The atmosphere and dialogue are indeed changing in elite sports, especially in pro tennis with stars like Naomi Osaka opening up about their psychological struggles and the emotional rigors of the tour. “Break Point,” the new fly-on-the-wall documentary series from Netflix, focuses heavily on the mental rigors of the sport, through leading players like Nick Kyrgios and Paula Badosa. “So much happens behind the scenes,” Garcia said. “So much more than people know.”
Garcia said on Tuesday, after her convincing 6-3, 6-0 first-round victory over the Canadian qualifier Katherine Sebov, that Netflix had recently contacted her team to explore the idea of her taking part in the series.
She remains undecided. “You have to weigh the pros and cons,” she said. “Because the process is rather intrusive, the way they film, and if you are not at ease with that, it serves no purpose to do it.”
But Garcia, despite her uneasiness over the reach of her comments about eating, does think it has been helpful to share her story, not necessarily with the general public but with those close to her. She said her condition is bulimia, which often involves forced vomiting after a binge. Garcia said she did not vomit but took other extreme measures associated with bulimia, like fasting to avoid putting on weight after a binge.
“I had accepted it and learned to cope with it,” she said. “My close people and my family and my team were totally aware. That’s the most important thing. You don’t necessarily need for the whole world to know to live with it well.”
Alizé Cornet, a veteran French player and friend of Garcia’s, said she was unaware of Garcia’s troubles but said that many players go through “some form of depression” while on tour.
“I feel like it’s almost obligatory process: to be able to bounce back and to know oneself and to get some distance from things,” Cornet said on Tuesday. She added: “I’m sad for her that she had to go through that, but when I see how she’s grown, it was perhaps something that was useful after all.”