ESPN’s multi-platform and worldwide coverage of tennis’ final Grand Slam event of the year, the US Open from New York, will begin Monday, Aug. 27 and fans can again expect nearly 100 hours in high definition on ESPN2 HD, 400 hours on ESPN3’s multi-court offering plus coverage across ESPN’s platforms in the U.S. and around the world.
- During the first week of the tournament, ESPN2’s coverage will start at 1 p.m. each weekday and will continue nonstop for at least 10 hours through both the day and evening sessions. The latter, Primetime at the US Open presented by IBM, will begin at 7 p.m. and continue until 11 p.m. or when play is concluded, whichever is later.
- The second week, ESPN2 will have Primetime at the US Open presented by IBM at 7 p.m. on Labor Day Monday, Sept. 3, followed by day-long windows Tuesday – Thursday. The telecast on Thursday, Sept. 6, will include the Mixed Doubles Championship.
- On the final day of the tournament, Sunday, Sept. 9, ESPN2 will televise live the women’s doubles championship at 12:30 p.m., and will review all the action at 9 p.m. with a special two-hour edition of SportsCenter at the US Open.
All of ESPN2’s telecasts are also available online through ESPNnetworks.com, and on smartphones and tablets via the WatchESPN app. Both are accessible to fans who receive their video service from an affiliated provider.
While ESPN2 is on the air, SportsCenter will have the right to cut-in live for updates and key moments. SportsCenter’s daytime edition is on ESPN until 3 p.m. with later editions from 6-7 p.m. and 11 p.m.-midnight. On ESPNEWS, SportsCenter airs from 3-6 p.m. and 7-11 p.m.
On Thursday, Sept. 6, the evening telecast at 7 p.m. will start with an exhibition doubles match played for charity – actor Adam Sandler will team with ESPN’s John McEnroe to play against actor Kevin James paired with tennis great Jim Courier. Sandler, McEnroe and James all were raised in Queens, New York, and Courier now lives in New York. Comedian Colin Quinn, a native of Brooklyn, New York, will serve as the chair umpire and no doubt will have to deal with some demonstrative on-court behavior.
The ESPN Tennis Team
- Chris Evert, who joined ESPN in 2011 counts a record six US Open titles among her numerous career highlights, including 18 major titles and the best career win-loss record in history.
- Cliff Drysdale, a two-time Wimbledon and French Open semifinalist and a US Open finalist who has been with ESPN since its first tennis telecast in 1979, Drysdale was a leader on the court – as one of the first to use a two-hand backhand – and off the court, as the first president of the ATP.
- Darren Cahill, who once reached the US Open semifinals and the Australian Open doubles finals and went on to coach fellow Australian Lleyton Hewitt and Andre Agassi, has worked for ESPN since 2007.
- Mary Joe Fernandez, who played in three Major finals and won two Majors in doubles, won a Gold Medal in doubles at the 1992 and 1996 Olympics and a Bronze in singles in 1992. An ESPN analyst since 2000, she leads the United States’ Fed Cup team and recently coached the U.S. women’s Olympic team at Wimbledon where Serena Williams won gold in singles and teamed with her sister Venus for the gold in doubles.
- Chris Fowler, who joined ESPN in 1986 and has hosted College GameDay on football Saturdays since 1990, has hosted tennis since 2003, branching out over the years to also call matches. His diverse resume includes World Cup soccer, college basketball including the Final Four, the X Games and Triple Crown horse racing events, after first serving as host of Scholastic Sports America and then anchoring SportsCenter.
- Brad Gilbert, whose flair and penchant for unique nicknames for players has enlivened ESPN’s tennis telecasts since 2004, parlayed his playing career – once reaching the quarterfinals of the US Open and at Wimbledon – into coaching Andre Agassi (six Major titles with Brad), Andy Roddick (US Open victory) and Andy Murray.
- LZ Granderson, a writer for ESPN The Magazine and ESPN.com, will provide his perspective in reports and features as he did at Wimbledon this summer. He has also appeared on SportsCenter, Outside the Lines and ESPN First Take. He also writes for CNN.com and has previously worked at the Atlanta Journal Constitution.
- John McEnroe won four US Open crowns – plus three at Wimbledon – during his storied career, which included 10 more major championships in doubles or mixed doubles. He also led the U.S. to four Davis Cup titles and won the NCAA’s while attending Stanford. He has worked the US Open for ESPN since 2009, adding Wimbledon to his ESPN resume this year.
- Patrick McEnroe, who has worked for ESPN since 1995, was the U.S. Davis Cup captain 2001-2010 and in 2007 the team won its first championship since 1995. A three-time singles All-American at Stanford – where the team won NCAA titles in 1986 and 1988 – he is General Manager, USTA Elite Player Development. He won the 1992 French Open doubles title and reached the 1991 Australian Open semifinals in singles.
