When ESPN televises live the Wimbledon Ladies Championship on Saturday, July 7, at 9 a.m. ET, either a tennis legend will further elevate her legacy, or an emerging star will win her first Major and will become the top-ranked woman in the world.
Serena Williams, the No. 6 seed, will be vying for her 14th Major title and fifth at Wimbledon, but her first since Wimbledon two years ago. Since then, a series of health issues derailed her career. On the other side of the net, No. 3 Agnieszka Radwanska is playing in her first Major final but will be the top-ranked player in the world with a win. She is the first Pole to play for the Wimbledon Championship since Jadwiga Jedrzejowska in 1937.
The Ladies’ Championships – as well as the Gentlemen’s Championship on Sunday, July 8 – will be preceded at 8 a.m. by the one-hour Breakfast at Wimbledon, hosted by Hannah Storm. ABC will reair the finals on the day they take place, July 7 and 8, at 3 p.m.
All the action on ESPN is also available through WatchESPN online at WatchESPN.com and on smartphones and tablets via the WatchESPN app. ESPN 3D will televise both Championships live.
Chris Evert on the Matchup, and Serena
“The Championship is Serena’s to win or lose. She controls every point with her power, be it her serve or her return. It will be interesting to see Radwanska’s game plan. She can’t try to overpower Serena. She will have to mix it up and get Serena off her rhythm.
“Since Serena has been back, look at her results in Majors. She was understandably rusty here last year, got tight in the US Open final, and had bad losses in Australia and Paris. But it’s a different Serena we see now. We haven’t seen Serena play as well as she has these last two matches since before she hurt her foot. She has great power and movement and the confidence she needs to go with that.”
ESPN and Wimbledon
The new schedule for ESPN’s 10th Wimbledon – exclusive and all-live – is the result of a 12-year agreement between ESPN and the All England Lawn Tennis Club announced just after the conclusion of the 2011 Championships. The remaining schedule:
|Sat, July 7||8 a.m. – 9 a.m.||Breakfast at Wimbledon||ESPN / ESPN3||Live|
|9 a.m. – 2 p.m.||Ladies’ Championship
No. 3 Radwanska vs. No. 6 Williams
|ESPN / ESPN3D / ESPN3||Live|
|3 – 6 p.m.||Ladies’ Championship||ABC||Tape|
|Sun, July 8||8 a.m. – 9 a.m.||Breakfast at Wimbledon||ESPN / ESPN3||Live|
|9 a.m. – 3 p.m.||Gentlemen’s Championship||ESPN / ESPN3D / ESPN3||Live|
|3 – 6 p.m.||Gentlemen’s Championship||ABC||Tape|
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 in 2012.
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.