2015/05/24

2015 French Open U.S. Television Schedule

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2015 French Open Schedule

 

Date Eastern Time Round Network
May 24 5 a.m. – 10 a.m. First round ESPN 2
10 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. First round Tennis Channel
1 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. First round NBC
May 25 5 a.m. – 10 a.m. First round ESPN 2
10 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. First round Tennis Channel
Noon – 3 p.m. First round NBC
May 26 5 a.m. – 10 a.m. First round ESPN 2
10 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. First round Tennis Channel
May 27 5 a.m. – 10 a.m. Second round ESPN 2
10 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. Second round Tennis Channel
May 28 5 a.m. – 10 a.m. Second round ESPN 2
10 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. Second round Tennis Channel
May 29  5 a.m. – 10 a.m. Third round ESPN 2
10 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. Third round Tennis Channel
May 30 5 a.m. – noon Third round Tennis Channel
Noon – 3 p.m. Third round NBC
May 31 5 a.m. – 1 p.m. Fourth round Tennis Channel
Noon – 3 p.m. Fourth round NBC
June 1 5 a.m. – 1 p.m. Fourth round ESPN 2
10 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. Fourth round Tennis Channel
June 2 8 a.m. – 1 p.m. Quarterfinals Tennis Channel
1 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. Quarterfinals ESPN 2
June 3 8 a.m. – 1 p.m. Quarterfinals ESPN 2
June 4 6 a.m. – 9 a.m. Mixed doubles final Tennis Channel
9 a.m. – 2 p.m. Women’s semifinals ESPN 2
11 a.m. – 2 p.m. Women’s semifinals NBC
June 5 7 a.m. – 11 a.m. Men’s semifinals Tennis Channel
11 a.m. – 2 p.m. Men’s semifinals NBC
June 6 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. Women’s final NBC
June 7 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. Men’s final NBC

 

Tennis Channel Expands French Open Coverage with Two New Shows

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Martina Navratilova Talks French Open on Tennis Channel Media Conference Call

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(May 20, 2015) Ahead of the French Open, which begins on Sunday, May 24, Tennis Channel held a media conference call with tennis Hall of Famer Martina Navratilova, who serves as the lead women’s analyst for the network.

Here is the transcript of the conference call, courtesy of the Tennis Channel and ASAPsports:

There’s a lot of increased scrutiny of late for even for minor tournaments. Time was that there was almost no attention paid to them and all attention was paid to the majors. And do you think that that scrutiny on these tune‑ups heightens the stakes for when the majors come out, like Roland‑Garros?

MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: I’m not sure I understand the question. You’re saying there’s too much media attention on the Grand Slams and not on anything else?

No, I think when you were playing tennis, there wasn’t a lot of attention, media attention ‑‑ they didn’t broadcast minor tennis events.

MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: No, it’s the other way around. It’s the other way around, actually. In my opinion we had, it was the Tour that really buttressed the Grand Slams and certainly the players, we didn’t even play some Grand Slams because the Tour was the more important bit of the calendar. And it was only really in the late, maybe, ’80s and the ’90s that the Grand Slams became so powerful and players would schedule their whole year around slams. Nobody would even think of missing a slam now.

And those are the four big focal points of the year, whereas in my time it was Wimbledon and U.S. Open and the Tour as a whole and then the year‑ending championships was the third biggest tournament of the year. So I think the media did pay attention to the other tournaments and certainly the players were thinking that the other tournaments were more important, perhaps, than they are now.

And why was that?

MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: Why? Because there was more prize money in the regular tournaments than Grand Slams. Once the Grand Slams got bigger and got more money, more people paid attention to where the money is, basically. And also more worldwide television rights and media attention and all that.

So one kind of followed the other. I’m not sure what came first, the chicken and the egg thing, but we would get more money for, I think the prize money at the year‑end championships was like twice as much and that was for one week than what you would get in a Grand Slam for two weeks. You can do some research on the prize money, but it was a lot more on the regular tour.

I made more money winning a tournament in Dallas, Virginia Slims of Dallas, than I would at a Grand Slam ‑‑ than I would Wimbledon. When I won Wimbledon in ’78 I got, I think, $20,000 for winning it.

 

I suppose, Martina, that the focal point coming into the French Open is the prospects of Rafa Nadal. What have you seen this year in Rafa, what is he lacking that he hasn’t in the past and has age finally taken its toll on him?

MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: I don’t know how much of it is ‑‑ I think it’s a little bit of everything. He seems to me a little bit less physically looking imposing. And I don’t know if it’s just my imagination. Just doesn’t seem to be as muscular as he was five or six years ago.

 

But he’s still in the prime of his physical life, maybe he trains differently maybe because of his injuries he can’t train as hard as he used to, but not sure.

 

Most of all I think it’s the other players are playing better and hitting a lot more top spin on the ball, hitting the ball harder, which does not give him the time to run around his backhand and dictate with the forearm, he has to kind of be more in the middle of the court.

 

He can’t park himself on the right side of the court. And also by his own admission, he gets more nervous now. And when he does get more nervous, his forehand goes shorter. Even when he does get to hit the forehand, he doesn’t hit it as deep, with as much, with as much depth and maybe power.

 

I’m not sure. You would have to kind of figure out the revolutions per minute. But I would bet dollars to donuts that the other players are using more spin than they did two years ago, 10 years ago, certainly. So that could be a combination of everything.

 

Was his effectiveness on clay a factor of how much top spin he could put on the ball and the fact that the ball dug in so great?

MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: His movement and the top spin, yeah. Because of the top spin, players had a hard time attacking it and getting on top of the ball. And once they get on the defense, it was really hard to get off it. And his unbelievable speed around the court.

 

But do you still think he’s anywhere near the prime of his career at this point?

MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: Oh, absolutely. Absolutely. I mean, it could be that he’s just having a bad year or bad six months, whatever. We don’t know if he’s 100 percent healthy because only he knows that and his team.

 

So people tend to write people off too soon I think in my opinion. I mean, Roger Federer said himself, until Rafa loses at the French he still has to be a favorite. You can’t just throw out the last 10 years based on the last few months.

 

But certainly he’s, I’m sure, feeling most vulnerable. And he’s looking most vulnerable. And that gives the other guys confidence when they play him. Before it was, like, I don’t want to get embarrassed playing Rafa and now they think they have a chance. That’s a huge edge to them. Now he’s forced to play even better to beat the same guy.

 

So it’s kind of a nasty spiral that happens. But I still wouldn’t write him off. I mean, you can’t. You just cannot. Three out of five is a different animal as well. It’s harder to keep up that kind of intensity and physical play that it takes to beat Rafa over three out of five sets as opposed to two out of three ‑‑ and gives him some room for his own game as well.

