July 26, 2016

Davis Cup Quarterfinals and Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony on Tennis Channel

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(July 12, 2016)  LOS ANGELES –Tennis Channel and Tennis Channel Plus will provide complete live coverage of all Davis Cup quarterfinal competition this weekend, including the United States’ battle with Croatia in Portland, Ore. In addition, the network will televise the 2016 International Tennis Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony in Newport, R.I., on Saturday, July 16, along with live coverage of the Hall of Fame Tennis Championships’ quarterfinals, semifinals and finals throughout the weekend. Tennis Channel will also offer live coverage of the men’s tournaments in Bastad, Sweden, and Hamburg, Germany.

The U.S. Davis Cup team will return to Portland for the first time since its Davis Cup title victory over Russia in 2007. Highlighting the match-up, top-ranked American John Isner will face former US Open champion Marin Cilic after having lost to him at Wimbledon two weeks ago. Although Cilic holds a 5-0 record against Isner, the pair have never faced each other in Davis Cup play. Rounding out the United States team is Jack Sock and doubles brothers Bob and Mike Bryan, considered by many to be the greatest doubles team of all time. Tennis Channel will offer live coverage each day beginning at 3 p.m. ET, Friday, July 15; 5 p.m. ET, Saturday, July 16; and 3 p.m. ET, Sunday, July 17 (complete weekend schedule below).

In addition to televising the United States-Croatia Davis Cup matchup, Tennis Channel will offer live looks at the other Davis Cup quarterfinals this weekend. World-whiparound coverage will get underway on Friday, July 15, with the Italy-Argentina competition in Pesaro, Italy; Czech Republic-France battle in Trinec, Czech Republic; and Serbia-Britain play in Belgrade, Serbia. Among the stars set to play Davis Cup this weekend include France’s Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Britain’s Andy Murray, Argentina’s Juan Martin del Potro and Italy’s Fabio Fognini.

As part of its world-whiparound coverage, Tennis Channel will air the Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony in Newport live Saturday, July 16, at 12:30 p.m. ET. This year’s inductees include former World No. 1 players Marat Safin and Justine Henin. In addition, 2015 Hall of Famer Amelie Mauresmo will be honored as she was unable to attend last year due to the birth of her child.

Tennis Channel Plus will offer complete, live coverage of the entire ceremony. The network will also be in Newport for live coverage of the Hall of Fame Tennis Championships’ quarterfinals, semifinals and finals. American stars set to play in this weekend’s tournament include Steve Johnson, Sam Querrey, Taylor Fritz, Rajeev Ram, Donald Young and Ryan Harrison.

The network will offer live coverage of the men’s tournaments in Bastad, Sweden, and Hamburg, Germany, this weekend as well, as part of daylong telecasts beginning at 5 a.m. ET, Friday, July 15; 7 a.m. ET, Saturday, July 16; and 6 a.m. ET, Sunday, July 17.

Viewers can also catch matches in their entirety on the network’s digital subscription service, Tennis Channel Plus.

Starting times for events within Tennis Channel’s world-whiparound coverage (all time ET):

Friday, July15:
6:30 a.m. – Davis Cup: Italy v. Argentina singles
8 a.m. – Davis Cup: Czech Republic v. France singles
10 a.m. – Davis Cup: Serbia v. Britain singles
1p.m. – Hall of Fame Tennis Championships quarterfinals
3p.m. – Davis Cup: USA v. Croatia singles

Saturday, July 16:
6a.m. – Davis Cup: Czech Republic v. France doubles
9a.m. – Davis Cup: Italy v. Argentina doubles
10 a.m. – Davis Cup: Serbia v. Britain doubles
12:30p.m. – Hall of Fame Tennis Championships Induction Ceremony
2p.m. – Hall of Fame Tennis Championships semifinals
5p.m. – Davis Cup: USA v. Croatia doubles

Sunday, July 17:
6:30 a.m. – Davis Cup: Italy v. Argentina singles
7 a.m. – Davis Cup: Czech Republic v. France singles
9 a.m. – Davis Cup: Serbia v. Britain singles
3 p.m. – Davis Cup: USA v. Croatia singles / Hall of Fame Tennis Championships final

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Tennis Channel’s Nightly Wimbledon Primetime Coverage Begins on June 27

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(June 21, 2016) LOS ANGELES –Tennis Channel will broadcast its ninth straight year of Wimbledon Primetime beginning on the tournament’s Opening Day, Monday, June 27. The network will dedicate more than 200 hours to the event during its three-and-half hour evening show. The program will air every night of the two-week tournament, with encores following immediately, and run throughout the night and into the morning. Tennis Channel will televise 85 first-run Wimbledon Primetime hours in 2016, scheduled to begin the first night of the competition at 4:30 p.m. ET.

Based in the largest on-site studio on the grounds of the historic event, Wimbledon Primetime will feature the incomparable commentary of lead analysts and Hall of Famers Martina Navratilova (@Martina) and Jim Courier. They are joined by fellow Hall of Famers Tracy Austin (@thetracyaustin) and Lindsay Davenport (@LDavenport76). Combined, the women have won a total of 23 Wimbledon Grand Slam titles across singles, doubles and mixed doubles. In addition, Former Wimbledon mixed doubles semifinalist and Coach Justin Gimelstob (@justingimelstob), and legendary coach Paul Annacone (@paul_annacone), who is known for his guidance of the sport’s all-time best in Pete Sampras and Roger Federer, and more recently with American star Sloane Stephens, will also be a part of the on-air team.

Lead-host Bill Macatee (@BMacatee) has been with the show since its inception in 2008 and returns with his free-flowing conversational approach. He will be joined by fellow host Mary Carillo who will also provide analytic segments, panel discussions and special features throughout the tournament. Along with Macatee and Carillo, Sports Illustrated executive editor and senior writer Jon Wertheim (@jon_wertheim) will contribute analysis and in-depth essays in his distinctive storytelling style as the tournament progresses. The show provides a nightly look of the day’s action, relaying the biggest news, expert analysis and encore matches from the legendary grass courts of the All England Lawn and Tennis Club. Wimbledon Primetime offers American tennis fans, which are typically at work during live play, a centralized destination for everything that happens at the London-based tournament.

