ESPN & Wimbledon 2015 – Djokovic Defends Title, Serena Halfway to True Grand Slam

Tennis

ESPN & Wimbledon 2015 – Djokovic Defends Title, Serena Halfway to True Grand Slam

  • First Ball to Last Ball, Exclusive to ESPN
  • Daylong Coverage Totaling 140 Hours on TV – ESPN, ESPN2 and ABC
  • ESPN3: Record 1,500 Live Hours from 15 Courts; “ESPN3 Surround” Returns for Semis, Championships
  • “Cross Court Coverage” Returns for Monday-Wednesday the Second Week
  • Serena Seeks Second “Serena Slam,” Third Leg of Calendar Year Grand Slam, Sixth Wimbledon
  • Djokovic Defends the Title; Federer, Nadal & Murray Looking for Return to Glory; Wawrinka Hoping Success on Clay Continues on Grass

Top-ranked Novak Djokovic and Serena Williams, plus other former champions and aspiring challengers all descend upon the pristine grass lawns of the All England Club and ESPN’s exclusive coverage of The Championships, Wimbledon – from first ball to the trophies – begins Monday, June 29. ESPN will present 140 hours on TV and a record 1,500 on ESPN3 with action on 15 courts. The fortnight will climax with the Ladies’ and Doubles Championships on ESPN on Saturday, July 11, and the Gentlemen’s Championship on Sunday, July 12.

Highlights

  • The first five weekdays, ESPN begins at 7 a.m. ET for daylong coverage (scheduled to end at 4:30 p.m.). ESPN3 gets started at 6:30 a.m.
  • On Saturday, July 4, ESPN again begins at 7 a.m., but with the one-hour Breakfast at Wimbledon before another day full of action (scheduled to end at 4 p.m.).
  • “Cross Court Coverage” returns the first three days of the second week, with ESPN starting at 8 a.m. and focused on Centre Court all day while fans will enjoy a “grounds pass” with matches from No. 1 Court and elsewhere on ESPN2 beginning at 7 a.m. on Monday, July 6, and at 8 a.m. on July 7 and 8.
  • From Thursday, July 9, to the Championships, all the action is on ESPN, beginning each day with Breakfast at Wimbledon hosted by Hannah Storm (7 a.m. on July 9-10 leading into the semifinals, 8 a.m. on July 11-12, previewing the Championships).
  • On the “middle Sunday,” July 5 – Wimbledon’s traditional annual day of rest – ABC will broadcast a three-hour review of the first week at 3 p.m. ABC will also present encore presentations of the finals on the day they take place, July 11 and 12, at 3 p.m.
  • ESPN3 has increased its multi-screen offering to a tennis Major record 1,500 hours – 15 courts (Centre, Courts 1-3, 5-12, and 16-18.) presented from first ball to last ball each day, with action available on demand afterwards. In addition, ESPN3 will again offer AELTC’s daily [email protected]. As in 2014, for the semifinals and championships an additional “ESPN3 Surround” feed will be added with three boxes – the primary TV view, plus two more, each focusing on one player. ESPN3 is available to 99 million homes. The entire offering is also available in Spanish via ESPNDeportes+.
  • WatchESPN will deliver the ESPN and ESPN2 telecasts, accessible online at WatchESPN.com, on smartphones and tablets via the award-winning WatchESPN app, and streamed on televisions through ESPN on Xbox LIVE to Gold members, Apple TV, Roku and Amazon Fire TV to more than 93 million households nationwide via an affiliated video or internet provider.

The ESPN Tennis Team, the best tennis team in television, at Wimbledon:

  • Darren Cahill, who once reached the US Open semifinals and the Australian Open doubles finals and went on to coach fellow Australian Lleyton Hewitt and Andre Agassi, has worked for ESPN since 2007.
  • Cliff Drysdale, who was inducted into the Tennis Hall of Fame in July 2013, reached the US Open finals and is a two-time Wimbledon and French Open semifinalist. He has been with ESPN since its first tennis telecast in 1979. Drysdale was a leader on the court – a top player for many years who was one of the first to use a two-hand backhand – and off the court, as the first president of the ATP.
  • Chrissie Evert, a Hall of Famer who joined ESPN in 2011, her 18 Major titles include three at Wimbledon. She recorded the best career win-loss record in history, reached more Major singles finals than any man or woman (34), and reached the semis or better in 34 consecutive Majors (1971-83). The AP Female Athlete of the Year four times, in 1976 she was the first woman to be the sole recipient of Sports Illustrated’s Sportswoman of the Year.
  • Mary Joe Fernandez, who played in three Major singles finals and won two Majors in doubles, won a Gold Medal in doubles at the 1992 and 1996 Olympics and a Bronze in singles in 1992.  An ESPN analyst since 2000, she leads the United States’ Fed Cup team and coached the 2012 U.S. women’s Olympic team.
  • Chris Fowler, who joined ESPN in 1986 and hosted College GameDay on football Saturdays for 25 years (1990 – 2014), began hosting tennis in 2003, branching out over the years to also call matches. His diverse resume includes hosting World Cup soccer, SportsCenter, college basketball including the Final Four, the X Games and Triple Crown horse racing. In 2014 he became the lead play caller on ABC’s Saturday night college football, including the new championship game.
  • Brad Gilbert, whose flair and unique nicknames for players has enlivened ESPN’s tennis telecasts since 2004, parlayed his playing career – once reaching the quarterfinals of the US Open and at Wimbledon – into coaching Andre Agassi (six Major titles with Brad), Andy Roddick (US Open victory) and Andy Murray.
  • Jason Goodall will voice features that analyze the action through statistics and computer graphics, as he did for the Australian Open. A one-time standout among Juniors in Britain whose career was ended by injury at 21, he later coached Jennifer Capriati as well as ESPN’s Mary Joe Fernandez and Pam Shriver.
  • LZ Granderson, a senior writer for ESPN The Magazine (and formerly a tennis editor) and ESPN.com who has covered the sport for years, will provide his perspective in reports and features. He often appears on SportsCenter, Outside the Lines and other ESPN programs. He recently joined ABC News as a contributor and has previously worked at CNN and the Atlanta Journal Constitution.
  • John McEnroe won seven Major singles championships, including three at Wimbledon, during his storied career, which included 10 more major championships in doubles or mixed doubles. He also led the U.S. to four Davis Cup titles and won the NCAA’s while attending Stanford. He has worked the US Open for ESPN since 2009, adding Wimbledon to his ESPN resume this year.
  • Patrick McEnroe, who has worked for ESPN since 1995, was the U.S. Davis Cup captain 2001-2010 and in 2007 the team won its first championship since 1995.  A three-time singles All-American at Stanford – where the team won NCAA titles in 1986 and 1988 – he served as General Manager, USTA Elite Player Development from 2008 – 2015.  He won the 1992 French Open doubles title and reached the 1991 Australian Open semifinals in singles.
  • Chris McKendry, a SportsCenter anchor since joining ESPN in 1996, will return to host live Wimbledon telecasts. She has served this role at the other three Majors, and in 2007 she hosted ESPN’s late-night Wimbledon highlights program. She attended Drexel University on a tennis scholarship.
  • Tom Rinaldi will serve as a reporter and will call matches. His features and interviews have graced a wide variety of ESPN programs – including SportsCenter, Outside the Lines, E:60 and event telecasts such as Wimbledon, golf’s Majors, college football and more – since 2003, winning numerous Sports Emmy Awards.
  • Hannah Storm, who joined ESPN in 2008 as a SportsCenter anchor, will host Breakfast at Wimbledon leading into the semifinals and Championships. Previously, she spent five years with CBS’ The Morning Show and for NBC Sports hosted a variety of sports, including Wimbledon. She also hosts the US Open, and was a producer on two ESPN Films tennis projects: Unmatched, reviewing the rivalry and friendship between Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova, and Venus Vs. about Venus Williams and her fight for gender equity in prize money.
  • Pam Shriver, who started working for ESPN in 1990, long before her Hall of Fame career ended, played in the US Open finals at age 16 (losing to Evert) and three times in the Wimbledon semifinals. She won 21 Grand Slam titles in women’s doubles (another in Mixed) including five at Wimbledon plus a Gold Medal in doubles at the 1988 Olympics.
  • Mike Tirico, the voice of ESPN’s Monday Night Football since 2006 and the network’s golf host, will again anchor telecasts and call matches, as he does at the US Open. After joining ESPN as a SportsCenter anchor in 1991, Tirico has handled a wide variety of assignments in the studio and in play-by-play, on TV and on ESPN Radio, including the NFL, NBA, World Cup Soccer plus college football and basketball.

Surveying the Fields

Last week, Evert and John McEnroe previewed Wimbledon on a conference call with mediahttp://es.pn/1GTcQ9B

MEN

  • The “Big Four” of men’s tennis – Roger Federer (17 career Major wins), Rafael Nadal (14), defending champion Novak Djokovic (8) and Andy Murray (2) – have reigned in Britain unlike any of the other three Majors. In the last 12 years, their grip has been without break, with seven, two, two and one crown on the grass, respectively.
  • Overall, the fab four have won 37 of the last 41 Majors and comprise 33 of the last 38 Major finalists (61 of the last 74). With Djokovic ranked No. 1, Federer No. 2, Murray No. 3 and Nadal a dangerous No. 10, any other winner would represent a big surprise.
  • If anyone can break that quartet, the leading contender is Stan Wawrinka, riding high after winning the French Open, his second Major, and ranked No. 4.