 

I know we don’t have a draw yet, but who do you favor as winning on the men’s side and the women’s side in singles?

MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: I think so much will depend on the draw in both of these. But particularly on the men’s side, with Rafa, I believe he’s ranked 7. So he could be playing these top three players in the quarters as opposed to the semis or finals.

That makes it difficult for whosever quarter he lands in and everything else how it plays out as well. Andy Murray now is looking like one of the favorites as well. Novak obviously is a huge favorite to win the event. But I’m sure that he’s not thinking that way, not yet. Not as long as Rafael Nadal is in the tournament.

 

So it’s really going to depend on who gets hot and how the draw plays out. The same time you only have to play seven guys. You don’t have to play everybody. But still the draw may dictate a lot in how the conditions are, the balls are pretty light. But conditions can get heavy.

 

So all of that will play out and that’s the beauty of it. We really don’t know. But all in all, if you just look at how this year has played out, Djokovic, it would be hard to, again, bet against Djokovic. And the same thing on the women’s side, Serena Williams, even though she’s had a odd run up to the French.   In years past, the run up the Grand Slam really had nothing to do with how she did at that Grand Slam.

 

So you still have to go with the world’s number one ‑‑ Novak and Serena.

 

Can you tell me what you miss from the era that you played tennis, what you miss on the tennis scene now?

MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: It’s just a different time. You get the pluses and minuses. I do miss more of the clash of styles.

There was more variety in styles with the typical baseliner and the all‑court players and then the more of the serve and volleyers, attacking players. It’s now a more homogenous look, but at the same time on the women’s side particularly I see more variety than they’ve had five years ago, 10 years ago. The guys have been there for a while.

 

But the women, I think, were more homogenous in that, for example, I keep going back to the final between Kuznetsova and Dementieva in the 2004 U.S. Open final. And I think there was one volley, one drop shot and three slices the whole match.

And now, you know, you get that in one rally. So you have a lot more variety with the actual play, which makes it more fun. I think the spectators are in for better treats nowadays with more variety.

People still play similarly but there’s more variety within that.

 

Still play similarly to when you were playing ‑‑

MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: No, no, they play similar to each other. They play similar style. More of a ‑‑ I mean, there are two basic styles. Ones that really try to play big babe tennis, as Mary Carillo calls it, and then there are the counter puncher’s. But within the big babe tennis you see a lot more people using slices and coming into the net, putting the volley away. And same with the counter punchers, now they just don’t play defense, if they can get on offense they will do so.

 

And again a lot more slices, a lot more drop shots. You see Maria Sharapova, she’s hitting drop hands from the backhand and the forehand. She never hit a drop shot 10 years ago, now she uses it very well.

 

She hits them from the baseline.

MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: Drop shots are usually hit from the baseline. But she’s usually in an offensive position so she plays them at the right time. And she’s hitting between volley. You won’t see chip and charge, but you will see her, as soon as she hits a deep, good ball, she’ll move in to see if she can knock off the next ball in the air, but she’ll hit swinging volleys rather than punch volleys that we used to hit. But still hitting volleys.

 

Were you asked about Maria Sharapova in general and what you think her chances are coming in?

MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: Well, obviously great. And they’re always improved when she ‑‑ well, with Maria, obviously it’s a case whether she has to play Serena Williams or not because she hasn’t beat her in 10 years. But she’s been the best clay court player the last three years, except she hadn’t been able to beat Serena, but she’s beaten everybody else and has the most consistent record on clay than everybody. So she has to be one of the favorites. But it always comes with a caveat ‑‑ what happens if she plays Serena? Serena particularly now is kind of an unknown because of the run‑up that she’s had, not really finishing tournaments or didn’t finish two and one she lost in the semis. So it’s hard to tell.

 

But Serena always comes out playing her best tennis in the slams. So, yeah, absolutely Maria has to be one of the favorites. She must be pretty well after Rome, kept playing better and better tennis. Although, also the matches were pretty close, particularly the semifinal in Rome. Could have gone either way.

 

What is it with her and Serena, do you think ‑‑ how much of it is mental and how much of it is just her game, and what do you think she would have to do to finally overcome Serena if they were to meet at the end there?

MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: She would have to serve extremely well, because that’s what Serena always has on, all things being equal, which they’re not; but Serena serves, wins so many more points off her serve, whereas with Maria the serve has been more of a ‑‑ it’s either neutral or it can even be a negative for her starting the points against Serena.

 

So she needs to serve really well. But she has been serving better in Rome, particularly she was hitting her second serve in the high 90s, her second serve was coming in.

So she was getting on the offense with her second serve, never mind the first serve. But Serena does everything a little bit better than Maria or some things a lot better, the serving is a lot better.

 

And the ground stroke she can now sustain a rally, 10 shots, 20 shots, and then go for the ‑‑ when she goes for the jugular she hits it just a little bit harder than Maria.

 

And Maria’s foot speed hurts her against Serena. She’s gotten so much better. She’s quick enough against most players. But she can’t defend as well. Serena defends better than Maria if she has to. And her foot speed is better around the court. And that hurts Maria. She needs to be on offense. But with Serena she has a hard time getting on offense because Serena tees off so early in the rally, whether the serve or return of serve.

 

And also Serena, clearly, plays her best Sundays against Maria Sharapova. She totally rises to the occasion where she might be a bit listless against other opponents or maybe give them a set, maybe not the match, but give them a set. With Maria, she doesn’t give away points, never mind sets. She’s always fired up.   You can see how badly both of them want it.

 

In following up on that, that rivalry seems to really be one, we always talk about how the game, whether it’s men or women, that rivalries is such a big deal in tennis. And this Serena/Maria one is one that still carries after so many years. Would you agree it’s one of the best rivalries in women’s tennis?

MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: It’s amazing that it carries because it’s so one‑sided. But it’s the personality of the two players involved that makes it so compelling, no matter what the result.

So it’s great for tennis. I mean, tennis is such a one‑on‑one battle that the rivalries are an essential part of that.

 

You want to identify with the people. You want to identify with the personalities. You want to identify with their game, and the only way to do that is if there’s a rivalry going on.

 

I mean, people love Rafa Nadal and they love Roger Federer, but they always fall into one camp more than the other, and will cheer for their player against the other, no matter what.

So it’s funny. And obviously you have that with Williams and Sharapova for different reasons. It’s just been a one‑sided result for the most part.

 

What is the lifetime, is it like 17‑2 or something?

 

 

I’d have to look it up, but that sounds close. It’s not close at all, yeah.

MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: I mean, it’s been 10 years, but it hasn’t been that much matches. I think 15 matches in a row. I think ‑‑ I don’t have the numbers in front of me. But it’s over a long period of time.