Wimbledon Primetime generally runs in two editions each night of the two-week tournament, from 4:30 p.m.-8 p.m. ET and 8 p.m.-11:30 p.m. ET. Heading into the first weekend and second week of the event broadcast times vary slightly, but normally air during the late afternoon Eastern Time. In addition, Tennis Channel will devote seven-and-a-half hours to the All England Lawn and Tennis Club’s highlights program throughout the tournament. This will air 3 a.m-3:30 a.m. the first week of the tournament, Tuesday, June 28-Saturday, July 2, and then from 5 a.m-6 a.m. ET on Sunday, July 3. The second week will feature four hour-long shows, in the early mornings Eastern Time, between Wimbledon Primetime encore broadcasts. For a complete schedule of all Wimbledon coverageplease visit: http://tennischannel.com/tv-schedule/daily-view/.

Tennis Channel will continue with its Grand Slam Staple Racquet Bracket: Wimbledon for the second year. Premiering live Friday, June 24, 8 p.m. ET. The show will look into the Wimbledon draw, featuring 1999 Wimbledon doubles champion Corina Morariu along with commentators James Blake (@jrblake), Steve Weissman (@steve_weissman) and Leif Shiras (@lshirock), assessing the many variables and surprises that could come into play at tennis’ most historic tournament.

Leading up to the tournament, Tennis Channel will air multiple classic Wimbledon matches. In addition, digital subscription service Tennis Channel Plus will air five of the most historic Wimbledon matches in recent memory ahead of the tournament. These include: Bjorn Borg vs. John McEnroe, 1980; Steffi Graf vs. Arantxa Sanchez Vicario, 1995; Lindsay Davenport vs. Venus Williams, 2005; Roger Federer vs. Rafael Nadal, 2008; Roger Federer vs. Andy Roddick, 2009.

During Wimbledon, Apple and Android users can access Tennis Channel’s Tennis Channel Everywhere app for free, regardless of whether they currently subscribe to the network. The app offers daily updates, highlights, Court Report news, instruction clips and player Bag Check segments. Most viewers who subscribe to the network through a pay-TV provider are able to watch the channel live through their mobile devices whenever and wherever they want, through a TV Everywhere function, at no extra cost. Tennis Channel’s website will host extra content, including “Racquet Bracket,” the network’s free tournament prediction game. Players can get an inside take from Tennis Channel’s analysts during the new Wimbledon draw preview show, Racquet Bracket: Wimbledon. Also, longtime tennis reporter Steve Flink will contribute columns, which will be filed regularly to the Tennis Channel website, www.tennischannel.com.

For more content, Tennis Channel’s social media platforms will offer a multi-platform experience for viewers to stay engaged across the entirety of the tournament. To connect with Tennis Channel, visit: Facebook (www.facebook.com/tennischannel), Twitter (www.twitter.com/tennischannel), YouTube (www.youtube.com/tennischannel), Instagram (http://instagram.com/tennischannel) and Pinterest (www.pinterest.com/tennischannel).

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Tennis Channel’s Signature Series: Barnstormers Set to Debut on June 2

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LOS ANGELES, May 26, 2016 – Tennis Channel’s upcoming documentary, Signature Series: Barnstormers, reveals the untold story of a small group of tennis pioneers who spent decades fighting an unjust system to ultimately create the sport’s modern Open Era. The 90-minute film debuts on Thursday afternoon, June 2, at approximately 2 p.m. ET, immediately following the network’s live coverage of the women’s singles semifinals at Roland Garros. Commonly known as the French Open, the tournament ushered in the Open Era in 1968 with its admittance of professionals vs. the majors’ traditional “amateurs only” player fields.

Narrated by renowned actor/director and passionate tennis fan Robert Redford, and written by Sports Illustrated’s award-winning Jon Wertheim, Barnstormers investigates the sport’s evolution from the 1920s until the fight for “open tennis” was won. The documentary, for the first time, brings to light an era when pro players suffered greatly for the game they loved, while so-called amateurs were accepted and supported by institutionalized tennis’ national federations with inside sponsorships and under-the-table payments. For decades the best tennis players in the world faced an excruciating reality: declare yourself a professional and forfeit your eligibility as a contender in the sport’s most hallowed events – for the rest of your life.

Tennis Channel unspools the decades-long story of tennis’ two-class system: a thread that links the pioneering Suzanne Lenglen and Bill Tilden in the 1920s to the rollicking adventures of Hall of Famers like Rod Laver, Bobby Riggs, Pancho Gonzales, Ken Rosewall, Lew Hoad, Butch Buchholz, Tony Trabert and the rest of American-icon Jack Kramer’s ragtag bunch of mid-century professionals. Legends now, in their day these were stars who would play wherever they could get a gig – stretching their portable canvas tennis court out in high school gymnasiums, on roof tops and at ice-hockey rinks – while sleeping in cars before heading off overnight to the next town.

The project took three years to make and involved hundreds of hours of archival-footage research and worldwide interviews with almost every living former Barnstormer, some of whom have since passed away, including Hall of Famer player/inovator Mike Davies, to whom the film is dedicated. What emerges is a classic tale of rebels fighting to change a long-established, highly powerful system.

“Tennis Channel’s Barnstormers pulls the curtain back on an era of sports history that doesn’t get the attention it deserves, but was nevertheless vital for the very existence of the professional tennis that fans around the world enjoy today,” said Ken Solomon, president, Tennis Channel. “Jack Kramer, Pancho Gonzalez, Rod Laver and many other daring men and women risked so much for the belief that high-quality tennis was a profession in itself that should be appreciated at the sport’s highest levels. Without them there would be no Arthur Ashe, Jimmy Connors, Chris Evert, Andre Agassi, Serena Williams, Roger Federer or countless other stars who have profited financially and otherwise due to the sacrifice of these visionaries.”

