- ESPN International to Televise Throughout Latin America, Caribbean
- Wawrinka, Serena Defend their Titles while Djokovic Seeks Career Grand Slam
The second Major of the year – the French Open on the iconic red clay of Roland Garros in Paris – begins Sunday, May 22, and ESPN will be there with extensive coverage on ESPN.com and espnW.com plus SportsCenter, while televising the action across Latin America and the Caribbean. Play will continue daily, culminating with the Ladies’ Final on Saturday, June 4, and the Men’s Final on Sunday, June 5.
While one defending champion – Serena Williams – has three French Open titles (of her 21 total Grand Slam titles), the men’s defending champion – Stan Wawrinka – will be playing for his second win in Paris after defeating Novak Djokovic in the final to win last year. The current top-ranked woman, Williams, has played well in 2016, with a victory in Rome last week and finals appearances at the Australian Open and at Indian Wells. If Williams wins in Paris, she’ll be looking to break the Open Era record for Grand Slam titles on ESPN at Wimbledon in June (currently held by Steffi Graf with 22). The current top-ranked man, Djokovic, has maintained his superlative form so far this year, taking five titles, including at the first Major of the year. See “Surveying the Field” below for more on the top players.
ESPN.com will provide comprehensive daily written coverage before, during and after the French Open with news plus analysis, as well as video segments throughout the Open. Also, real-time scores from all courts will be available on CourtCast.
- Leading into the French Open: Peter Bodo, Greg Garber and Johnette Howard, along with the espnW crew, will get fans ready for the year’s second Major with features and analysis, including:
- Will Novak Djokovic win his first French Open and complete the career Grand Slam?
- Can Rafael Nadal win a record 10th title at Roland Garros?
- What are the chances for 17-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer?
- Will this year be different for the American men – who have typically struggled in Paris – John Isner, Jack Sock and Steve Johnson?
- Can Serena Williams, at the age of 34, get back on track?
- ESPN.com NOW: regular updates to appear on the ESPN.com NOW feed
- Daily written columns: Garber and Howard – both of whom will be on site – and Bodo reacting to the biggest upsets and best matches
- The Digital Serve: a daily video segment previewing the next day’s action
- espnW: daily written coverage and a daily video segment highlighting the women’s tournament
- The 5 Things We Learned: Garber and others will recap the day’s news and notes with quick video snippets on the overlooked storylines
ESPN Social: @ESPNTennis, ESPN’s official tennis Twitter account, and ESPN Tennis’ official Facebook page will be posting additional, exclusive content including interviews, profiles and more behind-the-scenes looks of the French Open.
ESPN International will present over 150-hours of live French Open coverage to more than 40-countries across Latin America and the Caribbean via its pan-regional and regional networks. The pan-regional offering in Latin America will feature the top-ranked players in the world, while the regional networks will provide coverage of players of local nationality. In addition to the live coverage, ESPN will offer a daily two-hour encore presentation featuring the best match of the day, two one-hour compacts, plus a 30-minute preview show as a lead up to the Men’s Final. In addition to coverage via SD, HD and authenticated platforms, ESPN International’s broadband service, ESPN Play, will stream over 1,200-hours of live French Open matches, including the men’s and women’s finals. ESPN will offer commentary in both English and Spanish, with expert analysis provided by two Spanish language announce teams from Paris: Luis Alvarez & Javier Frana and Eduardo Varela & two-time Roland Garros semifinalist, Jose Luis Clerc, along with reporter Nicolas Pereira who will provide instant analysis from the grounds, as well as interviews and insight for SportsCenter in Latin America.
Surveying the Fields
- Defending champion, Stan Wawrinka, looks to make it a repeat at Roland Garros. A victory this year would be his third Major title (2014 Australian Open)
- On the other hand, you can’t count out the “King of Clay,” Rafael Nadal, who has won nine of his 14 Major titles on the red clay in Paris and has recently been returning to his classic form.
- But this could finally be the year for top-ranked Novak Djokovic as he plays to complete a career Grand Slam. Already this year, he has won one Major and three 1000-point ATP World Tour Masters titles, including on clay in Madrid.
- Other top seeds: At 34, Roger Federer has been battling knee and back problems so far this year. Andy Murray reached the finals of the Australian Open this year and has found success on clay, with his first two titles ever last year. Kei Nishikori is always a threat who would love to bring home his first Major at 26, and the first ever male Major victory for Japan.
- Defending champion and No.1-ranked Serena Williams comes to Paris with 21 career Major titles, including three at the French Open, but a sporadic record since the US Open. After taking the fall off, she made it to the finals at the Australian Open and Indian Wells. The 34-year-old won three of four majors in the 2015 calendar year, and looks to get back on track at Roland Garros.
- Other top seeds in the wide-open WTA: Angelique Kerber snared her first Major title in Australia. Victoria Azarenka is 26-1 with three singles titles this year including Miami and Indian Wells. Agnieszka Radwanska is 21-6 with one title this year, looking to get her first Major title in Paris. 22-year old Garbine Muguruza had a breakthrough season in 2015 including a finals appearance at Wimbledon. Simona Halep had her first top-10 season in 2015, and has a WTA 1000 clay court title this year from Madrid. USA’s 23-year-old Sloane Stephens is also one to watch with three titles this year, one on clay.