Tennis Channel Kicks Off World Tennis Day


LOS ANGELES, March 1, 2013 – In celebration of World Tennis Day, Tennis Channel will air the 2013 BNP Paribas Showdown/Hong Kong on March 4 from 6:30 a.m.-9:30 a.m. ET, live from the Asia-World Arena in Hong Kong with a pair of tennis legends and two of the top 10 players on the WTA tour. John McEnroe and Ivan Lendl will kick off World Tennis Day with a renewal of their 30-year rivalry. Then, former world No. 1 player Caroline Wozniacki takes on 2012 Wimbledon finalist Agnieszka Radwanska.


“We are excited to be an integral part of the global festivities honoring World Tennis Day and look forward to continue to bring viewers the sport’s greatest moments from around the world,” said David Scott, vice president of programming, Tennis Channel.


Tennis Channel will keep the celebration of World Tennis Day going all day by airing encore presentations of the 2009, 2012 and 2013 BNP Paribas Showdown events. The network will show the 2012 competition between Wozniacki and Maria Sharapova from 9:30 a.m.-11 a.m. ET. Other highlights of the schedule include World of Tennis‘ exclusive interview with Rafael Nadal upon his return to the game a few weeks ago (at both 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. ET) and Road to the Showdown at 6:30 p.m., hosted by Rennae Stubbs. From 7 p.m.-10:30 p.m. ET, the network will rebroadcast the 2013 BNP Paribas Showdown/Hong Kong. The day will conclude with an encore presentation of the 2012 BNP Paribas match between Roger Federer and Andy Roddick at 11:30 p.m. ET.


“We are delighted to be expanding our relationship with Tennis Channel to include World Tennis Day,” said Jerry Solomon, who serves as executive producer of World of Tennis. “The goal of World Tennis Day, which grew from Tennis Night in America and our relationship with the USTA, is to encourage kids and adults to participate in the sport. WE hope the chance to see so many of the greats playing the game throughout one day will inspire people to do just that.”


World Tennis Day was created by StarGames and is held with the support of the International Tennis Federation to promote Tennis10s, which tailors the game to its youngest players with smaller racquets, lighter balls and modified scoring. The cornerstones of World Tennis Day are grassroots opportunities for young players to participate in the sport at the local level. The day is highlighted by BNP Paribas Showdown events in Hong Kong, as well as the annual event at Madison Square Garden in New York featuring Rafael Nadal, Juan Martin del Potro, Serena Williams and Victoria Azarenka.


Radwanska, who is currently the No. 4 ranked player on the WTA Tour, takes the court in Hong Kong having won her three most recent matches with the tenth-ranked Wozniacki, despite Wozniacki’s 5-4 edge in the nine career meetings between the two players.


Lendl, who returned to the game last year to coach Andy Murray, compiled a 21-15 record against McEnroe from 1980-92, including a 7-3 record in Grand Slam events. In three classic Grand Slam Finals, Lendl defeated McEnroe twice – first at the 1984 French Open and then at the 1985 US Open Finals. In between those two defeats, McEnroe, who has been a member of Tennis Channel’s French Open, US Open and Davis Cup broadcast teams, upended Lendl at the 1984 US Open Finals.


Tennis Channel’s complete schedule of World Tennis Day activities can be found online at www.tennischannel.com/schedule.


World Tennis Day Launched by ITF and StarGames

(November 18, 2012) The International Tennis Federation (ITF) has announced that it has entered into an agreement with StarGames to launch World Tennis Day to help promote tennis participation around the world. The inaugural World Tennis Day will be held on Monday March 4, 2013 as part of the 2013 ITF Centenary activities.


World Tennis Day will be centered around a series of high profile exhibition events around the world, including the well-established BNP Paribas Showdown in New York’s Madison Square Garden. Each of the events, organised by the promoter StarGames, will feature current and former professionals together with demonstrations of the ITF’s Tennis10s programme aimed at increasing participation among young players around the world.


Alongside these events, the ITF will be encouraging its 210 National Associations to support World Tennis Day with their own grassroots and club activities to attract new participants to the sport.


