Celebrity Tennis to Feature David Hasselhoff
LOS ANGELES — Tennis Channel, the only 24-hour, television-based multimedia destination dedicated to both the professional sport and tennis lifestyle, will showcase actor and singer David Hasselhoff in the next edition of original series Celebrity Tennis. Set to premier Sunday, March 6, at 7 p.m. ET, the episode will air multiple times in the following week; the complete schedule can be found on the network’s Web site: www.tennischannel.com/schedule.
In each episode of Celebrity Tennis, former tennis professional and actor Vince Van Patten takes viewers inside the life of a different celebrity who has a burning passion for the sport. The host interviews these men and women about their love of the game and allows them to demonstrate their skills on the court. “The Hoff” joins a list of previous Celebrity Tennis profiles that includes Dr. Phil McGraw, Christie Brinkley, Gus Hanson and Brandy.
During his spirited and jovial visit with the world-renowned former star of TV’s Baywatch and Knight Rider, Van Patten tours Hasselhoff’s San Fernando Valley home, where they come upon such unusual keepsakes as a 750-pound cork replica of “The Hoff” that was created for use in a feature film. There are also more traditional, tennis-themed memorabilia, like a racquet signed by Andre Agassi. Van Patten and Hasselhoff then hit the courts to volley, work on serves and practice trick shots with the assistance of two ball girls - who are appropriately clad in Baywatch’s signature red swimsuits.
Hasselhoff tells Van Patten that he started playing tennis with his dad as a small child and has remained a fervent fan and player throughout his life, although he describes his on-court style as that of a “Swatter… like Dr. Seuss on the court.”
While Hasselhoff can be found courtside at numerous Grand Slam tourneys, he suggests that the sport could afford to be more entertaining for its viewers. If ever named commissioner of tennis for a day, he would pattern the events after WWE wrestling by making the games shorter and allowing the fans in the stands to be more vocal.
Near the end of their time together, the Celebrity Tennis host and television star play a quick, amusing game of “Either/Or.” Hasselhoff admits that he prefers Roger Federer over Rafael Nadal in tennis’ current rivalry, Andre Agassi over Pete Sampras in its most recent rivalry and Jimmy Connors over Bjorn Borg in one of its most classic rivalries. He also likes tennis more than ping pong, singing more than tennis and Knight Rider more than Baywatch.
Film, television actor and commentator of The World Poker Tour, Celebrity Tennis host Van Patten grew up in New York playing tennis in the shadow of the US Open and took up acting when the showbiz family moved to California. He became a professional tennis player in 1979 and spent eight years on the pro circuit. Tennis Channel (www.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 World Tour Masters 1000 events, top-tier WTA competitions, Davis Cup and Fed Cup by BNP Paribas, and Hyundai Hopman Cup. Tennis Channel is carried by nine of the top 10 MSOs, Verizon FiOS TV, AT&T U-verse, DIRECTV and DISH Network.
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