Austin Returns as Host of Tennis Channel Academy
LOS ANGELES — One of America’s all-time most popular tennis stars, Tracy Austin, will return as host of Tennis Channel Academy, which begins its second season on Tennis Channel this month. Austin, who took viewers to six top-level tennis academies during the series’ initial run last autumn, will highlight seven new coaches this year before concluding with a Best of Tennis Channel Academy: Backhands edition. The first episode of Tennis Channel Academy will premiere Sunday, Nov. 15, at 6:30 p.m. ET, and will be replayed on the network during subsequent weeks. A complete schedule can be found at www.tennischannel.com/schedule.
“Tennis Channel Academy gives recreational players access to the best coaches in a way that just wasn’t available before,” said Austin. “In our first season we were able to showcase not just several of the best tennis pros in the sport but also dozens of techniques and drills that can instantly improve anyone’s game. We have another great lineup in place with this year’s coaches and I’m excited to share their lessons with our viewers.”
Tennis Channel Academy introduces viewers to the top coaches in the game, men and women who teach some of the sport’s most accomplished players. Austin unveils technique, conditioning, psychology and overall strategy through a different coach each episode, and brings Tennis Channel viewers the same lessons that regularly guide Grand Slam tournament champions and on-court Olympians. In the first edition of the new season, she introduces audiences to Harold Solomon, former U.S. Davis Cup winner and coach of such stars as Jim Courier, Jennifer Capriati, Monica Seles and current No. 5 singles player Elena Dementieva. Other Tennis Channel Academy coaches this season include Rennae Stubbs, Johan Kriek, Craig Kardon, Wayne Bryan (with twin sons Bob and Mike, one of the most accomplished doubles teams in tennis history), Emilio Sanchez and Brett Hobden.
During the inaugural season of Tennis Channel Academy, viewers visited Nick Bollettieri, Chris Evert and her brother John, Pat Etcheberry, Robert Lansdorp, Rodney Harmon, and Carlos Rodriquez (with former No. 1 Justine Henin).
Austin is perhaps best known for storming onto the tennis scene and dethroning four-time US Open champion Chris Evert in 1979, winning the tournament as a 16-year-old prodigy, the youngest US Open champion in history. She held the No. 1 singles ranking in 1980 before a variety of injuries cut short her career, but nonetheless managed to win 30 career titles, including two US Open singles championships and a Wimbledon mixed doubles title. The International Tennis Hall of Fame inducted Austin into its wings in 1992.
2009 Tennis Channel Academy Schedule (episodes premiere Sundays at 6:30 p.m. ET unless otherwise noted)
|Harold Solomon||Harold Solomon Institute, Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.||Nov. 15|
|Rennae Stubbs||Saddlebrook Resort, Tampa, Fla.||Nov. 22|
|Craig Kardon||Retired player Jeff Tarango’s home, Hermosa Beach, Calif.||Nov. 29|
|Johan Kriek||Johan Kriek Academy, Springbrook Tennis Academy, Fla.||Dec. 6|
|Wayne Bryan||Spanish Hills Country Club, Camarillo, Calif.||Dec. 13, 6 p.m.|
|Emilio Sanchez||Sanchez/Casal Tennis Academy, Naples, Fla.||Dec. 13|
|Brett Hobden||Malibu Racquet Club, Malibu, Calif.||Dec. 20, 6 p.m.|
|Best of Tennis Channel Academy: Backhands||Dec. 20|
Tennis Channel (tennischannel.com) is the only 24-hour, television-based multimedia destination dedicated to both the professional sport and tennis lifestyle. A hybrid of comprehensive sports, health, fitness, pop culture, entertainment, lifestyle and travel programming, the network is home to every aspect of the wide-ranging, worldwide tennis community. It also has the most concentrated single-sport coverage in television, with telecast rights to the US Open, Wimbledon, Roland Garros (French Open), Australian Open, Olympus US Open Series, ATP Masters Series, top-tier Sony Ericsson WTA Tour championship competitions, Davis Cup and Fed Cup by BNP Paribas, and Hyundai Hopman Cup. Tennis Channel is carried by eight of the top 10 MSOs and has a national footprint via DIRECTV and DISH Network.
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