The United States Tennis Association (USTA) has already established the successful Tennis Night in America in conjunction with the BNP Paribas Showdown in which clubs are asked to open their doors as part of a month-long drive to get children playing the sport. Over 2,200 clubs in the United States took part in this initiative in 2012.


Several other National Associations have already pledged their support to join the USTA in World Tennis Day activities in 2013, including Davis Cup finalists Czech Republic and Spain, plus Argentina, Brazil, Hong Kong, India, Mexico, Norway, Portugal and South Africa. Announcements about further exhibition events will be made soon.


The ITF’s Tennis10s programme, which promotes the use of slower and lower bouncing balls, shorter and lighter rackets, and smaller courts to make it easier for children to take up the game. Tennis10s is a supporting programme of the Tennis Play and Stay campaign, the ITF’s global initiative launched in 2007 aimed at increasing tennis participation worldwide. Tennis Play and Stay centres around the slogan of ‘Serve, Rally and Score’ and seeks to promote tennis as an easy, fun and healthy sport.


“We look forward to World Tennis Day as a way to put a spotlight on tennis participation,” said ITF President Francesco Ricci Bitti. “The very successful Tennis Night in America, staged by the USTA in association with StarGames, is an example of how special events and participation activities can be combined successfully. We look forward to events around the world over the next few years, and to see our 210 member national associations get behind World Tennis Day with activities in their own countries on that day.”


Ivo Kaderka, president of the Czech Tennis Association (CTA), said: “We think World Tennis Day will be very good for tennis worldwide and the CTA looks forward to getting involved in this initiative.” Anil Khanna, President of the Asian Tennis Federation and All India Tennis Association, said: “We will be delighted to support World Tennis Day.”


Jerry Solomon, President and CEO of StarGames, said: “Our partnerships with the USTA on Tennis Night in America and BNP Paribas on the Showdown have proven successful so to be able to expand this to World Tennis Day in partnership with the ITF and its 210 member nations is a unique opportunity. I want to thank the ITF leadership for sharing our vision and look forward to the day when World Tennis Day brings focus to the sport through multiple special events combined with the Tennis10s programme across the globe.”


Tennis Play and Stay and Tennis10s are programmes with proven success in growing participation,” said Dave Miley, ITF Executive Director of Development. “This initiative will give both the ITF and our member nations a great opportunity to showcase and draw extra attention to what they are doing to grow tennis in their countries through World Tennis Day.”


ITF selects Sportradar AG for the exclusive worldwide distribution rights for ITF Official Data

The ITF announced that the Swiss-based company Sportradar AG has been chosen as the worldwide distributor for ITF Official Data. The four-year agreement will officially commence in 2013.


The ITF and Sportradar will begin to cooperate in 2012 to assure the supply of live data from selected ITF tournaments to media outlets, the betting industry and any other interested parties. The agreement will also allow the ITF to expand the range of its events offering live scoring services.


The ITF believes that the distribution of ITF Official Data will support integrity measures by helping to eliminate the unauthorised collection, dissemination and use of official or erroneous data and the presence of unofficial data collectors at ITF events. The supply of ITF Official Data will further support integrity measures by creating a framework for more extensive information exchange and cooperation with the legal gambling industry.


The ITF began the search for an experienced data partner in October 2011 and received a number of interesting and competitive offers, selecting Sportradar AG because of their experience as a leading sports data service provider.


In addition to the data partnership, Sportradar has also been appointed as the ITF’s preferred streaming partner for the ITF Pro Circuit, helping to grow the Circuit and make it more accessible to fans.


Jan Menneken, Executive Director, Commercial for the ITF, said: “We believe that Sportradar AG will be an excellent partner for the ITF and we look forward to working with them. In addition to the distribution of ITF Official Data, this project will allow us to expand live scoring services to the ITF Pro Circuit and the zone groups of Davis Cup by BNP Paribas and Fed Cup by BNP Paribas.”


Carsten Koerl, group chief executive officer, Sportradar, said:  “We are very pleased to begin this collaboration which opens up a great opportunity to build a new market with the ITF. We are convinced that we can create exciting new products for our clients around the world.”