ESPN & Wimbledon 2016 – Djokovic Defends Title, Halfway to True Grand Slam


ESPN & Wimbledon 2016 – Djokovic Defends Title, Halfway to True Grand Slam

·         First Ball to Last Ball, Exclusive to ESPN
·         Daylong Coverage Totaling 140 Hours on TV – ESPN, ESPN2 and ABC
·         WatchESPN:  1,500 Live Hours from all 15 TV Courts; 3-Box Screen Returns for Semis, Championships
·         “Cross Court Coverage” Returns for Monday-Wednesday the Second Week
·         Ladies’ and Gentlemen’s Doubles Championships Live on ESPN on July 9, Mixed Doubles on July 10
·         Serena Defends Crown, the Last Major She Captured, in Quest for Major #22 to tie Graf

Top-ranked Novak Djokovic and Serena Williams, the defending Wimbledon champions, will arrive at the All England Club after very different 12 months and the defense of their titles will play out through the fortnight of ESPN’s exclusive coverage – from first ball to last ball – beginning Monday, June 27.  ESPN will present 140 hours on TV and 1,500 on WatchESPN with action on all 15 televised courts.  The action will climax with the Ladies’ Championship and the Ladies’ and Gentlemen’s Doubles Championships on ESPN on Saturday, July 9, and the Gentlemen’s Championship on Sunday, July 10, followed by the Mixed Doubles Championship.  By coincidence, that day will be full of championship competition from Europe as following the Wimbledon telecast, ESPN will air the final match of the UEFA European Football Championship 2016 live from Paris.


  • The first five weekdays, ESPN begins at 7 a.m. ET for daylong coverage (scheduled to end at 4:30 p.m.). WatchESPN gets started at 6:30 a.m. with all televised courts (up to 15 at a time).
  • On Saturday, July 2, 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 5 p.m.).
  • On the “middle Sunday,” July 3 – 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 9 and 10, at 3 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 4, and at 8 a.m. on July 5 and 6.
  • From Thursday, July 7, 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 7-8 leading into the semifinals, 8 a.m. on July 9-10, previewing the Championships).
  • ESPN Deportes will air the semifinals and Championships (July 7-10).
  • Saturday, July 9, will feature the Ladies’ Singles Championship along with the Ladies’ and Gentlemens’ Doubles Championship on ESPN with the Gentlemen’s Championship and Mixed Doubles Championship on Sunday. All other division championships will be available on WatchESPN.
  • WatchESPN will offer the ESPN and ESPN2 telecasts, and a total of 1,500 hours from all 15 televised 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, plus AELTC’s daily Live@Wimbledon. As in the past, for the semifinals and championships an additional  feed – “Wimbledon Surround” – will be added with three boxes – the primary TV view, plus two more, each focusing on one player.  Select matches each day will be available in Spanish via ESPNDeportes+.
  • WatchESPN is accessible on computers, smartphones, tablets, connected devices and smart TVs and available nationwide across all major providers through an affiliated video subscription.

 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. Currently the coach of Simona Halep, he will serve as an analyst for men’s matches.
  • 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 serve as an analyst and again voice features that study the action through statistics and computer graphics, as he does at 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 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 also works for 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 returns as host, a role she has filled at all the Majors for ESPN. She joined ESPN in 1996 as a SportsCenter anchor, and later hosted the Little League World Series and X Games.  As of this Spring, she focuses on tennis.  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.

Surveying the Fields

  • Is there still an ATP “Big Four”? Is it a Big Five?  Of the last 45 Majors (more than 11 years), five players own every trophy but two:  Roger Federer (17 career Major wins), Rafael Nadal (14), Novak Djokovic (12) and Andy Murray and Stan Wawrinka (2 each).  The “Big Four” (all but Wawrinka) comprise 41 of the last 46 Major finalists and 69 of the last 82.
  • Or maybe it’s just a Big One. Djokovic has captured 11 of the last 22 Majors, reaching the championship 18 times in the last 23, and currently holds all four Major crowns – the first man to do so since Roger Laver won all four in 1969, a true Grand Slam.  Djokovic is halfway to matching that feat, the first man to snag Aussie and French trophies since Jim Courier in 1992.
  • Serena Williams is the defending champion (it was her fourth consecutive Major title), but is “stuck” on 21 Major wins, having fallen just short of tying Steffi Graf’s Open Era record of 22 in New York, Melbourne and Paris. In that time, there have been three first-time Major winners (Flavia Pennetta, now retired, Angelique Kerber and Garbiñe Muguruza).  Could there be another in London?  A wide-open field makes predictions difficult.  Two-time Wimbledon champ Petra Kvitova is always dangerous.  And does Venus Williams (five Venus Rosewater Dishes on her shelf) have one more run in her?
  • Top Doubles Storylines: The Bryan Brothers (Bob/Mike) have three Wimbledon titles among their record 16 Major doubles crowns, but are 38 and although they reached the final at the recent French Open haven’t won a Major since the 2014 US Open.  In her latest comeback, Martina Hingis has teamed with Sania Mirza to capture three of the last four women’s doubles Major titles.  Also, in mixed doubles Hingis has paired with Leander Paes to win four of the most recent six Majors.