The pantheon of tennis is filled with all-time greats who made the decision to turn professional and sacrifice their ability to compete in the sport’s premier competitions, Althea Gibson, Fred Perry, Gussie Moran, Don Budge and Pauline Betz a handful among them. Historians Richard Evans and Steve Flink contribute to Tennis Channel’s
Barnstormers with on-air appearances by Donald Dell and Roger Federer. The film also includes many of the stars who defined the groundbreaking era, including Kramer, Rosewall, Laver, Trabert, Buchholz, Fred Stolle, Tony Roche, Mal Anderson and Pancho Segura, as well as several “lady Barnstormers” like Billie Jean King and Rosie Casals.

 

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“On the Call” with Tennis Channel Analyst and International Tennis Hall of Famer Tracy Austin

(May 16, 2016) On Monday Tennis Channel Analyst and International Tennis Hall of Famer Tracy Austin held a media conference call to talk about the upcoming French Open and other tennis topics.

 

On evaluating Serena Williams game right now going into the French Open:

I think we certainly had a lot of questions about Serena’s game going into Rome because she had to pull out of Madrid with the flu and therefore took seven weeks off.

“And she was only going to have that one warm‑up red clay court tournament before Roland‑Garros.  And Serena came out playing extremely well right from the first match.

“A little bit of hiccup in her early first set against McHale, but for the most part, for the rest of the week, she was moving well.  She was striking the ball cleanly.

“She had a good temperament, because when we saw her lose to Sveta in the fourth round in Miami, Serena didn’t look that happy to be on the court.  She didn’t play well the last two sets.  Won the first set.

“So I think it was a really positive week for Serena, and I think she seems to be in a good place tennis‑wise and mentally prior to Roland‑Garros.

 

On some of the other top women to watch in Paris:

“We’ve called it topsy‑turvy this year on the WTA tour.  And I was possibly expecting or hoping for someone to come through and be more consistent for the red clay court tournaments.

“And we see (Angelique) Kerber come through and win Stuttgart but then lose early the next two tournaments.  And then you see Halep who wins Madrid but then loses early in Rome. (Victoria) Azarenka who obviously won the Sunshine Double in Indian Wells and Miami and beat Serena in the finals of Indian Wells in straight sets.

“You’re thinking, okay, this is building, this is looking good.  She still only lost two times this year.  But she’s been hampered by a back injury that she sustained in Madrid and had to pull out prior to her third round and then didn’t play well against Begu because she was obviously compromised, didn’t have much velocity on her serve.

“So for Vika, who is a former semifinalist at the French, I think it’s all about this week and her preparation.  Only she knows how her back is feeling and whether she’s been able to alleviate that pain and get back on the practice court.

“But Vika, I certainly see, if she’s able to get healthy, you know, get a draw where she can play herself in, maybe give herself a little more time and do a few matches, I think Vika is someone that we all need to pay attention to, because we saw her take Serena to three sets last year three times, had three match points on Serena at Madrid last year, took her to three sets at the French.

“The big question mark is how healthy is Vika and how long has she been healthy.  How many reps has she been able to ‑‑ how much time has she been able to spend on the practice court.

“So as I said, the other ones to look for:  Halep former French Open finalist and won Madrid, looking spectacular, losing just one set to Begu.  Her backhand is always on target.  But her forehand was on target.  Looked positive emotionally, which sometimes can waver and in fact it wavered in Rome.  And Kerber in Stuttgart who just played gutsy there to defend her title for the first time in her career.

“But again lost early the next couple of matches.  But Kerber has been to the quarters, I think, once.  And I think with her newfound success in winning the Australian Open she knows how to navigate her way better through a major and probably feels a lot more confidence in her game that she can problem solve in difficult situations.  So she’ll be interesting.

“And I’ll talk about Muguruza, who is a two‑time quarterfinalist there, obviously beat Serena in the second round a few years back.  And she looked really good.  Madison took her out in the semis in Rome.  But she’s been making improvements.  A slow start to the year for her.

“So I also look for some outliers, Kvitova, who got to the semis of Stuttgart, but early losses or maybe, let’s say, midline losses at the next couple of tournaments.

“And Keys, Keys is somebody who is my outsider, because Madison played spectacular tennis; more importantly, I’m going to take the word “spectacular” out.  I’m going to say smart tennis and remained calm throughout all of her matches in beating two top players Kaviva and Muguruza on the way to the finals.

“And we’ve all been talking about the weapons that Madison has had for years:  Huge serve, the massive forehand, the sheer power that she has.  But it’s always been about shot selection and sometimes not always the smartest shot selection.

“But she was much more patient in building her points; and no matter what the score was, she stayed calm and didn’t pull the trigger too quickly.  So those were huge strides for Madison Keys this week.

On the former No. 1 American Junior Taylor Townsend earning a wildcard into the French:

 

“In February she was .382.  It’s hugely significant.  If I counted the matches correctly, I think it’s 18 matches that she played in those three events.  So getting to the finals of two and winning one.

“I love that consistency.  It wasn’t just like, oh, winning one and then struggling in another and having midline results in another.

“I liked the fact she was so consistent.  Honestly I did not see any of those matches, so I don’t know.  Taylor’s tremendous talent, leftiness is an advantage and asset, and she uses it well.  So I think Taylor is still young.

“It’s very exciting that she’s had the success.  I hope she uses this wildcard well and also uses this success and is a real springboard for her to, I don’t want to use the word “motivated” because I’m sure she’s remained motivated, but to see she’s close and has the talent.  And this confidence will really pay off.

“I think the talent that Taylor has, because she’s ‑‑ I would talk about her game a little bit more and the leftiness.  Obviously a very live arm on her serve.

“Huge forehand.  Can move ‑‑ not move ‑‑ at the net, she’s very handy about the net, which we see so few of the young players that feel comfortable up there.  She’s got good feel as well.

“So really good foundation to build on.  And I think it’s about finding her way and gaining confidence, and these three results will really help.

 

On equal pay in tennis:

“And I don’t think that woman would have a problem playing three out of five sets.  And I think also on the men’s side, oftentimes three out of five is too long.  And so I think women, if they were asked again to play three out of five, that wouldn’t be a problem.

“For me, it’s not about the length.  When you go to a concert, it’s not how long this one plays or a man plays or a woman plays, it’s just about the entertainment value.

