@ESPNTennis, Serena in Spotlight at US Open; ESPN’s First-Ever Exclusive Coverage to Follow Attempt at Grand Slam


@ESPNTennis, Serena in Spotlight at US Open; ESPN’s First-Ever Exclusive Coverage to Follow Attempt at Grand Slam

  • First Ball to Last Ball, Now Exclusive to ESPN
  • 130+ Hours on TV and WatchESPN; 1,100 on ESPN3 from 11 Courts
  • New Schedule: Semifinals Thursday/Friday, Championships Saturday/Sunday
  • Defending Champion Serena Williams Seeks Historic Calendar Year Grand Slam, 22nd Major Title
  • Djokovic Seeks Third Major of 2015; Cilic Defends First Title

ESPN will present tennis’ US Open exclusively for the first time as the sports world will have its eyes on New York and Serena Williams – to many the greatest female athlete of our time who seeks the first calendar year Grand Slam in 27 years – with action starting Monday, Aug. 31, through the Women’s Championship on Saturday, Sept. 12, and the Men’s Championship on Sunday, Sept. 13.

ESPN and ESPN2 will televise two weeks of daily extensive coverage, including new 12-hour time slots at 11 a.m. on the “middle weekend” Saturday, Sept. 5 – Labor Day Monday Sept. 7. In the event’s new format, the Women’s Semifinals will be played in prime time Thursday, Sept. 10, with the Men’s Semifinals on Friday, Sept 11. Overall, ESPN will produce in excess of 130 hours of television plus 1,100 on ESPN from up to 11 courts at once – and no doubt more as play often continues late in the wee hours on Arthur Ashe Stadium. Last year, ESPN produced 100 hours of television and 400 on ESPN3 from seven courts.

“We’re very excited to begin a new era of partnership between the US Open and ESPN, with the great responsibility and opportunity to bring fans the entire tournament set against the bright lights of New York and highlighted by Serena’s historic quest,” said Scott Guglielmino, ESPN senior vice president, programming and Global X.  “The ESPN tennis team – the best in the business – will replicate our successful coverage of the Australian Open and Wimbledon, as ESPN will be the home for more than 1,200 hours of live action from New York.”

Before the action begins, ESPN3 will present live the singles brackets draw Thursday, Aug. 27 at 11:30 a.m. Also, ESPN2 will air a one-hour review of Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day presented by Hess on Sunday, Aug. 30, at 1 p.m., followed by SportsCenter at the US Open at 2 p.m. to preview the tournament.

ESPN2’s live coverage of the opening Monday night will include a performance from Arthur Ashe Stadium by multi-platinum singing artist Josh Groban. He will be performing songs off his current album, Stages. Here, Groban and ESPN’s Patrick McEnroe prepare for how the singer can take part in the 2015 US Open: http://www.usopen.org/videos/.

ESPN has televised the US Open since 2009. An 11-year agreement with the USTA for exclusivity was announced in May 2013.


  • During the first week of the tournament, the television coverage will start on ESPN at 1 p.m. ET each weekday and will continue nonstop – transitioning to ESPN2 (except Tuesday) – for at least 10 hours through both the day and the 7 p.m. Primetime at the US Open presented by IBM sessions until play is concluded.
  • With ESPN’s new exclusivity, new day-long coverage over Labor Day Weekend will now be found in one place – ESPN2, starting at 11 a.m. all three days.
  • Beginning with the quarterfinals Tuesday, Sept. 8, all the TV coverage is on ESPN (except Wednesday evening).
  • Play will begin each day on ESPN3 – at 10:45 a.m. through Wednesday, Sept. 9, and at noon the final four days – totaling 1,100 hours of action from up to 11 courts simultaneously, including the Mixed, Women’s and Men’s Doubles Championships. For the semifinals and singles championships, a separate ESPN3 Surround feed with offer three perspectives – the traditional TV angle plus cameras focused on each player.
  • ESPN’s first US Open Women’s and Men’s Championships (excluding the 2009 Women’s and 2010 Men’s Championships which were aired on ESPN2 after rain postponements) will conclude the coverage.
  • WatchESPN will deliver the ESPN and ESPN2 telecasts, accessible online at WatchESPN.com, on smartphones and tablets via the WatchESPN app and streamed on televisions through Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick, Apple TV, Chromecast, Roku, Xbox 360 and Xbox One to more than 93 million households nationwide via an affiliated video or internet provider.

