Tennis Channel names Courier
LOS ANGELES — Tennis Channel is adding Hall of Famer Jim Courier to its on-air roster for its fourth US Open, August 27 through September 9. As lead men’s tennis analyst, the current U.S. Davis Cup captain and four-time major singles champion will provide his unique point of view during much of the network’s 70-plus match hours. In all, Tennis Channel will devote close to 245 hours of US Open-related programming to the two-week tournament, a round-the-clock schedule built on matches all day, US Open Tonight after hours and Breakfast at the Open the following morning.
Courier, through a multiyear agreement with the network, joins an all-star stable of Tennis Channel personalities, including fellow Hall of Famers Martina Navratilova and Tracy Austin, and sportscasting mainstays Bill Macatee and Ted Robinson (see complete talent roster, below). In 2011 he offered analysis during select first-week matches, marking his first appearance on the channel. This year his role is being expanded throughout the event.
“We had fun last year and I look forward to doing more matches with Tennis Channel at this year’s US Open,” said Courier. “With different men’s singles winners at each of the other majors, as well as the Olympics, there are a lot of question marks coming into the tournament this time around, and I’m excited to see how it’s all going to unfold.”
No network devotes as many hours of television to the US Open as Tennis Channel does each summer while the sport’s largest spectacle takes place. In addition to full slates of matches most days, highlight and analysis shows US Open Tonight and Breakfast at the Open bridge the late-night and early morning hours with the latest on-court activity. The tournament’s first day, Monday, Aug. 27, represents Tennis Channel’s typical US Open telecast schedule during the event. The network is live at 10:30 a.m. ET, with a new, half-hour lead-in show that breaks down everything that has happened to that point and what can be expected in the day ahead.
Match coverage gets underway at 11 a.m. and runs until 7 p.m. ET. US Open Tonight airs from 11 p.m. to 2:30 a.m., followed by an immediate encore. At 6 a.m. Breakfast at the Open takes viewers to the start of the next day’s play at 10:30 a.m. During almost any 24-hour period, viewers will be able to turn to Tennis Channel and stay on top of the US Open.
As always with a Tennis Channel Grand Slam telecast, the production team and talent will offer an immersive US Open experience to its audiences, following the action wherever it takes place on the grounds of the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows. This means capturing the tournament’s unique moments and most-recognized attributes - its blistering energy, unbridled emotion and frenetic pace among them — whether they occur on the court of play, the outer plaza or in the stands with the fans themselves. Since Tennis Channel first covered the world’s largest annually attended paid sporting event in 2009, the network has tried to create an on-air environment that can only be replicated with a ticket to the prestigious competition.
Courier is widely regarded as one of tennis’ all-time greats and a key contributor to the sport’s heightened American popularity and success in the era in which he played (1988-2000). His resume reads like an aspiring pro’s dream: four major singles championships, 23 singles titles overall, two Davis Cup crowns and time at the top of the sport’s singles rankings as World No. 1. Along with countrymen Andre Agassi, Michael Chang and Pete Sampras, Courier is credited with America’s dominance of the sport in the 1990s, and remains one of the game’s most prominent faces worldwide to this day. Since his retirement, Courier has had successful runs on the Champions Tour senior circuit and currently leads the U.S. Davis Cup team as its captain, his second year at the helm (Tennis Channel televises both Champions Tour and Davis Cup competition). Courier also has appeared on television as a tennis analyst for NBC, USA Network and Channel 7 Australia. He was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 2005.
As lead men’s analyst, Courier will work closely with Grand Slam pillars Macatee and Navratilova, who are appearing in their 20th major together for Tennis Channel - every one the network has covered. Ted Robinson, Ian Eagle and Brett Haber also are on play-by-play detail, resuming roles they held at last year’s US Open, along with analysis from former players Austin, Lindsay Davenport, Justin Gimelstob and Rennae Stubbs. Hall of Famer and accomplished tennis broadcaster Mats Wilander will handle analyst duties during the men’s singles final, once Courier segues into preparation for the following weekend’s Davis Cup semifinal in Spain.
