The Netflix Curse, or the Dinker’s Curse?
Pickleball might be to blame for the poor performance of certain tennis players at the Australian Open
Post 3 of Left Open, CLT’s leftist coverage of the 2023 Australian Open.
The talk of the Australian Open thus far has been been consumed with the so-called “Netflix curse.” At the time of writing this article, all ten players who were featured in the new Break Point series have either withdrawn or were eliminated from this year’s tournament, leading many to speculate that starring in the show doomed their performance from the start.
You might think that as leftists, we would dismiss any supernatural forces supposedly dictating the result of matches in favor of a purely materialist approach. But, let's take a step back for a minute. Maybe there’s more at play here than the appearance of this Netflix curse. Maybe there’s something at the root here that goes beyond streaming platforms, right to the heart of capitalism. As Marx wrote in Capital Vol. III, “All science would be superfluous if the outward appearance and the essence of things directly coincided.”
While some “leftists” have tried to excise any trace of him, it’s impossible to imagine the development of Marx’s philosophy without the influence of Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel. At the heart of left hegelianism is a sort of belief that things will work out superintended by basic and eternal social institutions. For the purposes of tennis analysis, this idea of predetermination isn’t too far off from what a liberal might call a “curse”.
Let’s follow this thread for a minute. In Hegelian dialectics, contradictions between a thesis and antithesis are resolved through a synthesis, and the process repeats as higher levels of understanding are reached. In this analogy, Leftist tennis of course represents the Weltgeist or “world-spirit”, a guiding principal for the progression of mankind on the way to absolute knowledge. It logically follows that the primary obstacle to tennis, pickleball, could then be seen as katchetonic with respect to the world-spirit, or in other words, a countervailing force in the movement of the dialectic. Using this method, we can conclusively prove that the conflict between tennis and pickleball is capable of shaping the evolution of mankind, and certainly influence the results of sports.
With that completely illuminated, time to take a closer look at a few tennis players who have been said to be cursed and see what else we can find:
Many were surprised when Nick Kyrgios suddenly withdrew from the Open just one day before his first scheduled match, citing a knee injury. Was this just a case of bad luck for the defending AO doubles champ and 2022 Wimbledon runner-up? It seems more likely that his recent investments in pickleball have more to do with it.
His doubles partner and sidekick Thanasi Kokkinakis, who lost in the second round to Andy Murray (while hardly a bad showing for an unseeded player), is cursed by association.
In a tournament where American men have had their best showing at a Major in years, one name is conspicuously absent from the later rounds, #1 ranked American man Taylor Fritz.
Unfortunately, his chances at success in this tournament were blown as soon as he said the following in an interview with a CLT comrade: “There’s people that are pickleball haters and people that don’t see pickleball as any kind of a problem and support it. I’d say I’m on that side.”
Tomljanovic, the #1 ranked Australian woman player, was forced to withdraw from the tournament due to injury. Since injuries clearly don’t just appear on their own, I did a deep dive to discover it’s true cause. Leftist tennis researchers soon discovered that Boca West Country Club, which named Tomljanovic as its touring pro in 2019, has four dedicated pickleball courts on the premises.
Next time do your research before signing on to a private country club in Florida, Ajla!
In what might have been an innocent oversight, Paula Badosa was caught drinking pickle juice during a United Cup match this year. Shortly after, she withdrew from the Open citing an abdominal injury.
But here’s where things start to get interesting. If we start looking at athletes outside of the tennis world, we see the trend continue.
After investing in pickleball, Brady got divorced, finished the season with a losing record for the first time in his career, and lost embarrassingly to the Cowboys in the first round of the playoffs. There’s no other explanation for his worst year ever.
It’s clear that King James has been cursed with a shitty Lakers team this season after making massive investments in pickleball and promoting the “sport.” Was the payday really worth not making the playoffs this year Lebron?
Cleveland Cavs big man Kevin Love, another pickleball investor, recently suffered a hairline fracture in his right thumb. Warnings don’t get more clear than this, as that would be his pickleball hand if he were to pick up a paddle.
The Warriors have been underperforming this year, while teammate Steph Curry has been plagued by injury. Must be awkward talking about your foray into dinking in the locker-room, right Draymond?
Durant both has invested in pickleball and been caught on camera playing the game, in a remarkable show of awkwardness once thought impossible for a professional athlete:
As punishment, he has had to play this season alongside an antisemite.
I could go on, but the trend is hard to miss once you spot it. There’s clearly a Dinker’s Curse that supersedes any coincidences having to do with Netflix.
I’d like to end this with a friendly warning. On April 2nd, tennis legends Andre Agassi, John McEnroe, Andy Roddick, and Michael Chang are set to compete in a pickleball exhibition at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Florida for a grand prize of $1 million. For your own wellbeing, I beg you to withdraw. We’ve never seen this level of pickleballery before and the results could be disastrous.