Surveying the Fields


  • The “Big Four” of men’s tennis – Roger Federer (17 career Major wins), Rafael Nadal (14), Novak Djokovic (9) and Andy Murray (2) have won 38 of the last 42 Majors. They comprise 35 of the last 40 Major finalists (63 of the last 76) and five of this year’s six.
  • If anyone can break that quartet, the leading contenders are 2015 French Open winner Stan Wawrinka, ranked No. 5; Marin Cilic at No. 9 who is defending a Major crown for the first time; or No. 4 and 2014 finalist Kei Nishikori.
  • Top-ranked Djokovic, the 2011 winner seeking his third Major title of the year, has reached eight consecutive US Open semifinals.


  • Serena.  A victory would secure tennis’ first calendar year sweep of the four Majors – a true Grand Slam – since Steffi Graf in 1988 (no man has accomplished the feat since Rod Laver in 1969). It would also be her 22nd Major title (and as defending champion, her fifth straight Major), tying her with Graf for the Open Era record (Margaret Court won 24 from 1960-73).
  • Other former Major winners in the field: No. 22 Venus Willliams (7); No. 2 Maria Sharapova (5); No. 21 Victoria Azarenka, 29 Svetlana Kuznetsova and No. 4 Petra Kvitova (2 each); and No. 9 Ana Ivanovic, No. 88 Francesca Schiavone and No. 18 Sam Stosur (1 each).


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

  • Courtcast:  One-stop shopping for the fan who wants to keep up on the action while on the go, as well as get involved in the social media conversation.  As a multi-tool application with live events via the ESPN3 syndicated player, it provides all-court scoring, match stats, “Scribble Live” conversations, poll questions that are discussed on television, a rolling Twitter feed with the latest from the ESPN commentators and a scrolling bottom line.
  • Five Things We Learned:  Video series reviewing the top five storylines of the day
  • 60-Second Slice:  The key news of the day, in a one-minute video.
  • 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.
  • Center Court: Weekly video show highlighting the best and the worst.
  • At this minute video update:  Instant analysis off an exciting match or preview into the night session.
  • Bodo and Bollettieri: Pete Bodo and Hall of Fame coach Nick Bollettieri talk about the one thing you might have missed each day.

espnW will cover the US Open as always from its distinctive perspective, but as Serena Williams tries to become the first person to win a calendar Grand Slam since Steffi Graf did it in 1988, espnW will focus on her journey and what it means throughout the event.

  • 22 Fun Serena Facts: Launched August 10 (22 days ahead of the US Open, where Serena Williams will be going for her 22nd Major title.
  • Best Female Athlete of All Time Reader Poll: Starts August 17; a 32-person bracket
  • Other features setting up Serena’s US Open quest include:
    • A trip to the Compton, Calif., tennis courts where Serena (and sister Venus) developed her game.
    • Some of Serena Williams’ highest highs and lowest lows have come on Arthur Ashe Stadium at the US Open. We review them all.
    • After winning Wimbledon in 2010, Serena overcame a series of medical issues after stepping on a piece of glass. Her career could have ended then and there.
    • We talk to kids at Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day about Serena Williams’ legacy.
  • Throughout the US Open, Melissa Isaacson and Jane McManus will provide news, analysis and video reports as Serena Williams takes a shot at tennis history.

ESPN Interactive TV will be presented on DIRECTV and ESPN3. During the ESPN telecast windows for the first seven days, a six-screen mosaic will include the ESPN program, along with matches with commentary from five other courts. In total, viewers will have access to more than 435 hours of live tennis action and 140 extra matches.  Production will be enhanced with press conferences, interviews and features that will be added during court changeovers and between matches.  All six screens can be expanded to full screen or picture-in-picture at the touch of the remote button.  In addition, DIRECTV will offer interactive social media options for fans, plus real-time scoring, draws, and order of play information – all without leaving the match the viewer is watching. New for 2015, during the first five days, from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m., a program previewing the matches of the day and showcasing early play from around the grounds will be added. Commentators include ESPN’s Allen Bestwick, and former players Jimmy Arias, Luke Jensen, Rennae Stubbs, Jeff Tarango and Mark Woodforde.

ESPN Deportes will provide more than live 130 hours on ESPN Deportes+ – the broadband channel available via ESPN3 and ESPNDeportes.com –select matches including the singles quarterfinals for both men and women and the Men’s Doubles Championship. In addition, ESPN Deportes TV will also air the Women’s Championship live on Sat., September 12.  ESPNdeportes.com will provide the latest highlights, news, analysis and information every day.  The web series ESPiaNdo will also return with daily recaps and analysis from the experts.

