SO the recent Netflix series Break Point wasn’t as fly on the wall as it advertised.

Sunday Serve has read that Iga Swiatek has complained over one episode’s portrayal of her and Aryna Sabalenka has confirmed that players had the power to go back and change things they didn’t like.

Such a revelation may not be shocking or even worth noting had it not been for the fact the series was widely touted by Netflix as ‘the warts and and all’ documentary on tennis that would rival the highly successful F1 series.

Swiatek opened up about her dismay at some editing choices made in the documentary, in Cincinnati last week, complaining the producers had left out her charity event ‘Iga Swiatek and Friends for Ukraine’.

“They were in Krakow, and it’s shame that they didn’t show it, but maybe it’s better to ask them why,” she said, pointing the finger at Netflix.

Then the world No.1 complained about the portrayal of her relationship with her psychologist Daria Abramowicz, who was shown managing her ring for a haircut.

Apparently, there was a ‘huge’ social media backlash – one that never appeared in any mainstream media, but one Swiatek thought was wrong.

“There were some things that I thought they edited it, and people kind of misunderstood sometimes few situations in the episode,” she said.

“We already kind of spoke to Netflix about these things. I wish it could be done a little bit differently. When we watched before the premier, we couldn’t have any influence on how they edited some stuff.”

Sabalenka responded last week, insisting the players were allowed to see their episodes before they aired and make adjustments accordingly.

Proving this series was not a warts and all tell all behind the scenes show, more a ‘let’s put on a nice promo movie to boost our earning appeal’.

It would have been nice to have been told all episodes would be edited, censored, call it what you may, before the series aired.

Iga Swiatek believes there has to be a balance between commercial demands and player welfare.
Photo: Roger Parker International Sports Fotos Ltd

MEANWHILE, Swiatek also hit out at tennis governing bodies during the week, complaining they were too business-centric.

“I think it’s harder and harder. Tournaments, if they are longer, we have less time in between tournaments to recover,” she said.

“I think it’s going to be pretty extreme next year if all the 1000 tournaments are going to be almost two weeks.

“So I don’t think it’s a coincidence. I think it’s a sign for WTA and ATP to kind of take it easy on us. On the other side, there’s a business that they need to take care of.”

“Our season is actually going to get longer. I guess we are the ones that should be kind of responsible and know when to take a break and not really push because it’s a race and it’s a pretty long one. We have to be smart and your team has to be smart to make the right decisions.”

She has a point, to a degree.

Rain in Montreal caused havoc with the draw.

Yes, players need time to recover from events and from matches and the ludicrous late night matches as seen in Paris and New York in recent years playing the US summer hard-court swing with very little rest time is tough.

And the weather in Montreal didn’t help.

But the sport has to develop commercially and with that comes pressure. From sponsors and broadcasters all wanting more to justify their spend.

Without that income the WTA and ATP don’t survive – and neither do ever increasing demands for more tournament prize money.

SOMETIMES it takes a change of outfit to turn your fortunes. It did for Iga Swiatek in Cincinnati last week.

The world No.1 was advised by her coach Tomasz Wiktorowski to change her outdate after losing the first set of her match to Qinwen Zheng.

She took a timeout and underwent a wardrobe change and went on to win the next two sets and the match 3-6, 6-1, 6-1 to progress from the third round of the 2023 Cincinnati Open.

“Honestly, it’s because of my coach, he told me a couple of months ago that after losing a set, it might be a good idea to change your outfit so that you can kinda reset and go into the second set on a different vibe,” Swiatek said.

“I thought this was bullsh*t but I tried this time and it worked, so thank you coach.”

BIZARRE – or should that read Buzz-arre…

Stefanos Tsitsipas asked the umpire to remove a fan who was trying to interrupt him by imitating a bee at the Cincinnati Open.

“There’s a person imitating a bee behind me. It’s a buzz right before I serve,” he said in a video posted on social media.

“It has never happened in my career. I know they’re supporting the [other player]. It’s the lady over there, I want her out. She needs to go… when I’m about to serve, all I hear is [bzzz].”

The lady apologised and Tsitsipas went on to win his match 7-6, 7-6.

AND stranger still … Aryna Sabalenka took matters into her own hands and dried the court during a rain delay in her third-round match against Daria Kasatkina in Cincinnati.

As rain fell Sabalenka took the initiative to assist in drying the court while waiting for the match to resume.

Armed with a towel, she meticulously attended to the spots that had been overlooked by the drying machines.

ON his return to the US last week Novak Djokovic won his first match on American spoil in two years, beating Spain’s Alejandro Davidovich Fokina.

Djokovic said he missed playing in the biggest tournaments in the United States and was thrilled to be back.

“Time flies. Four years seems like it was yesterday. So it’s definitely nice to be back,” said Djokovic. “I’ve had some really nice memories from this tournament.

“Winning it in 2018 obviously is a highlight for me, because it was the only Masters I hadn’t won for years. I think I lost four or five finals, mostly to Roger (Federer).

“But I played well in the past and was really glad to have a chance to come back to the States. It’s been two years. I missed it. Some of the biggest tournaments in our sport are played on American soil. I’m just excited to play some tennis.”

WHO says old men can’t play tennis?

Just ask Stan Wawrinka.

At 38 years of age, the Swiss maestro is still performing, albeit through injury sometimes, as wa shown in Cincinnati last week.

Wawrinka outclassed world No. 10 Frances Tiafoe in the second round at the 2023 Western and Southern Open on Wednesday, winning straight sets, 6-3, 6-4.

“Old man can still play,” Wawrinka tweeted.

AND finally ….

With all eyes on the US and world No.1 Iga Swiatek, don’t forget there are a few others in contention at Flushing Meadows.

Even though it seems she has been on tour for years Coco Gauff is still only 19, and her 7-6 (2), 3-6, 6-4 win over Swiatek in Cincinnati overnight has caught the attention of American fans, keen to see one of their own victorious in New York.

Gauff had never won a set against Swiatek in seven previous meetings, but she finished off the upset to the delight of a large crowd and vociferous home-town crowd.

Swiatek, as already reported here, feels there is too much tennis on the US swing.

“My tank of fuel is pretty empty. I’m happy to have some days off,” she said after the defeat.

As for Coco? She’s fired up and ready for what New York will throw at her.

An outside bet for the US?

She thinks so.

“I still think that I’m not even to the peak of my game,” she said.

Gauff became the fourth teenager to reach the final in Cincinnati during the professional era and first since Vera Zvonareva in 2004.

The last teenager to win there was 17-year-old Linda Tuero in 1968.