“It’s worked for this many years.  I think that until someone comes up with ‑‑ maybe men should go to two out of three.  Maybe it will make it more interesting and feel a sense of urgency.

“I know at the Olympics, I felt that, when I was covering it in London in 2012.  You know, you didn’t have that ability on the men’s side to kind of lose that first set, because there was that sense of urgency.  It was two out of three, I think up until a certain round.  So there’s so many variations that could be thought of.”

 

Thoughts on the men, coming into the French Open:

I do think it’s fascinating because of the results on red clay.  Last week on Tennis Channel I picked Djokovic.  I still pick Djokovic.  But Andy (Murray) winning and the way that he won certainly makes the conversation a lot more interesting.

“Also the fact that Rafa (Nadal) has played at such a high level the last few months, that makes it more interesting as well.

“Rafa, last year, his fluctuations were higher than we have ever seen as far as he would play well and we’d think he’s getting back on track and then he would slip a little bit and then he would play well again.

“It was back and forth, kind of this yo‑yo effect, and he couldn’t really gain traction.  Whereas, I feel like in the last month, on the European red clay, he’s really gained that traction, winning in Monte Carlo and Barcelona.

“And he had a great match this last week in the quarters against Novak.  As Rafa said, it was so very, very close.  That gave him, even though he lost, it gave him a lot of confidence, that he’s now hitting his backhand more firmly, with more penetration.  He’s standing closer to the baseline.

“He’s using a philosophy that he needs to get a lot of first serves in.  He’s serving in the 70s and the low 80s and a couple of his matches, 84 percent, 85 percent of first serves in, serving a little bit further over from the center T on the ad side to get a little bit more angle with his slice.

“Just overall looking a lot more Rafa‑like on clay.  So that’s exciting.  He’s definitely playing at a different confidence level.  Andy Murray might be the biggest surprise.  As he said, he’s finally feeling, in the last couple of years, comfortable moving on the clay.  And he kind of chuckled about it that it took him 10 years to feel this comfortable to slide, to move, and a guy who is such a good athlete with such incredible balance.  We’ve seen his results so consistent each week got better, the semis and then a final, I think it was in Madrid and winning in Rome and beating Rafa along the way.  Beating Djokovic along the way and straight sets no less.

“Let me say one thing, Djokovic might have been beat up a little bit in that final because he had a long match with Rafa and a long match with Kay as well.  But still it’s so impressive the way that Andy was just a lot more penetrating.

“He obviously had a new mindset that he had to strike his ground strokes more powerfully.  I think it was like eight miles per hour faster that he was hitting his ground strokes.  He was hitting his second serve a little bit quicker as well.  Attacking the net was more successful in Rome.  His court positioning.

“So overall he looked very confident.  So I would say those three guys, unfortunately I think Roger has not had enough reps and his back, you know, wasn’t good losing to Thiem.  He really didn’t stretch and change direction and he kind of knew that going in that he was just looking for matches but he didn’t really expect to go to go deep in Rome.  Unfortunately for Roger I think it’s going to be a different Roland‑Garros meaning, I don’t think he’s part of that top tier equation.”

 

On the progress of “young guns” on tour including Taylor Fritz, Nick Kyrgios,Borna Coric, Zverev:

 

“I picked my outlier this year at the French with Kyrgios, the way that he ‑‑ I think he beat Stan.  He beat another top player, like who else did he beat on clay this year?  And then he took Rafa to three sets.

“The way he can hit through the court and just hit winners.  The talent is off the chart.  He’s just dripping with talent.  It’s a question about maintaining that mental balance and he struggled with that.

“I think he’s possibly maturing some.  But I expect him to be a future No. 1, future right at the top of the game.

“I also loved Zverev’s progress.  I think he’s ranked in the 40s now.  And we’ve seen obviously a matchpoint away from beating Rafa at Indian Wells.  Didn’t get it.  But the kid just keeps improving month to month.  It’s not year to year.  It’s not every four months.  It’s just every single time he plays a tournament, seems like he’s gaining valuable experience and knowledge and seems to have pretty all‑court game already.  A huge serve.  Tall.  He’s thin.

“So he’s going to get stronger.  That’s going to take time.  But terrific technically sound ground strokes.  Love his backhand.  Seems in the forecourt pretty comfortable.  Great attitude.

“I love Zverev as well.  Coric to me is very steady.  Talk about him as the mini Djokovic.  And to me I don’t see his high level quite as high because I don’t see the obvious weapons.

“And then Taylor, I think Taylor is ranked about 70 now.  You think about the fact he lost in the Junior Finals last year and now he’s ranked 72 in the world.  That is some incredible progress.  And Taylor has a massive serve.  Unbelievable forehand.  Solid, solid backhand moving much better.

“He grew up with my son.  I’ve seen Taylor since the time he was 10 years old.  Always had great demeanor.  Just a phenomenal kid, by the way.  And I don’t say that about a ton of kids.  I don’t give those compliments out easily.

“Working on his backhand slice, working in his skills in the forecourt, which needs some work.  But the progress has been outstanding.

 

After Andy Murray parted ways with coach Amélie Mauresmo, Austin was asked about if there will be a time when we’ll see more women coaches coaching men or women in the future:

 

As I said on Tennis Channel this week, tennis ball is a tennis ball, and you don’t get anybody out there smarter than Martina (Navratilova), she knows the game, the ins and outs of anybody.

“It’s just a question of how it fits in the schedule.  Andy put it well, and I love Andy, he was such a advocate for Amélie, the fact first of all he hired her, first top male to have a woman coach.  Really says a lot about Andy and the way he was raised by Judy, that he had such confidence they worked well.

“As Andy said, he was struggling when Amélie came on board and he got his game back together.  And I think it was really telling as well when he said since Australia to like where he was at it was two weeks ago, they had spent ten days together.  And that’s just not enough time for a coach to make an impact and therefore he felt probably the need to find someone that could spend more time.

“That was not anything, a knock against Amélie or how she was performing as a coach.  Amélie had a son in August.  And that would be my guess as to where the problem lies; Amélie didn’t want to spend as much time on the road.  So that’s possibly why you don’t see as many women on tour if they have young kids.

