Tennis Channel to air WTA Championships
LOS ANGELES — Tennis Channel will once again offer complete coverage at the women’s tennis season-ending championship competition, with close to 35 hours of live, week-long match play at the TEB BNP Paribas WTA Championships in Istanbul, Turkey, October 25-30. The network will follow six-and-a-half hours of live weekday telecasts with comprehensive encore coverage each evening in prime-time, for close to 80 hours of additional programming.
With the likes of singles stars Maria Sharapova and top-ranked Caroline Wozniacki along with American doubles players Liezel Huber, Lisa Raymond and Vania King, the prestigious year-end competition pits the world’s top-eight singles players and top-four double teams against each other, respectively, in the final tournament of the WTA season.
During weekdays, Tennis Channel’s live coverage will begin at 10 a.m. ET, with weekend coverage times varying (complete schedule follows). A similar schedule is on tap for the prime-time encore matches, which begin each weeknight at 8 p.m. ET. Veteran sportscaster Ted Robinson will share play-by-play duties with former player Leif Shiras, both of them long-time Tennis Channel on-air booth presences. Lindsay Davenport, who won the year-end singles title in 1999 and doubles crowns in 1996, 1997 and 1998, will split analyst time with Corina Morariu, who reached the No. 1 doubles ranking during her playing days. Rennae Stubbs, also a doubles star on the court, will handle on-site feature reporting for the network.
Each autumn for the last competition of the women’s professional season, the WTA separates its top-eight singles points earners into two groups of four for a round-robin tournament format. After three nights in which each woman plays the other three women in her group, the top two in each group advance to a traditional, single-elimination semifinal and championship stage. The system ensures fans of seeing the eight best players of 2011 play at least three matches during the week, all against the other top performers of the season.
Beyond Sharapova and Wozniacki, this year’s singles field will include Petra Kvitova, Victoria Azarenka, Li Na, Vera Zvonareva and U.S. Open winner Samantha Stosur, with the eighth and final spot waiting to be claimed this week.
The doubles championship is determined in a traditional single-elimination format, with the top-four teams qualifying for the event. In addition to U.S. players Huber, Raymond (teammates) and King (who pairs with Kazakhstan’s Yaroslava Shvedova), the doubles brackets will include Kveta Peschke/Katarina Srebotnik and Gisela Dulko/Flavia Pennetta.
Tennis Channel’s Web site, www.tennischannel.com, offers additional TEB BNP Paribas WTA Championships information.
Tennis Channel’s 2011 TEB BNP Paribas WTA Championships Schedule
|Tuesday, Oct. 25||10 a.m.-4:30 p.m.||Round-Robin Action|
|Wednesday, Oct. 26||10 a.m.-4:30 p.m.||Round-Robin Action|
|Thursday, Oct. 27||10 a.m.-4:30 p.m.||Round-Robin Action|
|Friday, Oct. 28||10 a.m.-4:30 p.m.||Round-Robin Action|
|Saturday, Oct. 29||6 a.m.-7:30 a.m.||Doubles Semifinal|
|8 a.m.-1:30 p.m.||Singles Semifinals, Doubles Semifinal|
|Sunday, Oct. 30||8:30 a.m.-10 a.m.||Doubles Final|
|8 p.m.-10 p.m.||Singles Final|
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 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 eight of the top 10 video providers.
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