This year’s Australian Open tennis tournament has been riddled with shock losses and withdrawals — and some fans are superstitious about a new arrival on the court: Netflix.
The last player standing to appear in the Netflix tennis documentary series, Break Point, was eliminated from the tournament in a stunning loss at Margaret Court Arena.
Canada’s sixth seed Felix Auger-Aliassime was knocked out by Czech world number 59 Jiri Liska in a four-set clash on Sunday, cementing some of the “Netflix curse”.
“The Netflix curse is complete,” one fan tweeted.
Another said, “Damn can’t spell Netflix without Felix.”
It was the first time the 21-year-old Lehecka had made a player out of the top ten, continuing his role in a year that saw him climb 70 places in the rankings.
All ten players who participated in the show were ejected or forced to withdraw from injury prior to the quarter-finals.
Sixth seed Matteo Berrettini – and the star of the second round – was knocked out in the first round by Andy Murray.
Felix Auger-Aliassime after losing to Jerry Lischka. Source: aap / James Ross
Australia’s highest-ranked Ajla Tomljanović withdrew from the tournament prior to the tournament due to a knee injury.
Australia’s top-ranked Nick Kyrgios has pulled out ahead of the Grand Slam tournament with a meniscus injury.
Sixth seed Maria Sakkari lost to 87th seed Zhou Lin in the second round.
World No. 9 Taylor Fritz lost to 113rd-ranked Australian wild card Alexei Popyrin in the second round. And the list goes on.
As players began to fold and lose to those below them, fans became suspicious of the show’s impact on their performance.
There was enough chatter that Tomljanović herself joined in on the conversation.
“Can we stop fucking Netflix lol…it’s just a sport,” she wrote in response to a tweet referring to the term.
Auger-Aliassime said after winning his third round on Friday that he hadn’t even thought about it until his partner showed it to him.
“My girlfriend showed me today. I wasn’t aware,” he said.
“I was aware that the players were losing, I was seeing the players were losing, but it didn’t occur to me until you showed me the thing this morning. I thought it was funny…
“Maybe the players who lose, maybe they feel connected in some way. I don’t think they do. I don’t think it’s connected in any way. But, yeah, it’s funny how things go sometimes.”
The Netflix UK and Ireland Twitter account also shut down the claims, changing their bio to: “#NetflixCurse is not real.”
For what it’s worth, there is no such “curse” in Netflix’s Formula 1: Drive to Survive which is being made by the same executive producers as Break Point.
Lewis Hamilton, who has gone through a number of interviews for the show, was the F1 champion in 2018, 2019 and 2020, the years covered by the first three seasons of the show.