“I would not want to coach right now.  I really want to stay home with my kids.  Something possibly for the future.  But I would like to see more women that would like to coach have that opportunity.”

 

Picks for the French Open:

 

“I’ve been talking about it for a week.  As soon as I saw Serena play so well, it’s tough to bet against Serena, three‑time champion there, and Halep is a finalist.

“But other than that, most of the others have been one semis, maybe a quarter or two.  So Serena is my clear favorite the way she’s played so well, was so engaged in Rome.

“The men became more difficult, which makes it exciting.  Because as someone said, I’m picking Djokovic, but yet Nadal is playing so much better and the guy’s won it nine times.  So so much interest there because Djokovic obviously going for his last Grand Slam to achieve the Calendar‑Year Grand Slam.

“So a lot of interest.  I’m very excited to go back to Paris.  I haven’t been there in over a decade.  Very excited to be working with Tennis Channel.  Love the Tennis Channel team and call it the Tennis Channel Family.

“So my son will be playing in the juniors there as well in either the junior qualifying or possibly the main draw.  So that will be of extra interest to me the second week.”

Tracy Austin will part of the broadcast team for Tennis Channel’s coverage of the French Open.

Related article:

Tennis Channel 2016 French Open Coverage Schedule

Tennis Channel 2016 French Open Coverage Schedule

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Tennis Channel 2016 French Open Coverage Schedule

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LOS ANGELES, May 16, 2016 -Tennis Channel will offer French Open coverage during its 10th year in Paris, underway May 22-June 5. With close to 80 percent of all live French Open hours on television this year, 15 days of action from first ball through championship point, seven days of exclusive on-air coverage, 10-hour match windows, late-night encores, and a talent roster that sees Tracy Austin join other Hall of Famers and sportscasters, the network will dedicate more than 325 total hours to the two-week competition, with another 500 hours available digitally.

 

New in 2016, Tennis Channel is expanding its total live match hours at Roland Garros (commonly referred to as the French Open) to 110, up from around 65 live hours last spring. This will create an exclusive, 10-hour window of daily live play for almost half the tournament, immediately followed by encore matches throughout the night and up to the start of the next day’s competition. Coverage this year will run from the first point of opening day through the men’s and women’s singles semifinals and mixed-doubles championship – expanding to include all men’s and women’s singles quarterfinals Also new, Tennis Channel will add outer-court matches to its encore lineup.

 

The network is also adding close to 100 hours of Roland Garros qualifying matches on air and on digital subscription service Tennis Channel Plus this week, as contenders battle for position in the tournament’s main draw. This is the first time that Tennis Channel has shown qualifying matches at any of tennis’ four major competitions. This week live matches begin at 4 a.m. ET on Tennis Channel Plus every morning, with same-day delayed coverage on air beginning Tuesday, May 17, at 1 p.m. ET. Roland Garros qualifying matches this year feature several Americans, among them Melanie Oudin, Ryan Harrison and Frances Tiafoe.

 

This year Tennis Channel’s typical Roland Garros schedule begins with live matches from 5 a.m. ET to approximately 3 p.m. ET, when play concludes with nightfall in Paris. From 3 p.m. to 5 a.m. ET, the network will show encore matches from the day, with the last four hours dedicated to the above-mentioned tournament outer courts.

 

Hour-long lead-in show Tennis Channel Live at Roland Garros will introduce each day’s competition on Sunday, May 22, and again from Tuesday, May 31, through the final day of play, Sunday, June 5. This Saturday, May 21, a special edition of Tennis Channel Live at Roland Garros will air from the stadium grounds at 12 p.m. ET, with a look at the scenarios in play as tennis’ clay-court season approaches its pinnacle. Also this week, with the release of the Roland Garros tournament draw Friday, May 20, Tennis Channel’s Racquet Bracket: Roland Garros will air live from the network’s Los Angeles studio at 8 p.m. ET and analyze the matchups and potential outcomes.

 

Broadband and Digital Coverage

The network’s Tennis Channel Plus digital subscription service will offer live and on-demand matches during Roland Garros, adding another 450 hours to Tennis Channel’s on-air coverage. Subscribers will be able to choose from five different courts on the first Sunday through second Monday of the event, four courts on both Tuesday and Wednesday of the second week, and three each on the second Thursday and Friday of the competition. All Tennis Channel Plus matches will be available for on-demand viewing following their conclusion, in addition to both singles championships.

 

Tennis Channel Plus is also adding 50 hours of live tournament-qualifying matches during the week leading into Roland Garros, beginning Monday, May 17, and running through Saturday, May 21, on the eve of the competition. Housed on the network’s

Tennis Channel Everywhere app and online, Tennis Channel Plus is available to everyone in the United States, regardless of whether they subscribe to Tennis Channel.

 

The Tennis Channel Everywhere app is free to all Apple and Android users and features videos, highlights and tennis updates. The app can be accessed on Apple TV, Roku TV and Amazon Fire devices as well. Most users who also subscribe to Tennis Channel are able watch the network whenever and wherever they want through the app at no extra charge.

 

Tennis Channel’s website, www.tennischannel.com, will provide real-time scoring, interactive tournament draws, daily highlights, interviews, features and segments.

 

Social media users can remain engaged with Tennis Channel on numerous platforms during Roland Garros, including: Facebook (www.facebook.com/tennischannel), Twitter (www.twitter.com/tennischannel), YouTube (www.youtube.com/tennischannel), Instagram (http://instagram.com/tennischannel) and Pinterest (www.pinterest.com/tennischannel).

