 87 Zhu Lin of China in the third round.
After three difficult rounds, only sixth-seeded Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime has somehow managed to stay alive in the competition.
Based on the 2023 Australian Open struggles of all these players, who are a part of the ‘Break Point’ series, social media has come up with the term ‘Netflix curse’.
Update: Felix Auger-Aliassime too exited the tournament after a 6-4, 3-6, 6-7 (2), 6-7 (3) loss to Czech Republic’s Jiri Lehecka in the fourth round.