LOS ANGELES, March 1, 2013 – In celebration of World Tennis Day, Tennis Channel will air the 2013 BNP Paribas Showdown/Hong Kong on March 4 from 6:30 a.m.-9:30 a.m. ET, live from the Asia-World Arena in Hong Kong with a pair of tennis legends and two of the top 10 players on the WTA tour. John McEnroe and Ivan Lendl will kick off World Tennis Day with a renewal of their 30-year rivalry. Then, former world No. 1 player Caroline Wozniacki takes on 2012 Wimbledon finalist Agnieszka Radwanska.
“We are excited to be an integral part of the global festivities honoring World Tennis Day and look forward to continue to bring viewers the sport’s greatest moments from around the world,” said David Scott, vice president of programming, Tennis Channel.
Tennis Channel will keep the celebration of World Tennis Day going all day by airing encore presentations of the 2009, 2012 and 2013 BNP Paribas Showdown events. The network will show the 2012 competition between Wozniacki and Maria Sharapova from 9:30 a.m.-11 a.m. ET. Other highlights of the schedule include World of Tennis‘ exclusive interview with Rafael Nadal upon his return to the game a few weeks ago (at both 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. ET) and Road to the Showdown at 6:30 p.m., hosted by Rennae Stubbs. From 7 p.m.-10:30 p.m. ET, the network will rebroadcast the 2013 BNP Paribas Showdown/Hong Kong. The day will conclude with an encore presentation of the 2012 BNP Paribas match between Roger Federer and Andy Roddick at 11:30 p.m. ET.
“We are delighted to be expanding our relationship with Tennis Channel to include World Tennis Day,” said Jerry Solomon, who serves as executive producer of World of Tennis. “The goal of World Tennis Day, which grew from Tennis Night in America and our relationship with the USTA, is to encourage kids and adults to participate in the sport. WE hope the chance to see so many of the greats playing the game throughout one day will inspire people to do just that.”
World Tennis Day was created by StarGames and is held with the support of the International Tennis Federation to promote Tennis10s, which tailors the game to its youngest players with smaller racquets, lighter balls and modified scoring. The cornerstones of World Tennis Day are grassroots opportunities for young players to participate in the sport at the local level. The day is highlighted by BNP Paribas Showdown events in Hong Kong, as well as the annual event at Madison Square Garden in New York featuring Rafael Nadal, Juan Martin del Potro, Serena Williams and Victoria Azarenka.
Radwanska, who is currently the No. 4 ranked player on the WTA Tour, takes the court in Hong Kong having won her three most recent matches with the tenth-ranked Wozniacki, despite Wozniacki’s 5-4 edge in the nine career meetings between the two players.
Lendl, who returned to the game last year to coach Andy Murray, compiled a 21-15 record against McEnroe from 1980-92, including a 7-3 record in Grand Slam events. In three classic Grand Slam Finals, Lendl defeated McEnroe twice – first at the 1984 French Open and then at the 1985 US Open Finals. In between those two defeats, McEnroe, who has been a member of Tennis Channel’s French Open, US Open and Davis Cup broadcast teams, upended Lendl at the 1984 US Open Finals.
Tennis Channel’s complete schedule of World Tennis Day activities can be found online at www.tennischannel.com/schedule.