 

Tennis Channel’s Live 2016 French Open Coverage

 

Date                                        Time (ET)                  Event                                     

Sunday, May 22                      4 a.m.-3 p.m.               First-Round Action

Monday, May 23                    5 a.m.-3 p.m.               First-Round Action

Tuesday, May 24                    5 a.m.-3 p.m.               First-Round Action

Wednesday, May 25               5 a.m.-3 p.m.               Second-Round Action

Thursday, May 26                   5 a.m.-3 p.m.               Second-Round Action

Friday, May 27                       5 a.m.-3 p.m.               Third-Round Action

Saturday, May 28                    5 a.m.-Noon                Third-Round Action

Sunday, May 29                      5 a.m.-Noon                Round-of-16 Action

Monday, May 30                    5 a.m.-3 p.m.               Round-of-16 Action

Tuesday, May 31                    7 a.m.-1 p.m.               Quarterfinals

Wednesday, June 1                 7 a.m.-1 p.m.               Quarterfinals

Thursday, June 2                     6 a.m.-2 p.m.               Mixed Doubles Final,

Women’s Singles Semifinals

Friday, June 3                         6 a.m.-11 a.m.             Men’s Singles Semifinal

 

Tennis Channel’s Roland Garros encore match telecasts include same-day replays of the men’s and women’s singles quarterfinals, semifinals and finals, and men’s and women’s doubles finals, as follows (ET):

 

Tuesday, May 31 – 1 p.m.-1 a.m.: men’s and women’s singles quarterfinals

Wednesday, June 1 – 1 p.m.-1 a.m.: men’s and women’s singles quarterfinals

Thursday, June 2 – 6 p.m.-11 a.m.: women’s singles semifinals

Friday, June 3 – 5 p.m.-8 a.m.: men’s singles semifinals

Saturday, June 4 – 2 p.m.-6 p.m., 8 p.m.-10 p.m., 1:30 a.m.-3:30 a.m.: women’s singles final; 6 p.m.-8 p.m., 10 p.m.-midnight, 3:30 a.m.-6 a.m.: men’s doubles final

Sunday, June 5 – 2 p.m.-5 p.m., 8 p.m.-11 p.m.: men’s singles final;

5 p.m.-8 p.m.: women’s doubles final

(Following the tournament, additional encores will air during the week of June 6.)

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Tennis Channel to Air All 21 of Serena Williams’ Major Title Victories Back-to-Back

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(May 12, 2016) LOS ANGELES – Just ahead of the French Open, Tennis Channel will air each one of Serena Williams’ 21 Grand Slam singles titles back-to-back during a marathon that begins on May 15, at 1 p.m. ET. With Roland Garros (commonly referred to as the French Open) approaching, Williams will have the opportunity to win her 22nd Grand Slam title, which would tie her with Steffi Graf for the most major singles titles in the Open Era. This marks the first time the network has aired this many Grand Slam singles title victories back-to-back for a single player.

On the eve of its Roland Garros coverage, Tennis Channel will showcase Serena’s dominance across three days, wrapping up on Tuesday, May 17 (full lineup below). Tennis Channel will take viewers from her very first singles title at age 17 to her most recent major championship at Wimbledon last year at the age of 33.

All 21 finals matches will also be available on Tennis Channel’s digital subscription service Tennis Channel Plus. Williams’ US Open championships will be available for free on the network’s app, Tennis Channel Everywhere.

“Serena is one of the most popular athletes in sports, and we wanted to offer our viewers a reminder of how she got here as she closes in on history,” said Jeremy Langer, vice president, programming, Tennis Channel.

Over the course of the marathon viewers will see many classic matches from Williams’ decorated career. These include:
Williams’ first Grand Slam victory over Martina Hingis at the 1999 US Open
Her five-straight finals wins over older sister Venus Williams
Her most recent stretch of dominance, winning a second “Serena Slam” starting with the 2014 US Open and culminating with her win at Wimbledon in 2015
During Williams’ historic career she has accumulated numerous accomplishments and records:
She is the only player to win three Grand Slam titles after saving match point during the tournament (2003 Australian Open, 2005 Australian Open and 2009 Wimbledon)
She has won 14 of her 21 Grand Slams in straight sets
She defeated her sister Venus five-straight times in finals and six overall in the majors
She has defeated her opponents in Grand Slam finals by a combined margin of 292-189 games
During her most recent “Serena Slam” she became the oldest player, at age 33, to hold all four titles concurrently
Tennis Channel’s Serena Williams Grand Slam Championship Marathon Lineup.
Matches begin at 1 p.m. Sunday, May 15. Full schedule:
tennischannel.com/tv-schedule/daily-view/

Event/Opponent

1999 US Open/Martina Hingis
2002 French Open/Venus Williams
2002 Wimbledon/Venus Williams
2002 US Open/Venus Williams
2003 Australian Open/Venus Williams
2003 Wimbledon/Venus Williams
2005 Australian Open/Lindsay Davenport
2007 Australian Open/Maria Sharapova
2008 US Open/Jelena Jankovic
2009 Australian Open/Dinara Safina
2009 Wimbledon/Venus Williams
2010 Australian Open/Justine Henin
2010 Wimbledon/Vera Zvonareva
2012 Wimbledon/Agnieszka Radwanska
2012 US Open/Victoria Azarenka
2013 French Open/Maria Sharapova
2013 US Open/Victoria Azarenka
2014 US Open/Caroline Wozniacki
2015 Australian Open/Maria Sharapova
2015 French Open/Lucie Safarova
2015 Wimbledon/Garbine Muguruza

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Tennis Channel Veteran Randy Master Joins Corporate Partnerships Department at Connecticut Open

 

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(March 31, 2016) The Connecticut Open announced on Thursday that Randy Master has joined its corporate partnerships department. Master will be responsible for leveraging the success of the tournament, its WTA player field, Men’s Legends event, extensive domestic and international television coverage and 501(c)(3) not-for-profit status to garner regional, national and worldwide partners.

 

Master comes to Connecticut Open after spending ten years at Tennis Channel, most recently serving as the vice president, director of East Coast ad sales. He worked closely with major consumer brands such as Mercedes-Benz, Rolex, Esurance, FedEx and Xerox and was recognized for being a top revenue producer at Tennis Channel throughout his entire career there.

 

“Randy’s expertise and ability to cultivate and maintain meaningful partnerships and opportunities with internationally recognized brands will be a great asset to the tournament,” said Anne Worcester, tournament director, Connecticut Open presented by United Technologies. “We are delighted to welcome Randy and his nearly two decades of experience to our team. We look forward to his contribution to the tournament in 2016 and beyond.”

