UNTOLD: Breaking Point

  • 25 Sep - 01 Oct, 2021
  • Mag The Weekly

It’s hard to imagine a higher-pressure sport than top-flight professional tennis. In the fifth and final installment of UNTOLD, Netflix’s well-received series of sports documentaries, we follow the delayed-but-meteoric rise and fall of star Mardy Fish, who ascended to the sport’s biggest stage, only to be sidelined by a crippling anxiety disorder. The story of Mardy Fish’s career isn’t just the story of Mardy Fish; it’s a two-man tale, at least at the beginning; Fish’s rise to professional tennis is inextricable from that of International Tennis Hall of Famer Andy Roddick. The two men played together in youth sports academies and traveled together; they were best friends, and they were training partners. Where Roddick’s mix of carefree composure and brutal competitiveness flagged him as a future star in the eyes of coaches and trainers, Fish’s future was less clear; he was largely seen as a sparring partner for the ascendant Roddick, an image seemingly sealed by a loss to his friend in a tournament. Roddick’s first US Open win quickly followed, and a star was born, “the new face of American tennis”. Fish laboured in the background; successful in maintaining a professional career, but seemingly never a threat to break through to the top echelon. Then something changed, a mid-career revelation and a renewed vigour for training. From there, he began his long-awaited rise, winning match after match.