ESPN International will offer extensive high-definition coverage throughout the Caribbean and Latin America via its numerous regional media outlets.  ESPN Caribbean will televise first ball through to the final in English, totaling more than 125 hours.  In Spanish-speaking Latin America, multiple feeds from the US Open will total 140 hours of live action, as well as a daily one-hour review of the best match of the day.  Veterans Luis Alfredo Alvarez and Eduardo Varela will provide the Spanish play-by-play alongside analysts Javier Frana and Jose Luis Clerc, both former US Open competitors.  That coverage will be enhanced by an anchor desk at the USTA National Tennis Center, with hosts Nicolas Pereira, Martin Urruty and Carolina Guillen.  In Brazil, ESPN will air side-by-side coverage on two linear networks, offering over 190 hours of live tennis action combined.  Online, Latin America’s broadband service, ESPN Play (Watch ESPN in Brazil) will offer more than 1,200 hours of live streaming, which will include exclusive coverage of 11 different courts.  In addition, ESPN Argentina and ESPN Brasil will have reporters in New York conducting interviews and producing daily features for SportsCenter and ESPN’s complete line-up of daily news and information shows.  A daily Spanish-language recap, ESPiaNdo, hosted by Varela, Clerc, Frana and Alvarez, will include highlights and analysis on ESPNTenis.com – and in Brazil, ESPN will air their daily show called Pelas Quadras.

ESPN Classic: Great US Open Matches from the Past

For five days starting Monday, Aug. 24 at 6 a.m. (and then starting four times at 12 midnight / 9 p.m. PT), ESPN Classic will present great US Open matches from the past until 5 p.m. Highlights:

  • The oldest matches on the schedule are victories by John McEnroe in 1980 – a semifinal vs. Jimmy Connors and the final against Bjorn Borg – on Friday, Aug. 28, at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m.
  • The Williams Sisters met in a Grand Slam event final for the first time in New York in 2001, with Venus taking the title, and it will be aired Thursday, Aug. 27, at 11 a.m.
  • Only 19, Andre Agassi defeated Jimmy Connors in five sets in the 1989 quarterfinals, to be aired Monday, Aug. 24, at 11 a.m.
  • In a controversial 2004 quarterfinal, Jennifer Capriati ousted Serena Williams 2-6, 6-4, 6-4, to be aired Thursday, Aug. 27, at 7 a.m.

ESPN & the 2015 US Open

Date Time (ET) Event Network(s)
Thur Aug 27 11:30 a.m. Men’s and Womens’ Singles Draw ESPN3
Sun Aug 30 1 p.m. Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day presented by Hess ESPN2
  2 p.m. SportsCenter at the US Open ESPN2
Mon Aug 31 10:45 a.m.
1 p.m.
US Open First Round ESPN3
  6 p.m. US Open First Round ESPN2
Tue Sep 1 10:45 a.m.
1 p.m.
US Open First Round ESPN3
Wed Sep 2 10:45 a.m.
1 p.m.
US Open Second Round ESPN3
  6 p.m. US Open Second Round ESPN2
Thur Sep 3 10:45 a.m.
1 p.m.
US Open Second Round ESPN3
  5 p.m. US Open Second Round ESPN2
Fri Sep 4 10:45 a.m.
1 p.m.
US Open Third Round ESPN3
  6 p.m. US Open Third Round ESPN2
Sat Sep 5 10:45 a.m.
11 a.m.
US Open Third Round ESPN3
Sun Sep 6 10:45 a.m.
11 a.m.
US Open Round of 16 ESPN3
Mon Sept 7 10:45 a.m.
11 a.m.
US Open Round of 16 ESPN3
Tue Sep 8 10:45 a.m.
US Open Quarterfinals ESPN3
Wed Sep 9 10:45 a.m.
11 a.m.
US Open Quarterfinals ESPN3
  8 p.m. US Open Men’s Quarterfinals ESPN2
Thur Sep 10 Noon
7 p.m.
US Open Doubles MatchesUS Open Women’s Semifinals ESPN3
Fri Sep 11 Noon US Open Mixed Doubles Championship ESPN3
  3 p.m. US Open Men’s Semifinals ESPN / ESPN3
Sat Sep 12 Noon US Open Men’s Doubles Championship ESPN3
  3 p.m. US Open Women’s Championship ESPN / ESPN3 / ESPN Deportes
Sun Sep 13 Noon US Open Women’s Doubles Championship ESPN3
  3:30 p.m. US Open Men’s Championship Blue Carpet Special ESPN
  4 p.m. US Open Men’s Championship ESPN



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 upcoming America’s Cup in Australia. I was told it would be 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, network-wide ratings (by month/quarter/year), and corporate communications documents, including fact sheets, chronologies, lists and nearly 35 of the Year in Review press releases. UPDATE EXACTLY ONE YEAR LATER: Today, November 11, 2022, I am retiring from ESPN -- 36 years to the day I began. As I ride off into the sunset – top down and E Street Radio blaring – I do so with so many wonderful memories, proud of my contributions and a heart full of gratitude for the opportunity. 
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