 

Prior to Tennis Channel, Master worked in the print industry as editor at Tennis Week Magazine before rising through the ranks to become executive director of business development at IMG Media and then finally cementing himself as publisher of Tennis Week Magazine and tennisweek.com.

 

Master’s passion for tennis comes from a lifetime involvement with the sport. Master was a highly ranked junior tennis player in the Mid-Atlantic region before embarking on his college journey to the University of Georgia and then playing varsity tennis at Virginia Commonwealth University. While earning his Master’s degree in government and foreign affairs at Lehigh University, Master also served as Assistant Varsity Tennis Coach for both the men’s and women’s programs.

 

He currently serves on the Board of Directors of New York Junior Tennis and Learning (NYJTL) and is a member of the Steering Committee of the International Tennis Hall of Fame’s Annual Legends Ball.

 

The 2016 Connecticut Open will take place August 19 through August 27 at the Connecticut Tennis Center at Yale in New Haven.

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Sinclair Acquires Tennis Channel

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From Tennis Channel: Baltimore, MD (January 27, 2016) – Sinclair Broadcast Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: SBGI) (the “Company” or “Sinclair”) announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to purchase the stock of Tennis Channel (“Tennis”) for $350 million. The Company will benefit, however, from over $200 million of Tennis net operating losses which Sinclair will be able to carry forward to reduce future tax payments, the present value which Sinclair estimates to be worth approximately $65 million. Tennis Channel is the only 24-hour, television-based multimedia destination dedicated to both the professional sport and tennis lifestyle. Tennis, which includes established over-the-top subscription services, TC Plus and TV Everywhere, has rights to 90% of all the televised tennis in the U.S. and features comprehensive coverage including the top 100 tournaments in the sport and more. The Company has already negotiated agreements with a number of multi-channel video programming distributors (MVPDs) which, following Sinclair’s acquisition, will increase carriage of Tennis from approximately 30 million homes to approximately 50 million homes. The transaction, which is subject to antitrust regulatory approval and other customary closing conditions, is expected to close during the first quarter of 2016 and will be funded through cash on hand and a draw on the Company’s revolving line of credit.

“The Company expects 2015 pro forma operating cash flow for the contracted subscriber increases (including the additional license fees and advertising revenues resulting from such increased carriage), to be approximately $60 million, the synergies of which will be phased in over 18 months, and resulting in a 2015 pro forma purchase multiple, including the present value of the NOLs, of 4.8x and approximately $0.40 of incremental cash flow per share,” commented Chris Ripley, CFO of Sinclair.

“Tennis Channel is an established property with high-quality content and advertisers, and is vastly under-compensated and under-distributed relative to the value it brings to its viewers. It was the only independently-owned major sports network left, and we knew we could unlock value through a tuck-in acquisition,” commented David Smith, President and Chief Executive Officer of Sinclair. “The additional subscriber base, which has already been contracted, equates to the creation of approximately $200 million of incremental value at closing. Furthermore, we expect this combination to create additional linear and OTT viewership and advertising growth, and we have the added benefit of continued involvement of Ken Solomon, CEO of Tennis Channel, and a seasoned programming executive.”
“We greatly appreciate the commitment from many of our distribution partners to substantially increase their carriage of Tennis Channel, and we expect that a number of upcoming MVPD negotiations to result in further carriage and Tennis subscriber penetration,” stated Barry Faber, Sinclair’s Executive Vice President and General Counsel. “Nothing is more valuable to video distributors than high quality, live sports, and we expect the increased carriage of Tennis will be well-received by their subscribers. We also expect to leverage our broadcast platform to promote Tennis Channel, which we anticipate will result in increased viewership, further adding to the channel’s value in attracting and retaining subscribers.”

“In Sinclair we have found the perfect owner-partner to accelerate scaling the Tennis Channel brand and our sport’s expanding fan-base to the next level. Sinclair’s unique size and position in the media ecosystem will facilitate significant distribution growth towards parity with our competitive set and expand our brand’s assets and unique value as the go-to destination for all things tennis in the U.S. and beyond,” commented Ken Solomon, chairman and CEO of the Tennis Channel. “The larger platform will immediately help develop incremental advertising and sponsorship business and puts us in a great position to enhance our already comprehensive rights portfolio domestically as well as develop the brand internationally. We also intend to utilize Sinclair’s advanced branding capabilities, digital expertise and significant broadcast asset platform to drive increased awareness for both Tennis Channel and our successful subscription-based OTT platform, ‘Tennis Channel Plus.’ Our management team is more excited than ever about the future for Tennis Channel under Sinclair’s ownership and anxious to grow as part of such a visionary and transformative company. This is a great day for both the professional sport and the amateur tennis community and most importantly for the viewers we serve.”

LionTree Advisors acted as financial advisor to Tennis Channel in connection with the transaction. Evolution Media Capital also acted as an advisor to Tennis Channel.

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Tennis Channel’s Live 2016 Australian Open Schedule

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Tennis Channel‘s Live 2016 Australian Open Match Schedule
(Men’s/Women’s Singles Unless Otherwise Specified)
 
