Nadal, Federer, Wozniacki and Clijsters Lead Top Fields
125 Hours on ESPN3.com, BNP Paribas Open Finals on ABC
With the top men and women players in the world – led by Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, Caroline Wozniacki and Kim Clijsters – the BNP Paribas Open from Indian Wells, Calif., and the Sony Ericsson Open in Miami – return to ESPN this month. Both events – the two biggest tennis tournaments in the world outside the majors – will enjoy extensive schedules on ESPN3.com, with action also on ESPN2 and the first tennis on ABC since 2003.
ESPN3.com will present 125 hours combined from the events, streaming live the world feed from the main court at each tournament (started March 12 at Indian Wells, starts March 26 in Miami). ESPN3.com will offer more than 100 exclusive hours, and will simulcast ESPN2’s matches.
The TV schedule totals 30 hours:
- Indian Wells – ESPN2 will air the men’s quarterfinals and women’s semifinals Friday, March 18 – with the men’s semifinals broadcast on ABC on Saturday, March 19, and the men’s and women’s finals on ABC on Sunday, March 20.
- Miami – the quarterfinals and semifinals March 30 – April 1 on ESPN2.
All programming on ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU is also available online through ESPNnetworks.com
In California, Cliff Drysdale will call the action on the women’s matches with Mary Joe Fernandez while Chris Fowler teams with Darren Cahillfor men’s play. Pam Shriver will serve as a courtside reporter on all matches. In Florida, Drysdale and Fernandez will again be paired with Patrick McEnroe joining Fowler on men’s matches. Brad Gilbert will be the sideline reporter.
ESPN2 last televised these hardcourt events in 2007, having aired each for many years, including the Florida tournament since 1985. The events are two of the nine ATP World Tour Masters 1000 tournaments and are two of the four mandatory events on the WTA tour.
Top Players in Action
Nadal and Federer, ranked no. 1 and 2 in the world, will led a field that includes no. 3-5: Australian Open champ Novak Djokovic, Robin Soderling and Andy Murray. Wozniacki is the top-ranked women’s player, followed by Clijsters (winner of the last two Grand Slam events, the US and Australian Opens), Vera Zvonareva, Francesca Schiavone and Samantha Stosur.
|BNP Paribas Open, Indian Wells, Calif.|
|Fri, March 18||4-6 p.m.11 p.m.-1 a.m.||Women’s Semifinal #1Women’s Semifinal #2||ESPN2 + ESPN3.comESPN2 + ESPN3.com|
|Sat, March 19||2-6 p.m.||Men’s Semifinals||ABC|
|Sun, March 20||2-6 p.m.||Men’s + Women’s Finals||ABC|
|Sony Ericsson Open, Miami|
|Wed, March 30||1-5 p.m.||Men’s + Women’s Quarterfinals||ESPN2 + ESPN3.com|
|7-11 p.m.||Men’s + Women’s Quarterfinals||ESPN2 + ESPN3.com|
|Thur, March 31||1-5 p.m.||Women’s Semi #1 + Men’s Q-final||ESPN2 + ESPN3.com|
|11 p.m.-1 a.m. – *||Women’s Semifinal #2||ESPN2 + ESPN3.com|
|Fri, April 1||1-3 p.m.||Men’s Semifinal #1||ESPN2 + ESPN3.com|
|* – Sameday tape||7-9 p.m.||Men’s Semifinal #2||ESPN2 + ESPN3.com|
ESPN – All Four Slams, All In One Place
Tennis has been part of ESPN since its first week on the air and provided many memorable moments, but it has never been as important as today, with the US Open joining the lineup in 2009, giving ESPN all four Grand Slam events, something no other U.S. network has ever done, let alone in one year. ESPN has presented the Australian Open since 1984, the French Open since 2002 (plus 1986 – 1993), and Wimbledon since 2003.
ESPN debuted September 7, 1979, and the first tennis telecast was exactly one week later, September 14, a Davis Cup tie, Argentina at U.S. from Memphis with Cliff Drysdale on the call and John McEnroe playing.
Almost all the tennis is found on ESPN2, giving the network the identity as the destination for tennis fans and giving the sport a home that is flexible enough to carry extensive live programming – and adding to the schedule as storylines dictate. In addition, broadband network ESPN3.com, now in 65 million homes, carries thousands of hours of tennis annually, including all four Grand Slam events, plus ATP 1000 and 500 tournaments, usually with additional, exclusive matches. Also, ESPN Classic shows great matches from the past and the sport receives extensive coverage on SportsCenter, ESPNEWS, Spanish-language ESPN Deportes, ESPN Radio, ESPN.com and ESPN The Magazine.