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Austin returns for Tennis Channel Academy

LOS ANGELES — Television’s favorite tennis coach and Hall of Famer Tracy Austin returns to Tennis Channel Academy for a sixth season, bringing viewers the biggest names and brightest minds in the game to help sharpen and hone their on-court skills. Tennis Channel’s half-hour series begins Monday, Jan. 13, at 9 p.m. ET.

Since the show’s debut in 2008, Austin has been introducing Tennis Channel Academy fans to game-changing training from world-renown tennis coaches and players. Each episode showcases a different instructor’s tennis acumen, allowing him or her to share specific drills, techniques and insights that boost the knowledge and knowhow of anyone stepping onto the court.

The new season of Tennis Channel Academy starts in conjunction with Tennis Channel’s Australian Open coverage next week, with lessons from former world No. 1 and three-time Australian Open singles champion Mats Wilander. With a total of seven Grand Slam singles titles to his name, Wilander first introduces viewers to his traveling fantasy camp Wilander on Wheels. He then coaches players through the crossover step in footwork drills, plans personal game strategy and gives an insider perspective into his infamous slice backhand stroke as an approach to tactical gameplay.

Subsequent episodes featuring tennis ATP pro turned game-winning coach Michael Joyce as well as 18-time Grand Slam singles champion Martina Navratilova will premiere Jan. 19 and 20, respectively. A complete schedule can be found at www.tennischannel.com/schedule.

Michael Joyce, perhaps best known for his time spent coaching four-time Grand Slam winner Maria Sharapova, illustrates the importance of good ball anticipation in matches while also emphasizing the use of pattern variables during gameplay. He rounds out his time with Tennis Channel Academy viewers by instructing players on the strategic significance of practicing the second serve.

Completing the Tennis Channel Academy season and joining Austin on the courts is fellow Tennis Channel Australian Open commentator Martina Navratilova. A legendary player in tennis - a former world No. 1 with a total of 58 career Grand Slam titles - Navratilova teaches viewers how to get comfortable playing and beating left-handed players such as herself, the benefits of incorporating serve and volley tactics, and drills to become a better doubles player.

2014 Tennis Channel Academy Premiere Schedule

Episode Location Date Time (ET)
Mats Wilander Sun Valley, Idaho Jan. 13 9 p.m.
Michael Joyce Riviera Country Club, Los Angeles, Calif. Jan. 19 11 a.m.
Martina Navratilova University of Miami, Coral Gables, Fla. Jan. 20 9 p.m. Jan. 20 9 p.m.

Tracy Austin is perhaps best known for storming onto the tennis scene and dethroning four-time US Open champion 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.

 

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