Date                                        Time (ET)                  Event                                     
Monday, Jan. 18                     7 p.m.-9 p.m.                   First-Round Action
Tuesday, Jan. 19                     7 p.m.-9 p.m.                   Second-Round Action
Wednesday, Jan. 20                7 p.m.-9 p.m.                    Second-Round Action
Thursday, Jan. 21                    7 p.m.-11 p.m.                 Third-Round Action
Friday, Jan. 22                       7 p.m.-9 p.m.                   Third-Round Action
Saturday, Jan. 23                    7 p.m.-9 p.m.                   Round-of-16 Action
Sunday, Jan. 24                       7 p.m.-9 p.m.                    Round-of-16 Action
Monday, Jan. 25                     7 p.m.-9 p.m.                    Quarterfinals
Tuesday, Jan. 26                    7 p.m.-9 p.m.                  Quarterfinals
Wednesday, Jan. 27                7 p.m.-9:30 p.m.               TBA
Thursday, Jan. 28                   11 p.m.-3:30 a.m.              Mixed-Doubles Semifinal and
                                                                                          Women’s Doubles Final
Sunday, Jan. 31                       12 a.m.-2a.m.                   Mixed-Doubles Final
This year, Australian Open encore match coverage on Tennis Channel will include same-day replays of the men’s and women’s singles third-round, semifinals and finals as well as the men’s and women’s doubles finals, as follows (ET):
Saturday, Jan. 23 – 7 a.m.-9 a.m.: men’s and women’s third round singles
Sunday, Jan. 24 – 7 a.m.-9 a.m.: men’s and women’s round-of-16 singles
Thursday, Jan. 28 – 6 a.m.-2 p.m.: men’s and women’s semifinals;
                                6 p.m.-10 p.m.: men and women’s semifinals
Friday, Jan. 29 – 6 a.m.-2 p.m.: men’s and women’s semifinals;
                           6 p.m.- 3 a.m.: men’s semifinal and women’s doubles final
Saturday, Jan. 30 – 5:30 a.m.-8 a.m.: men’s doubles final;
                               11 a.m.-8 p.m.: men’s doubles final and men’s semifinal
                               8 p.m.-12 a.m.: women’s final and men’s doubles final
Sunday, Jan. 31 – 6:30 a.m.-9 a.m.: women’s final;
                              2 p.m.-8 p.m.: women’s final and men’s semifinals
     8 p.m.-12 a.m.: men’s final
Tennis Channel’s Australian Open Today Schedule (all times ET)
Tennis Channels’ Australian Open Today includes encore match coverage, highlights, interviews and a general review of the activity that took place during the tournament while most of America was sleeping the night before. The show will run daily from Monday, Jan. 18, through Wednesday, Jan. 27 – 10 days in all – before the network replaces it with encore semifinal and final coverage as the tournament winds down.
On the opening Monday of the tournament, Australian Open Today will air from 7 a.m.-12:30 p.m., and be immediately followed by an encore replay from 12:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. The following four days, Tuesday, Jan. 19, through Friday, Jan. 22, the show will broadcast from 7 a.m.-3 p.m. On Saturday, Jan. 23, it will be on Tennis Channel from 12 p.m.-6 p.m.
 
During the second week of the Australian Open, Australian Open Today runs from 1p.m.-6p.m. Sunday, Jan. 24 and 6:30 a.m.-3 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 25. The next two days, Tuesday, Jan. 26 and Wednesday, Jan. 27, the show will broadcast from 6 a.m.-3 p.m.
Digital Coverage
Returning for the 2016 Australian Open, Tennis Channel’s digital subscription service, Tennis Channel Plus will offer expanded tournament coverage live from Melbourne, with approximately 90 hours of live digital coverage. Fans will be able to catch even more action from Down Under than the network is able to provide on its air. Available on the Tennis Channel Everywhere app to all Apple and Android users, regardless of whether or not they subscribe to Tennis Channel, the service will offer daylong coverage of a single court during the first eight days of the tournament. It will also supplement the network’s televised Australian Open coverage this year with daily highlights, interviews and other segments from Australian Open Today.
Outside Tennis Channel Plus, most viewers who get Tennis Channel are able to take the Australian Open on-the-go with them live on their mobile devices through the Tennis Channel Everywhere app at no additional cost. Simple subscription authentication with select distribution partners enables the app’s TV Everywhere function, and allows fans to tune into the network’s round-the-clock coverage from Melbourne throughout the workday back in the United States.
Tennis Channel’s website, www.tennischannel.com, will continue to offer its usual Down Under slate of Australian Open Today segments,video highlights, interviews, real-time scoring, an interactive draw and the network’s Racquet Bracket tournament prediction game. Visitors can enter the channel’s 2017 Australian Open sweepstakes, or browse special Australian Open columns.
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Davis Cup Final Day 1 – Great Britain and Belgium Level at 1-1

 

(November 27, 2015) Great Britain’s Andy Murray evened the Davis Cup final at 1-1 on Friday in Ghent with a 6-3, 6-2, 7-5 win over Belgian’s Ruben Bemelmans. The world No. 2 rebounded from 2-4 down the third set to close out the match against the world No. 108.

The first match of the day saw top Belgian player David Goffin win his first–ever match coming back from two sets down to defeat No. 100 Kyle Edmund 3-6, 1-6, 6-2, 6-1, 6-0. Edmund was making his Davis Cup debut.

The Davis cup rookie ran up a quick two set lead over Goffin, over powering the Belgian with well-placed shots and aggressive groundstrokes.

The turning point in the match came in third game of the third set when Goffin broke Edmund’s serve for 2-1. The No. 16 player in the world won 16 of the next 18 games to claim the victory. Edmund let errors creep into his game and was not as consistent with his serve as he was in the first two sets.

“He played every forehand really heavy from the beginning,” Goffin said on–court after the match. “It was tough for me to find my timing on the baseline. I knew I needed to take my chance, and I did well to finish the match quickly in the fourth and fifth sets.”

Edmund said that in the fourth set he was having problems physically and that his stamina did not hold up.

Murray who leveled the tie with his win in the second match of the day in the Flanders Expo, is now 7-0 in singles rubbers this year. Only John McEnroe and Mats Wilander have ever been a perfect 8-0 in ties during a David Cup season.

Saturday will see the doubles rubber played between Belgium and Great Britain.

Belgium’s King Philippe and his wife, Queen Mathilde, were part of the 13,000 in attendance at the Flanders Expo in Belgium.

Belgium is seeking its first Davis Cup, while Great Britain wants to claim its 10th.

 

DAVIS CUP FINAL

BELGIUM level with GREAT BRITAIN 1-1

Venue: Flanders Expo, Ghent (clay – indoors)
David Goffin (BEL) d. Kyle Edmund (GBR) 36 16 62 61 60

Andy Murray (GBR) d. Ruben Bemelmans (BEL) 63 62 75

Kimmer Coppejans/Steve Darcis (BEL) v Andy Murray/Jamie Murray (GBR)

David Goffin (BEL) v Andy Murray (GBR)

Ruben Bemelmans (BEL) v Kyle Edmund (GBR)

 

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