And Then There Were None: Tennis’ Netflix curse claims final victim as Felix Auger-Aliassime exits

Felix Auger-Aliassime in action Credit: Alamy
Felix Auger-Aliassime in action Credit: Alamy

The 10 players who starred in the first five episodes of Netflix’s tennis documentary Break Point are no longer in the running for the 2023 Australian Open singles titles with Felix Auger-Aliassime the final victim of the Netflix curse.

Auger-Aliassime, Paula Badosa, Matteo Berrettini, Taylor Fritz, Ons Jabeur, Thanasi Kokkinakis, Nick Kyrgios, Casper Ruud, Maria Sakkari and Ajla Tomljanovic are the 10 players who feature in the first five episodes of the popular series.

But they have all fallen by the wayside, some through injury and others due to defeat.

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Local hope Tomljanovic and 11th seeded Spaniard Badosa were first to be hit by the Netflix curse as they withdrew before the tournament started due to injury.

Netflix’s tennis series Break Point: How to watch it, release date, which players feature, episode guide

Wimbledon runner-up Kyrgios was next to pull out as the Australian Open failed to recover from a knee injury and announced his withdrawal 24 hours before his first-round match last Tuesday.

Thirteenth seed Berrettini followed suit as the Italian suffered a five-set defeat at the hands of Andy Murray in the opening round before second seed Casper Ruud went down in the second round against Jenson Brooksby.

Kokkinakis also exited on day four as he was beaten by Murray in a five-hour and 45-minute marathon.

After his first-round win, Fritz laughed off suggestions of a “Netflix curse”, saying: “I noticed the people pulling out of the tournament, but I didn’t know it was a thing, like ‘I’m going to lose my first round because I’m in the Netflix show.

He smilingly added: “I didn’t think of that.”

Yet later on day four Fritz joined the exodus as he was defeated by Australian Alexei Popyrin while women’s second seed Jabeur lost against Marketa Vondroušova.

That left Auger-Aliassime as the last Netflix player standing, but his journey came to an end on Sunday as he was beaten 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 (7-2), 7-6 (7-3) by rising star Jiri Lehecka in the fourth round.

“Honestly, it feels amazing,” said Lehecka.

“It’s tough to find the words because what I’ve been through in the last year and now coming back to Australia.

“After losing in the first round last year, if someone had told me before the tournament that I would be playing like this, I wouldn’t have believed them.

“I’m super happy and excited.”

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