 

I beat Chris Evert at one point 13 times in a row, but it was like in a two‑, two‑and‑a‑half‑year period. It didn’t seem that insurmountable. It just came in a closer chunk of time. It think it’s more difficult for Maria to deal with it because it’s been over such a long length of time.

 

 

She’s probably thinking: Sheesh, I was so young the last time I beat her.

MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: Yeah.

 

Could you just maybe pick a couple of dark horses on the men’s and the women’s side and kind of like skim off the top, the Djokovic, Nadal, Murray, on the other side, Sharapova and Williams, could you just pick out a few players who you think have a chance to ‑‑

MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: To win the whole thing? That’s a tall order. There’s a lot of players that can beat anybody on a given day. But to go all the way? I guess on the men’s side, Murray. Maybe not that dark, because he’s, what, 3 or 4 in the world.

And maybe Berdych also. He’s been playing some good ball but seems to falter still against the top guys. But he certainly looks fit and very focused and on a given day can compete against anybody.

 

And for just upsets, Kyrgios. Kyrgios, with that serve, can give anybody fits. I’m pretty sure the top players don’t really want to see him too close to them in the draw because he’s a flashy and can be an extremely dominating player the way he plays.

But this is clay, so hopefully it shouldn’t happen. But never know with him.

 

And on the women’s side, again dark horse, Halep can’t be a dark horse, she was in the finals last year. But she hasn’t broken through yet. So dark horse would be anybody to me that hasn’t won a Grand Slam.

 

I’m sorry?

MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: To me, a dark horse would be anybody that hasn’t won a Grand Slam, because then you haven’t done it yet, so we’re not really sure whether it’s going to happen or not.

So Halep would be in that category, certainly, but she’s 3 in the world. So, again, it’s hard to imagine somebody outside of top 10 going all the way on either women or men. They would just have to beat too many quality players.

 

I mean, there could be an opening in the draw where people kind of somehow scrape their way to the semis. But that’s hard to predict. It’s easier to predict a little bit once the draw comes out.

But it’s been such an up‑and‑down lead‑up to the tournament on the women’s side with Serena not finishing a tournament the last three she played, lost in the semis and defaulted the other two, correct?

 

And then you have Petra Kvitova winning in Madrid, playing amazing tennis, and then losing to Suárez Navarro easily. Suárez Navarro given that she can beat anybody, but I don’t think she has the firepower to go all the way, but you could see her in the finals as well.

 

And then there’s a player like Caroline Garcia on a given day can beat anybody. What’s the ‑‑ Pliskova, another Czech, who has got a big game. Perhaps not so suited for clay but grew up on the stuff.

 

She can hang with anybody. So it’s hard to tell but you still have to go with the favorites. Serena and Novak, obviously.

 

 

You were running off some names on the women’s side as possibilities. But one of them isn’t Sloane Stephens. Do you think she’s taken a step or two back from where she was about a year and a half ago?

MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: I think she’s moving back the right direction now. It seems to me since she’s been working with Nick ‑‑ God, I have a blank now ‑‑ the lefty. Nick Saviano. Complete blank. I see his face.

 

Since she’s been working back with Nick she’s been playing better tennis. I think she’s feeling more the urgency of not taking her time developing but, rather, making it happen quicker rather than slower.

 

So, yeah, she doesn’t have the cache and the promise maybe she held two or three years ago, but I think it’s still there if she just believes in it. On clay, her game does not transfer well on clay with her big forehand and a good serve.

 

It’s better suited for hard courts or grass. And also I’m not sure how well she moves on the clay. She’s such an amazing mover that on the clay she gets a little hampered because she can’t really push off that fast. I think, again, she’s better on grass or a hard court. But certainly looks like to me that she’s going in the right direction again, which is good to see.

 

Can you talk about the French Open and kind of what you love about that tournament in comparison to the other majors and other tournaments and what you think makes that event special in your eyes?

MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: The intimacy of it all. You can really get close to the players there, and it’s a smaller venue. So there’s a lot more going on within any area and you just feel, I think, the fans more there because when the Philippe‑Chatrier Court opens up and match finishes, everybody spills out and it gets pretty crowded.

 

And, of course, the red clay. It’s the only big tournament, well, the only slam that’s on red clay. And just the color makes you smile, you know.

So it’s one of a kind. And you’re in Paris. I mean, how tough can it be?

 

One off‑beat question. Does that red clay come out in the laundry, like from your socks and ‑‑ or are all the outfits ‑‑

MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: Anytime the players fall on the ground, we say, oops, there went that skirt; there went that shirt. Socks, you throw out, because when you sweat and you get the clay on it, it’s goodbye.

 

So when that tournament’s over, everything just goes in the garbage?

MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: Yep.

 

And the shoes, too?

MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: Well, the shoes, you go on the grass. So, yes, they get pretty ‑‑ I mean, you may save them for other clay court tournaments. But most of the time the players, the shoes last a couple of days. That’s it.

I used to go through two pairs of shoes a week. I think the guys change them every match. And now maybe the women do, too. Depends on the kind of shoe. But they’re gone after a week, for sure. So definitely don’t save those.

Wondered if there was some great laundry detergent that got that clay out?

MARTINA NAVRATILOVA: If it’s there, I don’t know it.

THE MODERATOR: Thank you.

 

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Tennis Channel Expands French Open Coverage with Two New Shows

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Tennis Channel Expands French Open Coverage with Two New Shows

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From Tennis Channel: LOS ANGELES, May 18, 2015 -In its ninth year of French Open coverage, Tennis Channel is launching two new preview shows that dive into the many variables of match ups and outcomes that could happen at the Paris-based major this year. The network will dedicate more than 13 total hours to Racquet Bracket: French Open and Tennis Channel Live at the French Open, premiering Friday, May 22, 8 p.m. ET and Saturday, May 23, 12 p.m. ET, respectively. Starting on Opening Day Sunday, May 24, through the men’s semifinals Friday, June 5, Tennis Channel will take viewers through 12 days of live coverage at the 2015 French Open, followed by same-day encore matches during the championship weekend. During the two-week event in the City of Light, the network will deliver more than 260 total hours of day-to-night coverage of the tournament, with more than 85 hours of live or first-run matches, nearly 45 hours of encore replays, and 122 hours of three-hour nightly primetime show French Open Tonight (37-and-a-half first-run) hosted by Bill Macatee.

 

“Tennis Channel has consistently added to its French Open coverage both on-air and digitally over the years,” said Jeremy Langer, vice president of programming, Tennis Channel. “We are continuing this with Racquet Bracket: French Open and Tennis Channel Live at the French Open, both of which will provide excellent context for viewers as we go into the tournament.”