Mary Carillo will return for her second stint on Tennis Channel’s US Open team, and lend her wide-ranging talents to everything from analyzing and hosting to reporting and interviewing. Reporters Jon Wertheim of Sports Illustrated and Cari Champion of Tennis Channel’s Court Report also will be on hand to deliver breaking news and in-depth story details.
Media members can follow many of Tennis Channel’s on-air team members on Twitter during this year’s event, including: Martina Navratilova (@martina), Tracy Austin (@thetracyaustin), Lindsay Davenport (@LDavenport76) Justin Gimelstob (@justingimelstob), Rennae Stubbs(@rennaestubbs), Mats Wilander (@mwilander), Bill Macatee (@BMacatee), Ted Robinson (@tedjrobinson), Brett Haber (@BrettHaber), Jon Wertheim (@jon_wertheim) and Cari Champion (@CariChampion).
Visitors to tennischannel.com will be able to keep up with the US Open when they are unable to catch it on television. Beyond real-time scoring, schedules, draws and order of play, fans can access video highlights, behind-the-scenes features, interviews and Court Report news updates. Veteran tennis journalists Steve Flink, Matt Cronin (@TennisReporters) and Joel Drucker (@joeldrucker) are back in New York for Tennis Channel this year, offering insight and analysis with online columns during the tournament. Women’s tour player Yaroslava Shvedova, the first woman in the Open Era to win a golden set (won without dropping a single point), will provide a special look at her tournament experience via a video blog on the network’s Web site. Meanwhile US Open hairstylist Julien Farel, the man who makes sure the players look good when they walk onto the court or into an interview, will return for a second year of blogging for the network.
Web visitors can also try their luck at Tennis Channel’s US Open prediction game, “Racquet Bracket,” and keep up with the network via favorite social media platforms. Tennis Channel is active on Facebook (www.facebook.com/tennischannel), Twitter (twitter.com/tennischannel), YouTube (youtube.com/tennischannel) and Viddy (viddy.com/tennischannel).
Tennis Channel’s Live 2012 US Open Coverage Schedule
|Monday, Aug. 27||10:30 a.m.-7 p.m.||First-Round Action|
|Tuesday, Aug. 28||10:30 a.m.-7 p.m.||First-Round Action|
|Wednesday, Aug. 29||10:30 a.m.-7 p.m.||First-Round, Second-Round Action|
|Thursday, Aug. 30||10:30 a.m.-7 p.m.||Second-Round Action|
|Friday, Aug. 31||10:30 a.m.-7 p.m.||Second-Round, Third-Round Action|
|Saturday, Sept. 1||7 p.m.-11 p.m.||Third-Round Action|
|Sunday, Sept. 2||7 p.m.-11 p.m.||Third-Round, Fourth-Round Action|
|Tuesday, Sept. 4||10:30 a.m.-7 p.m.||Fourth-Round Action, Doubles|
|Wednesday, Sept. 5||10:30 a.m.-7 p.m.||Doubles|
|Thursday, Sept. 6||10:30 a.m.-7 p.m.||Doubles, Juniors|
Tennis Channel’s US Open Tonight, Breakfast at the Open Schedule
Tournament highlight and interview show US Open Tonight will run from 11 p.m.-2:30 a.m. ET from the first Monday, Aug. 27, through the second Thursday, Sept. 6. An immediate encore will follow the show’s nightly premiere from 2:30 a.m.-6 a.m. ET. Beginning Tuesday, Aug. 28, and running through Friday, Sept. 7, Breakfast at the Open will air from 6 a.m.-10:30 a.m. ET most mornings. Exceptions will occur Saturday through Monday on Labor Day weekend, and on the final Friday, Sept. 7, when an additional 30 minutes will extend the program to 11 a.m. ET.
Tennis Channel’s typical daily US Open coverage schedule is as follows (all times ET):
10:30 a.m.-7 p.m. - Live Matches
11 p.m.-2:30 a.m. - US Open Tonight
2:30 a.m.-6 a.m. - US Open Tonight (Encore)
6 a.m.-10:30 a.m. - Breakfast at the Open
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