French Open Coverage Schedule on Tennis Channel
All Qualies Matches Available On-Air or Online for First Time Before 15 Days of Main Draw Action
More than 100 Live Television Hours Planned, 500 Overall;
Digital Subscription Service Tennis Channel Plus Expands from Five to 10 Courts,
Offers More than 350 Matches, 700 Hours of Major Tennis
Hall of Famers Navratilova, Courier, Austin, Davenport Return to Tennis Channel Booth
LOS ANGELES, May 21, 2018 – Tennis Channel is widening its French Open coverage to include all 196 men’s and women’s qualifiers this year. Held this week, in advance of the tournament’s main draw May 27-June 10, every contest played by those hoping to compete in the world’s most prestigious clay-court event will appear on digital subscription service Tennis Channel Plus, with select matches on television each day as well. This adds to the network’s unmatched exposure of Roland Garros (commonly called the French Open), which annually turns its television and digital platforms into a two-week, round-the-clock home for the tennis calendar’s second major.
Beginning with the first main-draw matches at 11 a.m. ET Sunday, May 27, Tennis Channel will televise live competition every day through the men’s first singles semifinal Friday, June 8 (complete schedule below). Most days will feature 10-hour, daylong blocks of live play followed by all-night encore coverage until the next morning’s play begins. More than 100 hours of live television are scheduled for the 2018 French Open, with encores bringing the total hours to 500.
The network will also air Tennis Channel Live at Roland Garros at 8 a.m. ET championship weekend Saturday, June 9, and Sunday, June 10, and same-day encores of all singles, doubles and mixed-doubles finals. A tournament-preview edition of the show will run at 11 a.m. ET Saturday, May 26, the morning before the main draw’s Opening Day. Tennis Channel’s Racquet Bracket: Roland Garros will debut Friday, May 25, at 7 p.m. ET before several encores, and feature on-air team members’ bracket predictions for the upcoming event.
Already with close to 80 percent of all live French Open hours on television, Tennis Channel began showing tournament qualifiers in 2016, and last year showed 46 of the preliminary matches. With an additional 150 matches available this year, starting at 6 a.m. ET Tennis Channel Plus subscribers will have the chance to choose from 48 live matches each of the first three days of qualifications (May 21-23), 32 on May 24 and another 20 on May 25. Qualifiers will also appear on Television each afternoon, starting at 4 p.m. ET most days. In 2018 Tennis Channel Plus is doubling the number of digital courts available to subscribers, from five to 10, and will offer more than 350 matches and 700 hours of French Open tennis.
Hall of Famers Martina Navratilova (@Martina), Jim Courier, Tracy Austin (@thetracyaustin) and Lindsay Davenport (@LDavenport76) return as analysts at an event where they found success during their playing careers. Navratilova won two singles (1982, 1984), seven doubles (1975, 1982, 1984-1988) and two mixed-doubles (1991-1992) titles as a French Open entrant. This will be her 12th Roland Garros as a member of Tennis Channel’s team – she has been with the network at every major it has covered. Courier, who grabbed back-to-back singles championships in 1991-1992, is at his fifth French Open for Tennis Channel while Davenport, who won the mixed-doubles title in 1996, is in her ninth. Austin made it to the quarterfinals in 1982-1983 and is with the network in Paris for the third time.
French Open mixed-doubles (1998) champion Justin Gimelstob (@justingimelstob) has also provided commentary at every Tennis Channel major, and is a mainstay in the network’s studio and at events throughout the tennis season. He is also a player representative on the ATP board of directors and active in other tennis businesses apart from television. Former World No. 4 singles player and U.S. Davis Cup champion James Blake (@JRBlake) also returns for the network in 2018, after his inaugural stint in its Roland Garros booth last spring. Paul Annacone (@paul_annacone) has coached both Pete Sampras and Roger Federer, two of the greatest champions to ever pick up a racket, and will share his observations with Tennis Channel’s French Open viewers for the fifth year. Annacone reached the doubles quarterfinals at the event in 1985. As a player, analyst Chanda Rubin was a World No. 6 singles player and World No. 9 doubles player, and won the Australian Open doubles title in 1996. A regular in the network’s Los Angeles studio, Rubin will offer commentary in Paris in 2018.
Award-winning reporter, interviewer and anchor Mary Carillo is back for her eighth year at Roland Garros with Tennis Channel. A French Open mixed-doubles winner in 1977, Carillo has followed her playing career with four decades of renown as a journalist and television fan favorite. She will handle announcing duties and special features for the network again in 2018. Bill Macatee (@Bmacatee), Ted Robinson (@tedjrobinson) and Ian Eagle have called matches at every Tennis Channel French Open and, between them, have covered the most important events from college and professional football and basketball, to baseball and golf, to the Olympics. They have each won numerous awards.