 

Hall of Famer Tracy Austin (@thetracyaustin), 2007 French Open doubles champion Mark Knowles (@knowlzee10s) and award-winning sportscaster Steve Weissman (@Steve_Weissman) begin the network’s coverage, on the eve of the tournament, as hosts of the new one-hour French Open-draw show Racquet Bracket: French Open. The show breaks down the French Open draw, analyzing possible match ups that could take place in each round. Additionally, the show serves as an added boon for fans who partake in the network’s free annual online “Racquet Bracket” French Open prediction game.

 

Former World No. 1 Lindsay Davenport (@LDavenport76) along with 1998 French Open mixed doubles champion Justin Gimelstob (@justingimelstob) and renowned commentators Brett Haber (@BrettHaber) and Jon Wertheim (@jon_wertheim) will host the network’s new Tennis Channel Live at the French Open, a one-hour preview show, which takes place from the Tennis Channel set on tournament grounds in Paris. They will take the audience through the pageantry and prestige of the French Open as tennis’ top talent prepare to make history in one of the oldest stadiums in the sport – Stade Roland Garros.

 

The network’s usual daily schedule at the French Open is made up of nine-hour match blocks, which begin at 10 a.m. ET. Within each block, live coverage goes from 10 a.m.-3:30 p.m. ET most days, with encore replays from 3:30 p.m.-7 p.m. ET. Directly following is the nightly recap show French Open Tonight at 7 p.m. ET. After its initial run, the show then re-airs throughout the evening until the following morning. A complete schedule is available below.

French Open Tonight typically premieres from 7 p.m.-10 p.m. ET. It then airs two more times until 4 a.m. ET. Bill Macatee (@Bmacatee) – one of America’s most respected sportscasters – has hosted every season of the show, now in its ninth year. The program provides a nightly discussion of that day’s tournament action, and viewers can see interviews with top players, the day’s best highlights, feature pieces, and full-set and game replays when needed. Macatee talks with many guests on the show, from players fresh from the court to top coaches and tennis officials, as well as Hall of Famers, celebrities, reporters, network analysts and more.

 

Following early morning encore editions of French Open Tonight, the network will air daily highlights, from 4 a.m.-5 a.m. ET, produced by the French Open’s governing body, the French Tennis Federation. Directly following the highlights, ESPN2 begins its coverage at the start of each day’s play at 5 a.m. ET. As they have done since 2007, Tennis Channel and ESPN2 are offering viewers virtually non-stop, 24-hour coverage of the French Open. Tennis Channel produces all telecasts for both networks, with each cross-promoting the other’s telecast.

 

The week prior to the start of the French Open, Tennis Channel has a full slate of programming geared toward the tournament. In addition to the two new preview shows, viewers will be able to watch some of the best classic matches from recent French Open history. Starting May 19 through May 21, Tennis Channel will unveil a new classic match each day, ending with last year’s men’s final battle between Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic on May 23. Other matches include: Rafael Nadal versus Roger Federer (2005 semifinal); Serena Williams versus Maria Sharapova (2013 final); and Garbine Muguruza versus Serena Williams (2014 second round).

 

On-Air Talent

Tennis Channel’s on-air talent for the French Open, in addition to French Open Tonight host Macatee and Racquet Bracket: French Open‘s Austin, Knowles and Weissman, includes lead women’s analyst, Hall of Famer and two-time French Open champion Martina Navratilova (@Martina). Navratilova, who has won more singles titles than anyone who has ever played professional tennis, and Macatee have appeared together on air for every Tennis Channel Grand Slam telecast. They started their dynamic relationship with the 2007 French Open.

 

Joining Macatee and Navratilova are fellow Hall of Famers and former World No. 1s Lindsay Davenport, a host of Tennis Channel Live at the French Open, and Jim Courier, a two-time French Open winner. This will be Davenport’s sixth and Courier’s second French Open as analysts for Tennis Channel. Also contributing to hosting as well as on-air duties is Mary Carillo, who will be serving as a live desk host, analyst and reporter in her fifth French Open as a part of the Tennis Channel team.

 

Adding to the talent in the broadcasting booth is Tennis Channel Live at the French Open host Justin Gimelstob and USTA President Katrina Adams (@katadams68) in their ninth and eighth years with Tennis Channel at the French Open. Adams, who won 21 doubles titles on the WTA tour, is the first former professional player to ascend to the top position. Coming to the City of Light for his second year at the French Open with the network is the much storied Paul Annacone (@paul_annacone). Known for his coaching of Pete Sampras, Roger Federer and American star Sloane Stephens, Annacone will continue to part of the Tennis Channel booth.

 

Tennis Channel’s award-winning commentators will continue to bring their talent and know-how to Paris for the network. They include Ted Robinson (@tedjrobinson) in his ninth French Open for Tennis Channel, Ian Eagle (ninth), and former player and longtime tennis broadcaster Leif Shiras (@LShirock; eighth).

 

The Tennis Channel on-air team also includes Tennis Channel Live at the French Open hosts Brett Haber and Jon Wertheim. This is award-winning announcer Haber and Sports Illustrated executive editor and senior writer Wertheim’s fourth French Open with the network. Haber will serve as a commentator and announcer while Wertheim will again handle special reports as well as offer commentary for Tennis Channel.

 

Broadband and Digital Coverage

Tennis Channel’s Tennis Channel Everywhere app is free to all Apple and Android users regardless of whether they subscribe to Tennis Channel, and it contains daily updates, online video highlights, Court Report news updates and player Bag Check and instruction clips for no additional charge. However, most of those viewers who subscribe to the network through a cable provider can watch the channel live whenever and wherever they want, through a TV Everywhere function, also at no extra cost.

 

Tennis Channel Plus, the network’s groundbreaking digital subscription service launched at last year’s tournament, will have a continuous live feed of multi-court coverage, with up to five courts available to stream the first five days of the tournament, and then three courts the next three days.

 

Tennis Channel Plus’ more than 360 hours of live coverage includes late-round matches like the women’s singles semifinals.

 

Again in 2015, veteran tennis reporters Steve Flink and Joel Drucker (@joeldrucker) will be covering all the action on Paris’ clay courts and filing columns directly to Tennis Channel’s website, www.tennischannel.com. Besides up-to-the-minute news and detailed analysis from Drucker and Flink, fans will also have access to interactive tournament draws, real-time scoring, photos, daily highlights, interviews, features and segments from French Open Tonight through the Tennis Channel website.

 

For additional content, Tennis Channel’s social media platforms will offer a multi-platform experience for fans looking 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).