MORE TV & DIGITAL MEDIA, AT HOME AND ABROAD will have previews, reviews, the latest news and videos and more:

  • Courtcast: A multi-tool application with live events via the WatchESPN 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:  Peter Bodo, Greg Garber, Melissa Isaacson and Matt Wilansky weigh in on the hottest topics with a daily, written, roundtable discussion.
  • A special emphasis on Novak Djokovic, as he tries to win his fifth consecutive Grand Slam title and is halfway to a true Grand Slam.                                    

  • Complete analysis of the women’s draw when it is announced.
  • Melissa Isaacson will provide on-site coverage for (and, including daily columns and analysis of matches.
  • Daily analysis segments.
  • Weekly video reports from, discussing play to date. 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 ninth year at Wimbledon, will provide multi-screen coverage with commentary of five matches in addition to ESPN or ESPN2 network programs through the second Monday of the Championships, on WatchESPN and DirecTV.  Fans will also receive interviews, features, press conferences and studio analysis from the All England Club.  Host duties will be shared by Allen Bestwick and Trey Wingo.  Match and studio analysts include former players Jeff Tarango, Chanda 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 will cap its month of extensive Wimbledon programming with a 24-hour marathon of 10 matches starting Thursday, June 23, at 7 p.m.  The marathon will start with the 2004 Ladies’ Championship (Maria Sharapova vs. Serena Williams) followed at 8:30 p.m. by the 2007 Gentlemen’s Championship (Roger Federer vs. Rafael Nadal) and the 2008 Ladies’ Championship between the Williams Sisters at 11:30 p.m.  The marathon will conclude with the 2012 Gentlemen’s Championship (Roger Federer vs. Andy Murray) on Friday at 2 p.m. and the 2013 Gentlemen’s Championship (Andy Murray vs. Novak Djokovic).

ESPN International, the home of tennis’ Grand Slam events in Latin America and the Caribbean, will provide live Wimbledon coverage to more than 44 countries and 56 million homes via its television and digital platforms throughout the region.  ESPN’s Spanish language pan-regional networks will offer more than 120 hours of live tennis, focused on the top-ranked players in the world, while the regional networks will focus on players of local nationality. In addition to the live coverage, ESPN will offer daily two-hour encore presentations featuring the best match of the day, as well as daily compact airings of feature matches. In Brazil, ESPN is providing more than 170 hours of combined coverage between its ESPN and ESPN+ networks.  The coverage will be aired via simulcast on WatchESPN – ESPN’s Portuguese broadband service.  ESPN Play – ESPN International’s Spanish- and English-language broadband service in Latin America and the Caribbean – will offer 1,400-hours of live coverage from up to 15 courts simultaneously, covering every point from every camera court; ESPN Play will also offer the Wimbledon Surround “three-screen” service for the Gentlemen’s and Ladies Semifinals and Finals.  ESPN’s Spanish-language commentator team at Wimbledon will include Luis Alfredo Alvarez and Edurado Varela calling matches with analysts Javier Frana and Jose Louis Clerc, along with reporter Nicolas Pereira.

ESPN and Tennis

Tennis has been part of ESPN since its first week on the air, providing numerous memorable moments from around the world, but it has never been as important as today, with the unprecedented position of presenting three of the sports Major events from start to finish (Australian Open, Wimbledon, US Open, with exclusivity at the latter two).


Date Time (ET) Event Network(s)  
Mon, June 27 – Sun, July 10

(no play Sun, 7/3)

6:30 a.m. All TV Courts (up to 15), all day; Live@Wimbledon WatchESPN Live
Mon, June 27 – Fri, July 1 7 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Early Round Action ESPN Live
Sat, July 2 7 – 8 a.m. Breakfast at Wimbledon ESPN Live
  8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Early Round Action ESPN Live
Sun, July 3 3 – 6 p.m. Highlights of Week One ABC Tape
Mon, July 4 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 5 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. Ladies’ Quarterfinals,

 Centre Court

  8 – 2 p.m. Ladies’ Quarterfinals, No.1 Court ESPN2 Live
Wed, July 6 8 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. Gentlemen’s Quarterfinals, Centre Court ESPN Live
  8 a.m. – 4 p.m. Gentlemen’s Quarterfinals,

No.1 Court

ESPN2 Live
Thur, July 7 7 – 8 a.m. Breakfast at Wimbledon ESPN Live
  8 a.m. – 1 p.m. Ladies’ Semifinals ESPN

ESPN Deportes

Fri, July 8 7 – 8 a.m. Breakfast at Wimbledon ESPN Live
  8 a.m. – 2 p.m. Gentlemen’s Semifinals ESPN

ESPN Deportes

Sat, July 9 8 a.m. – 9 a.m. Breakfast at Wimbledon ESPN Live
  9 a.m. – 3 p.m. Ladies’ Championship

Gentlemen’s Doubles Championship

Ladies’ Doubles Championship


ESPN Deportes

  3 – 6 p.m. Ladies’ Championship ABC Tape
Sun, July 10 8 a.m. – 9 a.m. Breakfast at Wimbledon ESPN Live
  9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. Gentlemen’s Championship

Mixed Doubles Championship


ESPN Deportes

  3 – 6 p.m. Gentlemen’s Championship ABC Tape


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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