The Novak Djokovic Australian Open visa saga is set to feature in a new fly-on-the-wall docuseries to be shown on Netflix, according to reports.
The makers of smash-hit Formula 1 show Drive To Survive are currently filming a tennis version featuring some of the biggest names on the men’s and women’s tours, says the Mail.
Cameras have already begun rolling in Australia, where the bitter legal row over Djokovic’s right to enter the country without being vaccinated against Covid-19 exploded in the run up to the Grand Slam event.
The men’s world No1 and 20-time major champion successfully appealed against immigration officials’ decision to deny him entry earlier this week.
But the Australian government could yet deport him anyway, either for not meeting the criteria for a medical exemption against vaccination or on “character” grounds, after it emerged he broke isolation rules in his native Serbia after testing positive last month.
Sport documentary series have rocketed in popularity in recent years, with Drive To Survive among the most prominent and credited with reviving the popularity of F1 among younger audiences.
The show’s makers, London-based Box To Box Films and executive producer James Gay Rees, are said to be behind the as-yet unnamed tennis show.
The format typically focuses on the personalities involved in elite sport, shining a light on their backgrounds and life away from the arena, and has provided a foothold in sport for streaming services such as Netflix without them having to enter the auction for live rights.
It emerged this week that golf’s PGA Tour has also signed up to make a similar series, which will feature Open champion Collin Morikawa, former world No1 Dustin Johnson and English Ryder Cup hero Ian Poulter.
Britain’s Andy Murray has previously said that he would welcome tennis getting the Netflix docuseries treatment.
“A lot of people have spoken about Drive to Survive. I’ve watched a few episodes myself, I enjoyed it and something like that would be really good for tennis,” he told Eurosport last year.
“Providing it’s done well and that there’s a level of respect and trust there between the athletes and the people that are filming, I think it can be unbelievably positive.”