 

Tennis Channel’s Live 2015 French Open Match Schedule

(Men’s/Women’s Singles Unless Otherwise Specified)

 

Date                                        Time (ET)                  Event                                     

Sunday, May 24                      10 a.m.-3:30 p.m.        First-Round Action

Monday, May 25                    10 a.m.-3:30 p.m.        First-Round Action

Tuesday, May 26                    10 a.m.-3:30 p.m.        First-Round Action

Wednesday, May 27               10 a.m.-3:30 p.m.        Second-Round Action

Thursday, May 28                   10 a.m.-3:30 p.m.        Second-Round Action

Friday, May 29                       10 a.m.-3:30 p.m.        Third-Round Action

Saturday, May 30                   5 a.m.-Noon                Third-Round Action

Sunday, May 31                      5 a.m.-1 p.m.               Round-of-16 Action

Monday, June 1                      10 a.m.-3:30 p.m.        Round-of-16 Action

Tuesday, June 2                      8 a.m.-1 p.m.               Quarterfinals

Thursday, June 4                     6 a.m.-9 a.m.               Mixed-Doubles Final

Thursday, June 4                 9 a.m.-2 p.m.             Women’s Semifinals (Tennis Channel Plus)

Friday, June 5                         7 a.m.-11 a.m.             Men’s Semifinal

 

This year, French Open encore match coverage on Tennis Channel will include same-day replays of the men’s and women’s singles quarterfinals, semifinals and finals as well as the men’s and women’s doubles finals, as follows (ET):

 

Wednesday, June 3 – 1 p.m.-7 p.m.: men’s and women’s singles quarterfinals

Thursday, June 4 – 2 p.m.-7 p.m.: women’s semifinals

Friday, June 5 – 5 p.m.-12 a.m.: men’s semifinals

Saturday, June 6 – 9 p.m.-11 p.m.: women’s final; 11 p.m.-12:30 a.m.: men’s doubles final

Sunday, June 7 – 9 p.m.-12 a.m.: men’s final; 12 a.m.-1:30 a.m.: women’s doubles final

 

(Additional encores will air subsequent days of the tournament and during the week of June 8.)

 

Tennis Channel’s French Open Tonight Schedule (ET)

French Open Tonight will premiere from Sunday, May 24 through Friday, May 29, 7 p.m.-10 p.m. Immediately following each premiere are back-to-back replays from 10 p.m.-1 a.m. and 1 a.m.-4 a.m. During the first weekend of the tournament, French Open Tonight will debut from 3 p.m.-6 p.m. and will re-air three consecutive times, 6 p.m. -9 p.m.; 9 p.m.-12 a.m.; 12 a.m.-3 a.m. on Saturday, May 30, and on Sunday, May 31.

 

For the second week of the tournament, French Open Tonight will premiere Monday, June 1, from 7 p.m.-10 p.m. followed by three encores, 10 p.m.-1 a.m.; 1 a.m.-3:30 a.m.; 4:30 a.m.-7:30 a.m. On Tuesday, June 2, the show will debut from 5 p.m.-8 p.m. followed by four encores from 8 p.m.-11 p.m.; 11 p.m.-2 a.m.; 2 a.m.-4:30 a.m.; 4:30-7:30 a.m. On Wednesday, June 3, French Open Tonight will premiere from 7 p.m.-10 p.m. followed by two encores from 10 p.m.-1 a.m. and 1 a.m.-4 a.m. The final French Open Tonight will debut Thursday, June 4, and will consist of a four-and-a-half hour special edition from 7 p.m.-11:30 p.m. and will run again once, from 11:30 p.m.-4 a.m.

     

 

     

 

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Tennis Channel Launches Streaming Channel on the Roku Platform

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LOS ANGELES, March 12, 2015 – Beginning today, Tennis Channel is available to millions of Roku® customers just in time for two of the biggest tournaments of the year: March’s “Fifth Slam” events in Southern California now underway and Miami. Roku customers have two options available to view live and on-demand action from Tennis Channel. Those who already subscribe to Tennis Channel through their satellite, telco or cable provider will have access to Tennis Channel Everywhere on their Roku players and Roku TVmodels. Roku customers also have the option of subscribing to Tennis Channel Plus, the network’s digital subscription service.

Tennis Channel Everywhere gives customers access to incredible live tennis action throughout the year, including more than 180 hours of overall network coverage during Southern California and Miami competitions.  Customers with Tennis Channel Plus are able to watch more than 600 additional live matches from more than 40 tournaments around the world – including the Australian Open and French Open – as well as thousands of hours of classic matches and on-demand programming. This includes archived semifinals and finals at major events like Wimbledon, as well as Grand Slam classics.

Roku customers can access Tennis Channel Everywhere and/or Tennis Channel Plus content with a single, easy-to-use streaming channel on the Roku platform, named Tennis Channel. Tennis Channel is the first, and most extensive, live and archived tennis streaming channel currently available on Roku players and Roku TV models.

“Launching a channel on the Roku platform marks a consistent effort by Tennis Channel to keep our digital offerings at the forefront of today’s media and entertainment innovations,” said Patrick Wilson, senior vice president of distribution, Tennis Channel. “With close to 90 percent of the live tennis on TV, we are constantly striving to give our audiences the convenience and freedom to access Tennis Channel when, where and how they want it on their smartphone, tablet and now on the Roku platform, which reaches millions of consumers. When combined with Tennis Channel Plus, we’re delivering unparalleled options for the in-home tennis viewing experience.”

 

“Tennis Channel offers our customers an unparalleled amount of live and on-demand tennis content and adds to Roku’s industry-leading lineup of sports channels,” said Ziba Kaboli-Gerbrands, Director of Content Acquisition for Roku. “We focus on providing our customers with choice in how and when they watch entertainment. With the option to stream Tennis Channel Everywhere and/or subscribe to Tennis Channel Plus, Roku customers can get the tennis action that’s best for them.”

 

A subscription to the Tennis Channel Plus 24/7 service is $69.99 for an annual pass and is available for purchase on Roku players and Roku TV models. Tennis Channel Plus gives fans access to exclusive content that is not available anywhere else – not even on Tennis Channel. The service is accessible to everyone who subscribes, regardless of whether they have a subscription to Tennis Channel through their satellite, telco or cable providers. Subscribers can watch live, exclusive match play from Davis Cup and Fed Cup competitions as well as ATP and WTA Tour events throughout the year, including the Southern California and Miami tournaments. In addition to robust highlights from these events, they can explore thousands of hours of on-demand programming, including current series episodes and viewer favorites Bag Check and Court Report.

Launching on the Roku platform marks a continuation in Tennis Channel’s extensive digital growth in the past year. When the network launched Tennis Channel Plus in May, it was the first to pair a TV Everywhere function with a digital subscription service, all in one app. With digital content ever increasing in its customer popularity, offerings like Tennis Channel Plus and Tennis Channel Everywhere have become invaluable – enabling audiences to choose when, where and how they want to participate, with an enriched viewing experience. This is especially worthwhile in tennis, a sport that often has multiple events in different time zones across different continents in the course of the same day.