WOMEN

  • Can anyone stop Serena Williams? The five-time Wimbledon champ comes to London SW19 having won the most recent three Majors and hoping for a second “Serena Slam” as she won four straight 2002-03. Chasing an even more rare feat, with the first two of 2015 she is halfway to a “true” Grand Slam – winning all four Majors in a calendar year. It has not been accomplished by any woman since Steffi Graf in 1988.
  • Defending champion Petra Kvitova’s lefty power may throw a wrench into Serena’s plans. Ranked No. 2, with two Wimbledon trophies on her shelf, she is one of three other former champions in the field (Maria Sharapova, 2004; Venus Williams, 2008, 2007, 2005, 2001, 2000).

MORE TV & DIGITAL MEDIA, AT HOME AND ABROAD

ESPN.com will have previews, reviews, the latest news and videos and more:

  • Courtcast: A multi-tool application with live events via the ESPN3 syndicated player, all-court scoring, match stats, “Scribble Live” conversations, poll questions, rolling Twitter feeds and scrolling bottom line
  • Five Things We Learned: Video series reviewing the top news of the day
  • 60-Second Slice: Everything from Wimbledon each day in one minute
  • Digital Serve: Daily original videos previewing the next day
  • Baseline Buzz:  Greg Garber, Melissa Isaacson and Matt Wilansky weigh in on the hottest topics with a daily, written, roundtable discussion.
  • In addition, writers for Grantland.com and FiveThirtyEight will be on site, developing unique and thought-provoking analysis and features.

espnW.com

  • Complete analysis of the women’s draw when it is announced.
  • Melissa Isaacson will provide on-site coverage for espnW.com (and ESPN.com), including daily columns and analysis of matches.
  • A special emphasis on Serena Williams, as she tries to win her fourth consecutive Grand Slam title.
  • Daily espnW.com analysis segments.
  • Weekly video reports from, discussing play to date.

ESPNDeportes.com will provide live scores and draws, in depth news and coverage of Latin American players, columns, blogs, live chats, video, highlights and news, including ESPiando Wimbledon that will recap the day’s play. The site will also feature Slam Central, a special index page dedicated to all four Grand Slams.

ESPN Interactive TV, now in its eighth year at Wimbledon, will provide multi-screen coverage with commentary of five matches in addition to ESPN or ESPN2 network programs through the second Tuesday of the Championships, on ESPN3 and DirecTV.  Fans will also receive interviews, features, press conferences and studio analysis from the All England Club, hosted by anchor Allen Bestwick.  Match and studio analysts include former players Jeff Tarango, Chandra Rubin and Fred Stolle, working with Chris Bowers, Doug Adler, and Mark Donaldson. In addition to the video offerings, DirecTV viewers can access results, schedules, draws and other interactive features through the “Red Button” application on their remote. In total, ESPN will provide more than 350 hours of coverage through this unique application.

ESPN Classic is airing many memorable matches this month from Wimbledons past, including an upcoming 17-hour marathon of nine matches beginning late Thursday, June 25, at midnight/9 p.m. PT (June 26 at 12 a.m.) with the 2007 Gentlemen’s Championship won by Roger Federer over Rafael Nadal in five sets.   The marathon will conclude with the 2012 and ’13 Gentlemen’s Championships – Federer’s 17th Major win, over Andy Murray, and Murray’s dramatic win a year later over Novak Djokovic, ending Britain’s 77-year drought of men’s champions.

In addition, ESPN Classic will air six matches on the exact day of their 15-, 25-, 30-, 35- or 40-year anniversary:

  • 1980 Gentlemen’s Championship (John McEnroe vs. Bjorn Borg) on Sunday, July 5, at 5 a.m.
  • 1975 Gentlemen’s Championship (Jimmy Connors vs. Arthur Ashe) on Sunday, July 5, at 7 a.m.
  • 1985 Ladies’ Championship (Chris Evert Lloyd vs. Martina Navratilova) on Monday, July 6, at 5 a.m.
  • 1990 Ladies’ Championship (Zina Garrison vs. Martina Navratilova) on Tuesday, July 7, at 5 a.m.
  • 2000 Ladies’ Championship (Lindsay Davenport vs. Venus Williams) on Wednesday, July 8, at 5 a.m.
  • 2000 Gentlemen’s Championship (Pat Rafter vs. Pete Sampras) on Thursday, July 9, at 5 a.m.

