In a popular online video, the ATP portrays its top stars as actors who diligently practice to deliver entertaining performances on the tennis court. Novak Djokovic is portrayed by Emmy-winning Bert Critchley, and Fraser McKnight takes on the role of Andy Murray in the latest ATP The Tour original.
In the new ATP TV show, ‘The Tour, A Reality Show,’ Andy Murray, using the alias Fraser McKnight, openly states, “I think that’s what people don’t realize. The players, the matches, it’s all scripted.”
The men’s tennis governing body discloses that what viewers see on their screens isn’t genuine. Instead, all tennis superstars are essentially actors who work behind the scenes, not only on their game but also on crafting their public image to ensure audiences believe it’s all real.
The Tour: A Reality Show 📺— ATP Tour (@atptour) February 7, 2024
52 seasons in the making, a look at the lives and loves of 'professional' tennis players as they serve nothing but drama, attitude and aces… 🎾#TheTour #GameServeDrama pic.twitter.com/LyrinuP5T5
Andy Murray stands out in the show, delivering some of the most memorable lines. He is seen mocking the Tennis fans for their naive thinking and how ATP and the other ‘actors’ are making a fool out of them.
“We usually get our storylines at the start of the year, and we just try to make everything look natural. Let’s face it, people are stupid, so they’ll buy anything,” he remarks in the video.
ATP The Tour highlights: Novak Djokovic rips Tshirt, Roger Federer to go out of retirement
In a funny pre-planned video gaining popularity online, Novak Djokovic is featured comically tearing off his shirt in a restroom, while a visibly anxious Carlos Alcaraz rehearses his lines with guidance from an assistant before stepping onto the court.
Amid discussions on strategies to captivate the next generation of tennis fans, the show’s producers explore ideas such as bringing Roger Federer out of retirement and planning a ball kid’s victory in a Masters 1000 tournament.
According to the ATP, Novak Djokovic is portrayed by ‘Bert Critchley,’ a notably well-compensated actor. The ATP jokingly admonishes viewers for believing in the possibility of any player achieving 24 Grand Slam wins and 40 ATP Masters 1000 titles.
The show’s creators express pride in Novak Djokovic’s character development, transitioning from a supporting role within the Big Four to becoming the leading men’s singles player, potentially earning the title of the ‘greatest of all time.’
Bert Critchley’s depiction of the Novak Djokovic character is praised for its sensational impact. Kirtchley’s ability to evoke emotions on the court has attracted audiences at major tournaments. According to the ATP, Critchley has received eight Emmy Awards for his portrayal of the incomparable competitor.
While this is just a fun banter from the organizing body, this new concept has garnered support from other athletes. And the ones that have participated have successfully shown their ability to act well.