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Tennis Channel’s Live BNP Paribas Open and Miami Open Coverage Schedule

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Tennis Channel’s Live BNP Paribas Open Coverage Schedule

(Men’s/Women’s Singles Unless Otherwise Specified)

 

Date                                        Time (ET)                  Event                                     

Wednesday, March 11            2 p.m.-2 a.m.               First Round

Thursday, March 12                1:30 p.m.-2 a.m.          First Round

Friday, March 13                    1:30 p.m.-2 a.m.          First Round, Second Round

Saturday, March 14                1:30 p.m.-2 a.m.          Second Round

Sunday, March 15                   1:30 p.m.-2 a.m.          Second Round, Third Round

Monday, March 16                 1:30 p.m.-2 a.m.          Third Round

Tuesday, March 17                 1:30 p.m.-2 a.m.          Third Round, Round of 16

Wednesday, March 18            1:30 p.m.-2 a.m.          Round of 16, Quarterfinals

Friday, March 20                    5 p.m.-7 p.m.;

9 p.m.-11 p.m.           Men’s Quarterfinal, Women’s Semifinal

Saturday, March 21                10:30 p.m.-12 a.m.      Men’s Doubles Final

 

Encore replays of the men’s and women’s singles semifinals and finals will air as follows (ET):

Saturday, March 21 – Women’s Semifinals: 6 a.m.-10 a.m., 9 p.m.-10:30 p.m.;

Men’s Semifinal: 7 p.m.-9 p.m.

Sunday, March 22 – Men’s Semifinals: 12 a.m.-4 a.m., 6 a.m.-10 a.m.;

Women’s Semifinals: 10 a.m.-2 p.m.; Women’s Final: 8 p.m.-10 p.m.;

Men’s Final: 10 p.m.-12 a.m.

Monday, March 23 – Women’s Final: 12 a.m.-2 a.m., 10 p.m.-12 a.m.;

Men’s Final: 2 a.m.-4 a.m., 8 p.m.-10 a.m.;

Women’s Semifinals: 12 p.m.-4 p.m.; Men’s Semifinals: 4 p.m.-8 p.m.

 

Tennis Channel’s Live Miami Open Coverage Schedule

(Men’s/Women’s Singles Unless Otherwise Specified)

 

Date                                        Time (ET)                              Event                                     

Wednesday, March 25            10:30 a.m.-9:30 p.m.               First Round

Thursday, March 26                10:30 a.m.-11 p.m.                  First Round, Second Round

Friday, March 27                    10:30 a.m.-11:30 p.m.             Second Round

Saturday, March 28                10:30 a.m.-11:30 p.m.             Second Round, Third Round

Sunday, March 29                   10:30 a.m.-11:30 p.m.             Third Round

Monday, March 30                 10:30 a.m.-11:30 p.m.             Third Round, Round of 16

Tuesday, March 31                 10:30 a.m.-11:30 p.m.             Round of 16, Quarterfinals

 

Encore coverage includes men’s and women’s singles semifinals (ET):

Thursday, April 2 – Women’s Semifinals: 11 p.m.-3 a.m.

Friday, April 3 – Women’s Semifinals: 7 a.m.-11 a.m.; Men’s Semifinals: 9 p.m.-2 a.m.

Saturday, April 4 – Men’s Semifinals: 2 a.m.-9 a.m., 3 p.m.-8 p.m., 10 p.m.-midnight;

Women’s Semifinals: 9 a.m.-1 p.m.; Women’s Final 8 p.m.-10 p.m.

Sunday, April 5 – Women’s Final: 12 a.m.-2 a.m., 10 p.m.-12 a.m.;

Men’s Semifinals: 10:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.;

Women’s Semifinals: 4:30 p.m.-8 p.m.; Men’s Final: 8 p.m.-10 p.m.

Monday, April 6 – Men’s Final: 12 a.m.-2 a.m.

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Murray seals the deal as GB win their first round tie over the USA again

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(March 8, 2015) GLASGOW, SCOTLAND – If at all possible the applause the loudest it has been for the three days, as the live fourth rubber set up a thrilling conclusion to the Great Britain-US Davis Cup tie.

 

With a vocal John Isner thundering down six aces in just his second service game, before he closed it out, you had a feeling we could be going to very long tie-breaks. After all if Isner hits six aces he would expect to be up by a couple of games at least, and not requiring that effort just to nab his second.

 

In fact it was the flat-footed-sounding Isner that flirted with the first break-point opportunities dulling the enthusiasm of the Glasgow crowd for just a little. There would be more drama to come in the eighth game as Murray put the crowd’s loyalty through its paces delivering them two double-faults and fending off three break points before finally grinding out a hold.

 

Isner might be one big unit but he showed early on how he could keep pace in the kinds of rallies that Murray likes to use. And it’s not as if the Brit was struggling with his movement, even throwing in one of those drop shots at a crunch moment for an audacious winner.

 

But there was no denying that Isner was beginning to get his eye in. He was less vocal and less slap-footed around the court now as he sensed he could turn the screw. Pushing Andy Murray every step of the way as the Brit was serving at 4-5, Isner forced 3 set points as the weak second Murray serve presented very hittable opportunities. Yet he could not take advantage as Murray dredged up serves to get him out of trouble.

 

We got to a first set tie-break, but not quite in the manner we thought, and soe terrible shot-making from Isner put GB in front by just enough to keep the advantage, and a collective sigh of relief from 7,700 people.

 

The second set saw Murray hold his serve much more comfortably, and even if Isner was getting a look at his second serve, much of the American’s pace on his whipping forehand was tempered as Murray earned his first break point on the Isner serve after one hour and 25 minutes. Even then, Murray showed him no less than three looks at a second serve as he worked to consolidate the break, to no avail for the American.

Two sets up, the question was would this go the distance, or even creep over four sets? Again there were moments when it looked as though Isner would steal the upper hand as Murray squandered his challenges and sent a few pleading looks the way of the umpire as Isner’s serves thundered past him.

 

Pushing up to a tie-break again, there was a huge crescendo of noise which, if anything, was louder than Murray’s entry into the arena. If the first mini-break was enough to get hopes up, as Murray surged ahead to finish it with an ace to book the British team into the quarter-finals. Final score 7-6(4), 6-3, 7-6(4).

 

Interviewed on court after jumping around with members of the team, Murray did the honours in thanking the crowd as well as hinting that perhaps it might be time for Tennis Scotland to use grass for something other than football.

 

“The whole week has been so much fun. This is one of the most special atmospheres I’ve ever played in so I would like to say a big thank you to all these guys,“ Murray said.

