Maria Sharapova Leads Russian Athletes in Olympic Torch Lighting


(February 7, 2014) Tennis star and former Sochi native Maria Sharapova led a group of six decorated Russian athletes for the torch lighting at Friday’s Opening Ceremony at the Sochi Olympics.

Sharapova brought the flame into the stadium to hand it off to pole-vaulter Yelena Isinbayeva. Also involved in the torch relay, former gymnast Alina Kabaeva, wrestling star Alexander Karelin, with figure-skating legend Irina Rodnina, and former hockey goaltender Vladislav Tretiak lighting the Olympic caldron.


Sharapova will serve as Olympics correspondent for NBC.


Maria Sharapova Returns to Court Where Tennis Career Began


Sharapova Sochi 2

(February 6, 2014) While the world knows Maria Sharapova’s story as champion tennis player, not many know how her career as a tennis star started… or where. Sharapova came back to her hometown back to visit her first court in Sochi where she will tell the story of her early years in tennis and what it means to play. Maria reopened the court for kids Tennis academy after refurbishment that includes a tennis wall telling the story of Sharapova’s career.

Nike recently refurbished the court for the Evgeniy Kafelnikov Tennis Academy and added a mural that illustrates Sharapova’s rise from a young star to one of the world’s elite tennis athletes.

“It’s incredible to travel back to my roots and still see so much joy and passion from kids for the game today,” Sharapova said. “I’m honored to officially re-open the court for play and I hope that these young stars will continue to develop and enhance their technique and see that with dedication and motivation, you can rise to the top.”

On the mural is an message:

This is more than a line on a wall. It’s where a little girl hit her first thousand tennis balls. It’s daring to go further. It’s defying the doubters. It’s deciding what you want. Then doing something about it. This is not just a line on a wall. It’s where legends are made.

As part of a court dedication ceremony in her honor, Sharapova, along with the help of local girls from the academy, reopened the court for play and spoke passionately about her early career, the court’s significance in her life and what it means to be back home.

“I lived here as a girl for five years so my tennis memories all come back to this court and this wall,” said Sharapova.  ”It’s such a special occasion to be back here. Both as a part of this global moment and to be able to come back to where it all started for me.”

Sharapova is excited for the competition to start on her own turf, as she has experienced first-hand how incredible it is to compete on a global stage.

Sharapova is serving as an Olympic correspondent for NBC in Sochi.

Photos courtesy of Nike


Maria Sharapova to Serve as an NBC Correspondent for Winter Olympics in Sochi

Maria Sharapova

(November 13, 2013) World No. 4 Maria Sharapova will put down her tennis racquet for a microphone during the upcoming NBC coverage of the Sochi Winter Olympics. The Russian who lived in the town until she was six will work as a correspondent for the games offering both insight and commentary when the games begin on February 7, 2014.

The four-time major winner and former No. 1 Sharapova was the flag bearer for Russia for 2012 Olympic games in London, where she earned a silver medal in Women’s singles, crushed by Serena Williams in the gold medal match.

Sharapova posted the news on her twitter account:



NBC Extends French Open Agreement until 2024

New Multi-Year, Multi-Platform Agreement Includes Increased Digital Rights and 10 Additional Hours of Television Coverage Beginning in 2013

Coverage Now Includes Memorial Day play and Women’s Semifinals

NBC will continue to Air Opening Sunday, Middle Weekend and Live Championship Weekend Coverage

LONDON/NEW YORK – August 5, 2012 – The NBC Sports Group and the French Tennis Federation, today announced a multi-year, multi-platform extension that includes 10 more hours of live U.S. television coverage and increased digital rights for the Grand Slam event through 2024. NBC will air the opening Sunday of the tournament, as it did this year for the first time, as well as middle weekend tennis, the men’s and women’s semifinals and the men’s and women’s finals.

This extension brings key days of the tournament to the network, including Memorial Day coverage, and the women’s semifinals rounding out the network’s championship weekend. At the conclusion of this agreement, NBC will have served as the broadcast home of the French Open for 42 consecutive years.

“The French Open is one of the world’s most celebrated sports events,” said Jon Miller, president of programming for NBC Sports and NBC Sports Network. “This ground-breaking agreement will extend our relationship with Roland Garros through 2024, and provides tennis fans with more comprehensive coverage than ever before, including live streaming of more matches.”

“After 30 years of outstanding work in televising the French Open, the French Tennis Federation is thrilled to renew their American network agreement with NBC for a long term period,” said Michel Grach, director of media and sponsorship, French Tennis Federation. “This new agreement will increase NBC’s hours of coverage of the tournament, which will continue to build Roland Garros’ American audience. NBC and FFT reinforce their partnership at a very strategic period in FFT’s history with the start of the new stadium program.”