ESPN International – the home of tennis’ Grand Slam events in the Caribbean and in Spanish-speaking Latin America – will air over 95 hours of live Wimbledon coverage to over 44 million homes on its multiple television networks throughout the region.  In addition, ESPN+ in the Southern Cone will produce almost 40 additional original live hours.  The pan-regional offering will feature the top-ranked players in the world, while the regional offerings will concentrate on players of local nationality. In addition to the live coverage, ESPN will offer a daily two-hour encore featuring the best match of the day, as well as daily compact airings of feature matches. Broadband’s ESPN Play — ESPN International’s multi-screen broadband service throughout Latin American and the Caribbean – will offer the ESPN3 coverage from the U.S., with 1,500 hours of live coverage from up to 15 courts simultaneously. In addition, ESPN Play will offer the ESPN3 Surround three-screen offering for the Ladies’ and Gentlemen’s Semifinals and Finals.  ESPN’s Spanish-language commentator team at Wimbledon is led by Luis Alfredo Alvarez and Edurado Varela calling matches with analysts Javier Frana and Jose Louis Clerc, along with reporter Nicolas Pereira.

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, with exclusivity for live television with all other rights extended in a 12-year agreement starting in 2012. Exclusivity for the US Open in an 11-year agreement begins in 2015. ESPN3 delivers an unmatched multi-screen presentation of the sport’s four majors, all ATP 1000 and 500 tournaments, WTA Premier Events and season-ending championships for both tours.

 

ESPN & WIMBLEDON 2015

Date Time (ET) Event Network  
Mon, June 29 – Sun, July 12 (no play Sun, 7/5) 6:30 a.m. All TV Courts (up to 15), all day; [email protected] ESPN3 Live
   
Mon, June 29 – Fri, July 3 7 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Early Round Action ESPN Live
Sat, July 4 7 – 8 a.m. Breakfast at Wimbledon ESPN Live
  8 a.m. – 4 p.m. Early Round Action ESPN Live
Sun, July 5 3 – 6 p.m. Highlights of Week One ABC Tape
Mon, July 6 7 a.m. – 5 p.m. Round of 16, No. 1 Court & others ESPN2 Live
  8 a.m. – 3 p.m. Round of 16, Centre Court ESPN Live
Tue, July 7 8 a.m. – 1 p.m. Ladies’ Quarterfinals, Centre Court ESPN Live
  8 – 4 p.m. Ladies’ Quarterfinals, Court One ESPN2 Live
Wed, July 8 8 a.m. – 3 p.m. Gentlemen’s Quarterfinals, Centre Court ESPN Live
  8 a.m. – 4 p.m. Gentlemen’s Quarterfinals,Court One ESPN2 Live
Thur, July 9 7 – 8 a.m. Breakfast at Wimbledon ESPN Live
  8 a.m. – 1 p.m. Ladies’ Semifinals ESPN Live
Fri, July 10 7 – 8 a.m. Breakfast at Wimbledon ESPN Live
  8 a.m. – 2 p.m. Gentlemen’s Semifinals ESPN Live
Sat, July 11 8 a.m. – 9 a.m. Breakfast at Wimbledon ESPN Live
  9 a.m. – 3 p.m. Ladies’ Championship ESPN Live
  3 – 6 p.m. Ladies’ Championship ABC Tape
Sun, July 12 8 a.m. – 9 a.m. Breakfast at Wimbledon ESPN Live
  9 a.m. – 3 p.m. Gentlemen’s Championship ESPN Live
  3 – 6 p.m. Gentlemen’s Championship ABC Tape

 

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Dave Nagle

As I write this on 11-11-21, it's now 35 years for me at ESPN, the only real job I’ve ever had. I joined merely to help with the America’s Cup for three months at all of $5.50 per hour. I like to say I simply kept showing up. I’ve worked on almost every sport, plus answered viewer calls and letters (people used to write!), given tours, written the company newsletter and once drove NASCAR’s Jeff Gordon to the local airport. My travels have been varied…I’ve been to Martinsville, Darlington, Indy and Super Bowls; the America’s Cup (all 3) in San Diego and College GameDay in the sport’s meccas such as Eugene, Auburn, Lubbock, Stillwater and more; the NBA Finals, Wimbledon (16 times and counting) and the “other Bristol,” the one with a race track in Tennessee. These days, my main areas are tennis, UFC, boxing, ratings, and corporate communications documents, including more than 30 of the Year in Review press releases.
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