“With a home tie against France in the summer I’d imagine we would try to put that on a grass court. I don’t know how many they have in Glasgow but if they could lay one that would be great as the atmosphere has been incredible.”

“To be in the quarterfinals for a second year when it hasn’t happened for so long is incredible.”

Last year the British team also knocked out the USA in the first round of Davis Cup on a clay court in San Diego.

 

“This is a deserved win,” Murray said. “The attitude of everyone was excellent. Everyone fought extremely hard, especially when we were behind in the matches, no one gave up. Every person played extremely hard.

“It was huge momentum for us in winning James’ (Ward) match. We were also so close yesterday to winning 3-0, so I felt some pressure today to close it out. The way John approached the match made it difficult.”

Asked about Great Britain’s chances to win Davis Cup, US Captain Jim Courier said:

“When you have a great champion like Andy, against most teams, they should feel like they are up 2-0 going in. The way their doubles team played was impressive. Bob and Mike played unbelievably well yesterday and they were pushed to the wire. It only takes three to win.”

So where does the US Davis Cup team go from here?

“Our team changes, ‘ Courier said.  “You always try to make some adjustments and go forward. We play again in September, so I have time to assess everything. It takes time to process defeats like this and try to figure out what you can learn from it and improve going forward.”

 

With the next tie straight after Wimbledon, debates are already taking place as to where possible venues could be, as the prospect of holding an outside tournament in an English summer against the French could be intriguing.

The Davis Cup quarter-finals will take place between July 17 – 19.

As for the United States, they will play for a chance to stay in the World Group the week after the US Open concludes in September in the World Group Play-offs.

Ros Satar is a British sports journalist and a writer at Livetennis.com.

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Bryan Brothers Keep Hope Alive for US with Five-set Win in Davis Cup

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(March 7, 2015) GLASGOW, SCOTLAND – If you had asked anyone at the start of the day whether they would expect to be on the edge of their seats once more in Glasgow, you would have been hard pushed to find anyone to agree with you.

For team USA, the Bryan brothers came to play and they ripped through the first two sets in less than an hour, and even had match points to end it all in the fourth set, but somehow the Brits found a way to hang on.

It was not the easiest of comebacks for Jamie Murray, who got the nod to play along with the in-form Dominic Inglot who had already recorded two wins this season over the twins.

Finally holding his serve in the third set, it seemed to spur the Brits on to greater glories as the Bryan’s intensity dropped a little, while Dominic Inglot proved to be on fire at the net and Murray started to paint the lines with burning accuracy,

There was a hint of danger for the scratch pairing in front of an enthusiastic home crowd as the tall rangy Inglot found himself under pressure to hold his serve for the first time but dig himself out of a whole with some very solid serving as Murray dug deep to hold again to force a fourth set tie-breaker.

Two set points came and went for the Brits but they struggled to make it count, and a nifty Bryan poach suddenly brought up match point for the Americans. The threats seemed to come quick and fast for the Brits, and once more the risks paid off for the home team as they forced the decider.

It looked as though this match would be another long one, but at 7-7 a Murray volley found the net to give the Bryans a chance to serve it out, and they took it to set up a thrilling close.

Inglot just catching the edge of his racquet to a stinging return from the Bryan’s spelled danger as they took the mini-break for a 5-3 lead on their serve. A great stretch from Inglot pulled the Brits back on serve as the Brits clung on to bring up their first set point to force a decider. Inglot was poaching once more at the net to bring up their second set point but the pair could not find a way to close once more. A Bryan interception spun the advantage to the visitors, on their serve.

Inglot’s thundering return kept the Brits hanging in and Murray painting the lines brought up a third set point for the Brits, forcing the Americans into a decider.

Despite both Inglot and Murray requiring treatment during the decider, no quarter was being given now by either pairing as the fifth set wound its way on. With the threat of the first break points looming for the Americans on Murray’s serve at 7-7, a nicked edge saved the Brits albeit briefly and Murray’s missed half volley finding the net handing the Bryans a chance to serve for the match as they closed out the visitors’ first win.

The Bryans picked up their first five set win in the Davis Cup, 6-3, 6-2, 3-6, 7-6(8), 9-7, previously having been 0-2, but then they had also never lost in the Davis Cup from two sets up.

They admitted how much it meant to get their first five set win in the Davis Cup, saying: “We lost a couple of heartbreakers in 2013 so if we got this opportunity again, we were actually telling each other let’s erase all that pain and this was a great way to do it, is to win an very emotional match, I thought we played a great match, those guys didn’t give us an inch all day. Jamie returned well and served well. They made a ton of first serves and cleaned up the volleys. We had to bring out best stuff to win.”

“We didn’t let up,” Mike Bryan chimed in. “They hit great returns. They were going for it the whole way. We had been playing well all week and we played a great match today and it came down to a few points. The margins were really small. We had a couple of looks in the fourth set. But, all credit to them. They hit some alley shots and lines and served big when they had to. It came down to the wire.”

“The biggest luxury is having these guys on the team,” said US Davis Cup Captain Jim Courier of the Bryan brothers. “They continue to come through for us.”

John Isner will face Andy Murray in the live fourth rubber in reverse singles on Sunday with Great Britain leading the tie 2-1.

Ros Satar is a British sports journalist and a writer at Livetennis.com.

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James Ward pulls it out of the bag once more as Great Britain takes a 2-0 lead over the USA in Davis Cup

(March 6, 2015) GLASGOW, SCOTLAND – It was always going to be a tough ask for James Ward to come up against John Isner and pull out the same kind of miraculous win he did against Sam Querrey in San Diego.

 

The British No. 2 has been working hard on his fitness, and it showed as he kept pace with Isner in the first set, even building up enough of a head of steam to lead 4-2 in the first set tie-break before the US No. 1 thumped home five points in a row to deny him.

 

The crowd was kept at bay after their noisy enthusiasm in the first match when Isner broke to pick off the second set, and it was sure to be a long way back for the Londoner.

 

But there is something about Davis Cup that brings out the best in James Ward. Jim Courier may have described him as streaky but when he has his good patches, they can be hugely impressive, as he pushed through a third set tie-break and this time there was no relinquishing any advantage.

 

For a time it looked as though Isner would pick up the pace and close this out in the fourth set but somehow Ward found a way to push through again, and from what had looked like a winning position, Isner was facing yet another marathon.

 

Ward seemed to have the fresher legs – Courier had expressed his admiration for Ward’s energy and performance in San Diego even when he was down, whereas Isner looked increasingly more tired. He could barely even stretch for balls but denied suffering from cramp in his post match press conference.

 

Losing 15-13 in the fifth hurt, as he very candidly shared as he faced the media with Jim Courier at his side. After having won the epic match at Wimbledon, he admitted he had lost tough matches before, but this was quite raw.