As has announcer Brett Haber (@BrettHaber), who will host and call matches for Tennis Channel at Roland Garros for the seventh time in 2018. Haber has also covered a multitude of sports at ESPN and as sports director at news stations in New York and Washington, D.C., and is a regular presence on Tennis Channel throughout the year. Leif Shiras (@LShirock) is in his 11th year with the network’s French Open play-by-play team and has done play-by-play work for two decades following a career on the pro circuit. Award-winning announcer Steve Weissman
(@Steve_Weissman) is another standard Tennis Channel studio presence and returns to Paris.
Sports Illustrated executive editor and senior writer Jon Wertheim (@jon_wertheim) is back for his seventh year as a Tennis Channel French Open reporter, analyst and essayist. His widely followed “Tennis Mailbag” column and “Beyond the Baseline” podcast are considered essential for fans keeping up with the sport’s latest issues and news. During championship weekend, Saturday, June 9, and Sunday, June 10, Entertainment Tonight’s Kevin Frazier (@KevinFrazier) will host Tennis Channel Live at Roland Garros. A longtime part of the Tennis Channel team, the sports-and-entertainment personality most recently anchored the network’s on-site studio desk at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, Calif., in March.
Tennis Channel Plus users will have live and on-demand access to 10 tournament courts and more than 700 hours and 350 matches of French Open tennis, including all 196 qualifying matches. Also new in 2018 will be the opportunity to watch condensed replays of select matches. For most of the tournament, the network will provide daily on-demand access to matches that have been edited to include only the scoring plays. These condensed reviews will offer every point of the match in rapid sequence, minus the shots and strokes that led up to each decisive finish.
Tennis Channel’s app will offer a comprehensive Roland Garros experience during the next three weeks. Throughout the event a “Daily Wrap” will post each afternoon (and on www.tennis.com) and users will have access to Paris editions of multiplatform series “My Tennis Life” with defending French Open doubles champion Lucie Safarova. Tennis Channel’s app is available for free to all U.S.-based users, regardless of whether they subscribe to the television network or the Tennis Channel Plus digital subscription service. During the French Open the app’s free “The T” channel will offer a variety of Roland Garros fare, including player interviews on Tennis Channel’s set, press conferences and live media day/draw ceremony coverage. It will also offer short-form segments “Destination Tennis” and “Mary in Paris.”
The app will also feature the Racquet Bracket: Roland Garros analysts’ picks preview that will run on the television network and on-demand matches from the “Road to Roland Garros” series of European clay-court events leading up to Paris. Additionally, Tennis Channel Plus subscribers can use the app to stream classic Roland Garros championship memories, such as Navratilova vs. Chris Evert in 1985, Courier vs. Andre Agassi in 1991, Monica Seles vs. Steffi Graf in 1992 and Venus Williams vs. Serena Williams in 2002.
The website for Tennis Channel’s print partner Tennis magazine (www.tennis.com) will again post daily updates, blogs, reports and special features from the tournaments grounds, with a stable of longtime tennis reporters. Doing double duty for the magazine and Tennis Channel is a lineup that includes: Wertheim, Steve Flink (@sflinko), Joel Drucker (@joeldrucker), Kamakshi Tandon (@Kamakshi_Tandon), Nina Pantic (@ninapantic1), Zachary Cohen (@_zco), Ed McGrogan (@EdMcGrogan), John Berkok, Steve Tignor (@SteveTignor), Jon Scott (@jonscott19), and Van Sias (@Van_Sias).
Tennis Channel’s Live 2018 French Open Coverage
Date Time (ET) Event
Sunday, May 27 5 a.m.-3 p.m. First-Round Action
Monday, May 28 5 a.m.-3 p.m. First-Round Action
Tuesday, May 29 5 a.m.-3 p.m. First-Round Action
Wednesday, May 30 5 a.m.-3 p.m. Second-Round Action
Thursday, May 31 5 a.m.-3 p.m. Second-Round Action
Friday, June 1 5 a.m.-3 p.m. Third-Round Action
Saturday, June 2 5 a.m.-Noon Third-Round Action
Sunday, June 3 5 a.m.-Noon Round-of-16 Action
Monday, June 4 5 a.m.-3 p.m. Round-of-16 Action
Tuesday, June 5 7 a.m.-1 p.m. Quarterfinals
Wednesday, June 6 7 a.m.-1 p.m. Quarterfinals
Thursday, June 7 8 a.m.-2 p.m. Women’s Singles Semifinals
Friday, June 8 6 a.m.-11 a.m. Men’s Singles Semifinal
The network will air championship-weekend editions of Tennis Channel Live at Roland Garros at 8 a.m. ET Saturday, June 9, and Sunday, June 10. Same-day finals encores will run (ET):
Thursday, June 7 – 11 p.m.: mixed-doubles final, replayed through late night/early morning
Saturday, June 9 – 1 p.m.: women’s singles final, men’s doubles final; replayed throughout day
Sunday, June 10 – 2 p.m.: men’s singles final, replayed throughout day;
11 p.m.: women’s doubles final, replayed through late night/early morning