- Chris McKendry, a SportsCenter anchor since joining ESPN in 1996, serves as a host at the US Open and Australian Open for ESPN. She attended Drexel University on a tennis scholarship.
- Tom Rinaldi will serve as a reporter and will call matches, as he first did at Wimbledon this summer. His features and interviews have graced a wide variety of ESPN programs – including SportsCenter, Outside the Lines, E:60 and event telecasts such as Wimbledon, tennis’ US Open, golf’s Majors, college football and more – since 2003, winning numerous Sports Emmy Awards along the way.
- Pam Shriver, who started working for ESPN in 1990, long before her Hall of Fame career ended, played in the US Open finals at age 16 (losing to Evert) and won 23 Grand Slam titles in doubles including five at Wimbledon plus a Gold Medal in doubles at the 1988 Olympics.
- Mike Tirico, the voice of ESPN’s Monday Night Football since 2006 and the network’s golf host, will both anchor in the studio and call matches, as he has done since 2009. He added Wimbledon duties this year. After joining ESPN as a SportsCenter anchor in 1991, Tirico has handled a wide variety of assignments in the studio and in play-by-play, on TV and on ESPN Radio, including the NFL, NBA, World Cup Soccer plus college football and basketball.
- Hannah Storm joined ESPN in 2008 as a SportsCenter anchor and has hosted Wimbledon and the US Open on ESPN. Previously, she spent five years with CBS’ The Morning Show and hosted a variety of sports, including Wimbledon, over many years with NBC Sports. She produced the 2010 documentary Unmatched, a “30 for 30” film reviewing the rivalry and friendship between Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova.
More US Open from ESPN, Inc.
ESPN3, the company’s live multi-screen sports network, will once again cover the action from six courts beginning at 1 p.m. the first five days. In total, the network will carry a total of approximately 400 hours of US Open tennis. ESPN3 carries every major global tennis event on the men’s and women’s circuit, including all four Grand Slam tournaments, every ATP World Tour 500 and ATP Masters 1000 event and WTA Premier events featuring all the top-seeded players.
ESPN3 delivers thousands of global sports events annually and accessible online at WatchESPN.com, on smartphones and tablets via the WatchESPN app and through ESPN on Xbox LIVE to Gold members. It is currently available to 73 million homes at no additional cost to fans who receive their high-speed Internet connection or video subscription from an affiliated service provider.
For fans who receive ESPN’s linear networks as part of their video subscription via Time Warner Cable, Bright House Networks, Verizon FiOS TV or Comcast Xfinity TV, WatchESPN will provide live complete coverage from ESPN2 at WatchESPN.com and through the WatchESPN app on smartphones and tablets, in addition to ESPN3’s multi-screen offering.
- Courtcast: A multi-tool application with all-court scoring, match stats, Cover It Live conversations, poll questions, rolling Twitter feeds and scrolling bottom line.
- 5 Things We Learned: Daily video segments wrapping up the five biggest storylines of the day.
- Digital Serve: Exclusive daily dotcom video segment previewing the next day’s action.
- Slam Central: Home of all the best US Open content, including columns by Greg Garber, highlights and the latest results.
- Open Notebook: An aggregation of what the latest happenings are on the grounds of Flushing Meadows. From interviews, latest results, and even vetting the food, fans will get a taste of everything.
Beginning Wednesday, August 22, espnW.com will preview the US Open with several features including the players to watch and a spotlight on Venus Williams. Throughout the tournament, espnW.com will have daily features including “A Life at the US Open” – a look at the people behind the scenes. Additionally espnW will have features, columns, commentary, photo galleries, videos, The Word on location and more.
ESPN Interactive TV will be presented on DIRECTV. During the ESPN2 telecast windows for the first five days, a six-screen mosaic will include the ESPN2 program, along with matches with commentary from five other courts. In total, viewers will have access to more than 435 hours of live tennis action and 140 extra matches. Production will be enhanced with press conferences, interviews and features that will be added during court changeovers and between matches. All six screens can be expanded to full screen or picture-in-picture at the touch of the remote button. In addition, DIRECTV will offer “Matches On Now,” a graphic across the bottom with scores from each of the matches currently on the court channels, with the ability to tune directly to the match, and “Results,” an instant look at real-time scores and schedule info for matches ahead – all without leaving the match the viewer is watching.
ESPN Deportes will present news and information coverage of the US Open across its platforms. ESPN Deportes TV and Radio will feature daily segments in a variety of news and information shows. ESPNdeportes.com will serve U.S. Hispanic fans featuring webisodes of “ESPiaNdo” with the latest news and information every day. In addition, the site will offer special daily reports, highlights from New York and updates across social media.