 

He said: “I’ve lost a lot of tough matches before. They suck. Simple as that. It’s brutal and I’m barely going to sleep tonight. It’s awful.”

 

He continued: “I’m healthy, mentally I’m certainly a bit shaken right now, but I’ve got to be a professional and bring my best on Sunday. Tomorrow I’ll rest. I don’t feel too chipper right now, but as Jim said I’ll let it rip on Sunday if the match is live.”

 

For Ward, the 6-7(4), 5-7, 6-3, 7-6(3), 15-13 win was just as emotional, and he sounded quite choked up as he gave his on-court post-match interview, saying: “This is by far the best atmosphere I’ve ever been part of in the Davis Cup. I would prefer it if I didn’t have to play these five-set matches every time, but the crowd was incredible and really helped.”

 

Great Britain ends day one up 2-0, need just one more victory to clinch the tie. The doubles rubber will be played on Saturday with Bob and Mike Bryan trying to keep tie hopes alive for the US when they face the British team of Jamie Murray and Dominic Inglot.

 

Ros Satar is a British sports journalist and a writer at Livetennis.com.

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Andy Murray Dominates Donald Young to Give Great Britain 1-0 Lead in Davis Cup

(March 6, 2015) GLASGOW, SCOTLAND – In front of a rapturous crowd, Andy Murray’s triumphant homecoming started in fine style as he delivered a four set win over Donald Young in the Davis Cup World Group first round tie against the USA.

Ahead of the tie, he had seemed downbeat and almost wary of the reception he would receive but he needn’t have worried as the crowd roared their approval as he was introduced before the tie began.

From the outset he was moving well, with great range and focus, and Young was little more than a bystander as the first set shot by in 21 minutes, swiftly followed by the second as Murray built up a 6-1, 6-1 lead.

Earlier this week USA Team Captain Jim Courier stressed that the one thing he had learned was to communicate with his team and there was plenty of that going on as he tried to pick the demoralised Young up, and it started to work for him as Murray’s intensity dulled a little in the third set.

Young said: “He started to miss a little more, I kinda loosened up. I was getting whupped pretty good so I started to hit the ball and was able to string some points together in a row an get into his service games which I could not do in the first two sets.”

Murray admitted that although he had let his guard down a little in the third set, he was very happy with the win.

“I had a slight maybe lull in intensity but I couldn’t maintain the intensity I had in the first couple of sets in the whole match, because it was tough, but I was really happy with the way I played.”

It was perhaps more vital to give Young a little more confidence should the tie come down to a live fifth rubber, but Murray lifted his game for the early break at the start of the third set, and did not look back, securing a double break buffer and serving the match out for the win 6-1, 6-1, 4-6, 6-2.

After the match he spoke about the crowd, in the sold-out Emirates Arena.

“It’s the biggest home tie that I’ve played, in front of the biggest crowd. I would say definitely the biggest indoor crowd. When we played at Wimbledon the crowds were big but the stadium also wasn’t full.

“I think that when I played at the Olympics as well it was a similar sort of reception there, and that’s the nice thing about playing in the Davis Cup, is having these home ties that you can play in front of crowds that are right behind you. That’s the best part of the competition.”

Ros Satar is a British sports journalist and a writer at Livetennis.com.

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Davis Cup in Glasgow: Communication Key for Courier

(March 5, 2015) GLASGOW, SCOTLAND – While it was a jolly British team, joking amongst themselves who took to the round of interviews first, it was an altogether more thoughtful Unites States team that offered their thoughts after the Davis Cup first round draw was made.

 

Donald Young will be the first to face the home crowds in Andy Murray’s old stomping grounds, and having scored a famous victory over Murray during his 2011 post-Australian Open final walkabout, Young has hardly troubled the Brit since, but after being pulled in last year in San Diego to replace an injured John Isner, this time he was picked in his own right. His results over the past month have lent some much-needed consistency to his play, and this in turn has given him some confidence.

 

Leading the news conference questions, Young said: “I feel more comfortable and confident than last year. Last year was my first time competing in Davis Cup. I had a ton of nerves starting the match off. It will be a tough match either way because Andy is a great player, but I feel like I am playing well and I look forward to seeing what happens.”

 

With Isner having made some measure of James Ward, as they play the second rubber, he acknowledged that the Brits have chosen a surface and speed to perhaps dull his chances as well as making the transition for Murray a little easier.

 

He said: “It may neutralise my serve a little bit. But I’m happy with the court. The British team chose it, we have no control.”

 

Of course he is the favourite to steam through and put the pressure back on the Brits. While Murray played down his chances of partnering with his elder brother Jamie, Bob and Mike Bryan know that a match up between them and the Murrays is what the Saturday crowd will really want. But while Jamie Murray’s consistent play earned him a spot back in the Davis Cup side over stalwart Colin Fleming, it is Dominic Inglot who has the upper hand so far over the Bryans.

 

Bob said: “Dom Inglot has the hot hand, he’s played us well in the last couple of matches so we’re prepared for him.” Mike agreed, adding, “He’s aggressive, he’s a big guy – not really lob-able. He’s all over the net. He plays with a lot of power, which is the kind of the new age of doubles, the power game. So you’ve got to find a way to break him, which is tough. You know if I was the coach, it would tough to leave a guy who has a hot hand off the team so he’s got a tough decision.”

 

Above all though Courier knows that his communication with the team will be key – something he feels he has learned to improve in every tie.

Courier said: “I think, from my experience with Donald on the bench in San Diego now, we have some communication that we can rely on because we’ve been through a match and the fire together. It’s important he and I are comfortable together because these guys need to feel comfortable because they’re used to playing their whole lives without someone sitting next to them talking to them during the match.

“It’s important that I stay out of their or get in their way when I need to interject and do it at the right times, and that’s a judgment call based on experience.

“Now Donald and I have some, John, Bob and Mike and I have a lot of experience in that realm so far, so I’m feeling more comfortable, I hope they are.”

The time for talking though is now over, and come 1pm in UK time Young will walk out to a ferociously passionate crowd and a home hero in every sense of the word.

Ros Satar is a British sports journalist and a writer at Livetennis.com.

Order of Play for the tie:

Friday, March 6 – 1:00 p.m.   

Singles A: Donald Young (USA) vs. Andy Murray (GBR)

Singles B: John Isner (USA) vs. James Ward (GBR)

Saturday, March 7 – 1:00 p.m.                      

Doubles: Bob and Mike Bryan (USA) vs. Jamie Murray/Dominic Inglot (GBR)

Sunday, March 8 – 1:00 p.m.                         

Singles C: John Isner (USA) vs. Andy Murray (GBR)

Singles D: Donald Young (USA) vs. James Ward (GBR)

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