The French Open will be available for tennis fans on NBCSports.com, where fans can watch live streaming of all of NBC’s coverage. NBCSports.com will also provide daily video highlights and online-only analysis by NBC’s tennis commentators.


NBC Sports French Open Schedule Update for Men’s Final

From NBC Sports: The conclusion of the Men’s French Open final, which was suspended today by rain in the fourth set, will conclude live tomorrow morning at 7 a.m. ET on NBC Sports Network and streamed live to all desktops and iOS devices (iPhones and iPads) at NBCSports.com. Following the conclusion of the match, the entire Nadal-Djokovic will re-air on NBC Sports Network.

Go here to find NBC Sports Network in your area: http://nbcsports.msnbc.com/id/30092015/

When play was suspended today, Nadal was leading Djokovic 6-4, 6-4, 2-6, 1-2 (in the fourth set). With a victory, Nadal will secure his seventh French Open title, surpassing Bjorn Borg for the most men’s French Open championships in the Open era. For Djokovic, a win here and he will have won four consecutive Grand Slam titles dating back to last year’s Wimbledon.


NBC Sports French Open Schedule Update

NBC’s coverage of the 2012 French Open continues on Friday with the men’s semifinal match between No. 1 ranked Novak Djokovic and 16-time Grand Slam singles champion Roger Federer tomorrow at 11 a.m. (all time zones) and streamed live on NBCSports.com across the country. This weekend, NBC will air live coverage of the women’s final on Saturday at 9 a.m. ET featuring the new No.1 seed Maria Sharapova, against 21st seed Sara Errani of Italy. Sharapova will have her chance to complete a career Grand Slam should she win the final. The men’s final which will pit the winner of the Federer-Djokovic match against the winner of the Rafael Nadal-David Ferrer match will air live on NBC on Sunday at 9 a.m. ET.

In the first semifinal tomorrow, defending champion Rafael Nadal will face fellow Spaniard and Davis Cup teammate David Ferrer on Tennis Channel. In the event that this match runs until 11 a.m. ET, NBC will air the end of the first match and will then air the Federer-Djokovic match. Nadal will go for a record seventh title at Roland Garros, having won in 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010, and 2011. With a win this year, he will surpass Bjorn Borg for the most men’s French Open championships in the Open era. With a win at this year’s French Open, Djokovic will have won four consecutive Grand Slam titles dating back to last year’s Wimbledon.

FRENCH OPEN ON NBCSPORTS.COM: Tennis fans can go to NBCSports.com to watch a live simulcast of Men’s and Women’s Finals, and live streaming coverage, across the country, of the Federer-Djokovic match tomorrow. NBCSports.com will also provide daily video highlights online-only analysis for NBC’s tennis commentators. If the Nadal-Ferrer match runs past 11 a.m. ET, NBCSports.com will stream the conclusion of that match and continue coverage with the Djokovic-Federer match.


NBC French Open Schedule

FRENCH OPEN ON NBC: The following is the schedule for NBC’s coverage of the 2012 French Open, which culminates with live coverage of the Women’s (June 9) and Men’s (June 10) Finals:


Sunday, May 27 Noon – 3 p.m. ET First Round (Live)
Saturday, June 2 Noon – 3 p.m. ET Third Round (Live)
Sunday, June 3 1 p.m. – 4 p.m. ET Fourth Round (Live)
Friday, June 8 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. (all time zones) Men’s Semifinals (Live ET)
Saturday, June 9 9 a.m. – Noon ET Women’s Final (live)
Sunday, June 10 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. ET Men’s Final (Live)

FRENCH OPEN ON NBCSPORTS.COM: Tennis fans can go online to watch a live simulcast of each day of NBC’s coverage including the Men’s and Women’s Finals, and live streaming coverage, across the country, of the Men’s Semifinals on Friday, June 8. NBCSports.com will also provide daily video highlights online-only analysis for NBC’s tennis commentators.


Djokovic Makes Appearance on NBC’s Tonight Show



World No. 1 Novak Djokovic appeared as a guest on NBC’s Tonight Show with Jay Leno talk show on Tuesday night. He appeared on the program along with actress Kate Holmes,  the wife of actor Tom Cruise, and singer Matt Kearney.


This was Djokovic’s second appearance on the program, he first was a guest back in March 2008.


Serena Williams Speaks on the Today Show

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Serena Williams was interviewed on NBC’s Today Show on March 9 about the status of her health and when she expects to return to tennis.