ESPN International will again offer over 170 hours of live television coverage throughout Latin America, the Caribbean and Sub-Saharan Africa. In Latin America, coverage will be available in high definition. Coverage to Spanish-speaking countries in Latin America will be anchored from a set at the National Tennis Center in New York by Luis Alvarez and Eduardo Varela with analysts Javier Frana and Jose Luis Clerc and reporters Nicolas Pereira and Carolina Guillen. In addition, Martin Urruty will report daily for SportsCenter in Latin America. Sam Gore and Mark Brown will handle English play-by-play with analysts Jimmy Arias and Kathy Rinaldi. For ESPN Brasil, the commentators will be Everaldo Marques, Fernando Meligeni, William Tavares and reporter Marcella Goncalves.
Online, Latin America’s ESPN Play (Watch ESPN in Brazil) will feature over 500 hours of live streaming which will include up to eight tennis courts in separate windows. A daily recap, ESPiaNdo, hosted by Varela, will include highlights and analysis on ESPNdeportes.com and ESPNPlay.com.
ESPN Classic: Great US Open Matches from the Past
This week, ESPN Classic will present great US Open matches from the past, interview programs with Dick Schaap sitting down with tennis greats, and episodes of ESPN’s Peabody Award-winning SportsCentury series. Highlights:
Tuesday, Aug. 21
- 3 a.m. — 1974 US Open Women’s Final: Billie Jean King vs Evonne Goolagong
- 8 a.m. — Schaap One on One: Martina Navratilova, Part I
- 8:30 a.m. — Schaap One on One: Martina Navratilova, Part II
- 9 a.m. — Schaap One on One: Billie Jean King
- 10 a.m. — SportsCentury: Chris Evert
- 11 a.m. — 1984 US Open Men’s Semifinal: John McEnroe vs Jimmy Connors
Wednesday, Aug. 22
- 1 a.m. — 1980 US Open Men’s Final: John McEnroe vs Bjorn Borg
- 3 a.m. — 1981 US Open Men’s Final: John McEnroe vs Bjorn Borg
- 11 a.m. — 1976 US Open Men’s Final: Jimmy Connors vs Bjorn Borg
- 11 p.m. — 1991 US Open Men’s Round of 16: Jimmy Connors vs Aaron Krickstein
Thursday, Aug. 23
- 1 a.m. — 1995 US Open Men’s Final: Pete Sampras vs Andre Agassi
- 3 a.m. — 1990 US Open Men’s Final: Pete Sampras vs Andre Agassi
- 1:30 p.m. — 2001 US Open Women’s Final: Venus Williams vs Serena Williams
- 3:30 p.m. — 2002 US Open Women’s Final: Serena Williams vs Venus Williams
- 11 p.m. — 2005 US Open Men’s Final: Roger Federer vs Andre Agassi
Friday, Aug. 24
1 a.m. — 2006 US Open, 3rd Round: Andre Agassi vs Benjamin Becker
3 a.m. — 1992 US Open Men’s Semifinal: Stefan Edberg vs Michael Chang
1 p.m. — 2002 US Open Men’s Final: Pete Sampras vs Andre Agassi
3 p.m. — 2011 US Open Men’s Final: Novak Djokovic vs Rafael Nadal
5 p.m.– SportsCentury: Martina Navratilova
6 p.m. — SportsCentury: John McEnroe
ESPN – All Four Slams, All In One Place
Tennis has been part of ESPN since its first week on the air and provided many memorable moments, but it has never been as important as today, with the US Open joining the lineup in 2009, giving ESPN all four Grand Slam events, something no other U.S. network has ever done, let alone in one year. ESPN has presented the Australian Open since 1984, the French Open since 2002 (plus 1986 – 1993), and Wimbledon since 2003, with exclusivity for live television with all other rights extended in a 12-year agreement starting this year.
ESPN debuted September 7, 1979, and the first tennis telecast was exactly one week later, September 14, a Davis Cup tie, Argentina at U.S. from Memphis with Cliff Drysdale on the call and John McEnroe playing.
In addition, broadband network ESPN3, now in nearly 72 million homes, carries thousands of hours of tennis annually, including all four Grand Slam events, plus ATP 1000 and 500 tournaments and WTA Premier Events, and season-ending championships for both tours. Also, ESPN Classic shows great matches from the past and the sport receives extensive coverage on SportsCenter, ESPNEWS, Spanish-language ESPN Deportes, ESPN Radio, ESPN.com and ESPN The Magazine. ESPN 3D aired its first tennis at Wimbledon in 2011.
ESPN2 HD & the 2012 US Open
|Mon, Aug 27 – Fri, Aug 31||1 – 11 p.m.||Early Round Action|
|Mon, Sept 3||7 – 11 p.m.||Round of 16|
|Tue, Sept 4||1 – 11 p.m.||Men’s Round of 16 / Women’s Quarterfinals|
|Wed, Sept 5||Noon – 11 p.m.||Quarterfinals|
|Thur, Sept 6||Noon – 11 p.m.||Men’s Quarterfinals / Mixed Doubles Final|
|Sun, Sept 9||12:30 – 2:30 p.m.||Women’s Doubles Final|
|9 – 11 p.m.||SportsCenter at the US Open|