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‘Drive to Survive’-Style Docuseries Surrounding Tennis Is In The Works

Given the tremendous success of Drive to Survive, it shouldn’t be a shock that Netflix is looking to continue their expansion into the world of sports....
Credit: Yann Caradec

Given the tremendous success of Drive to Survive, it shouldn’t be a shock that Netflix is looking to continue their expansion into the world of sports.

Can Netflix do for tennis what Drive to Survive did for Formula 1? Drive to Survive managed to take the uninitiated and the uninterested and turn them into F1 fans. Now, Netflix might be able to do the same for tennis.

Think about it. When the Australian Open is on, all of a sudden everyone is an expert and just loves the sport. But once the footy starts, interest in tennis is basically gone for all except the dedicated. That could change with a show dedicated to highlighting the skill and drama that unfolds in tennis throughout the year.

Netflix have even enlisted the talents of the studio who brought us Drive to Survive, Box to Box Films. These guys are no joke either as the two executive producers are James Gay-Rees and Paul Martin. Gay-Rees is responsible for fantastic documentaries like Exit Through The Gift Shop, Diego Maradona, and Amy. Martin has collaborated with Gay-Rees on Diego Maradona, Ronaldo, and Make Us Dream.

Netflix Vice President of Unscripted & Documentary Series, Brandon Riegg, said of the upcoming series,

“We are excited to continue bolstering our lineup of sports programming with this behind-the-scenes documentary series. Tennis is beloved all over the world, with high-stakes tournaments hopping across continents and athletes hailing from countless countries. Through this historic partnership with the four Grand Slam tournaments, the ATP Tour, WTA Tour, and ATP Media, the series will be packed with rare access and rich personal stories that are sure to draw in longtime fans and new audiences alike.”

The crew have actually started filming already at the 2022 Australian Open so we can likely expect all the Djokovic drama to be quite well documented, but this hasn’t been confirmed.

Netflix added, “The series will also be the first sports program of its kind to provide an equal platform to the men’s and women’s competitors of the sport, in keeping with the equal stage they share throughout the year.”

Stefanos Tsitsipas

We don’t know which players are on board with the series except Stefanos Tsitsipas. The men’s world number four said of the show, “I’m very privileged to be in it. I’ve watched Drive to Survive. I instantly became a huge fan of F1. I’m extremely happy they’re bringing this to tennis and making something similar in that sense.”

Netflix aren’t just sticking to coverage of the Grand Slams either but also the smaller competitions like the ATP and WTA tour. This is ideal as those tours are watched by far fewer people than the Grand Slams.

Alexander Zverev, the men’s world number three, was optimistic about the show,

“I think it’s great thing for the ATP to try to promote the sport. I think tennis will gain younger fans through a Netflix documentary like Drive to Survive because [it] shows the inside of the sport, the pit lane, all that. I think the drama comes with it. I’m going to be very interested to see how it’s going to be with tennis because I am inside the locker room, I am inside with the players, so I know what it is like. It’s going to be interesting to see how much Netflix can show of that.”

Netflix are also working on a similar show surrounding golf which also has a problem of gaining new, young, and loyal fans.

Not aware of Drive to Survive? Check out our review of the show’s third season. 


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