ATP chief confirms tennis ‘working on’ own version of Netflix’s Drive to Survive F1 show

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Tennis is set to get its own version of Drive to Survive which has attracted a new young audience to Formula One – and made Daniel Ricciardo into a sex symbol. The Netflix series has given fans an all-access pass to the inner workings of the sport since 2019. Viewers also get the chance to see the lives of stars like Lewis Hamilton and Lando Norris off the track.

Now ATP chairman Andrea Guadenzi has revealed tennis is in talks about a new version to showcase stars like Stefanos Tsitsipas.

“We are working on something similar with the WTA and the Grand Slams,” Gaudenzi told L’Equipe.

“I cannot give more details because it is confidential for now. We want to create a studio, create more content.

“The young generation want to see the matches, of course, but also what (Stefanos) Tsitsipas does in the evening, for example.

“We have to invest in social media. Not just ‘tennis, tennis, tennis’. We have to tell stories to fans.”

Drive to Survive has been controversial and Max Verstappen has refused to take part in the documentary after claiming scenes had been “faked” and his quotes taken out of context.

But Emma Raducanu is a fan – and her Romanian opponent Ana Bogdan revealed the pair had chatted about Formula One – and Ricciardo – at last week’s Transylvanian Open.

The US Open champion, 18 said: “Yeah I love F1 and Motogp. I just find it a great weekend activity. I follow every single race and definitely back the Brits all the way as well.”

Raducanu even met seven-time F1 world champion Lewis Hamilton at the Met Gala back in September.

She told BBC Breakfast: “I managed to go to some really cool events and places.

“At the Met Gala I spoke to Lewis Hamilton, which was really cool, being such a fan of motorsport and Formula One. It was really nice to see him and speak to him there.”

F1 driver Nikita Mazepin, who drives for Haas, was meanwhile full of praise for Drive to Survive recently and its impact on F1.

“It’s a great show,” he said. “Obviously, it’s my first time fully immersed in the show this year.

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“I’m looking forward to seeing the outcome and also looking forward to the feedback because drivers sometimes seem robotic.

“People forget there are actually individuals behind helmets who are just the same as everybody else, apart from we have a job of driving in circles.

“But we’re the same human beings and they just see a little bit of, let’s say, a weaker side to us, a more family side, a more private side that other people in the great audience couldn’t achieve.

“So I’m happy Netflix is here, it’s growing slowly in Russia, and some seasons are hopefully going to be translated into the Russian language, and thanks to them for coming along.”

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