ESPN’s Exclusive First-to-Last Ball Coverage of The 2017 Championships, Wimbledon


ESPN’s Exclusive First-to-Last Ball Coverage of The 2017 Championships, Wimbledon

·         Coverage all Day, every Day:  140 Hours on TV – ESPN, ESPN2 and ABC

·         Qualifying Begins Today on ESPN3, Streaming Live on the ESPN App

·         Will Federer, Nadal Continue Resurgence?

·         Wide Open Ladies’ Field – Azarenka Returns, Kvitova’s Comeback Continues, Venus Still a Threat

·         1,500 Live Hours from all 15 TV Courts on ESPN3, Streaming Live on the ESPN App; 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 15, Mixed Doubles on July 16


ESPN’s exclusive coverage of The Championships, Wimbledon – from first ball to last ball – begins Monday, July 3, with 140 hours on TV and 1,500 on ESPN3 and streaming live on the ESPN App with action from 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 15, and the Gentlemen’s Championship on Sunday, July 16, followed by the Mixed Doubles Championship.

Through Thursday, June 29, all four days of qualifying are on ESPN3 and streamed live on the ESPN App, with all-day action starting at 6 a.m. ET from one of the grass courts at the Bank of England Sports Centre in Roehampton, not far from Wimbledon and the All England Lawn Tennis Club.  Qualifying for Wimbledon has never before been produced for distribution.


  • The first five weekdays, ESPN begins at 7 a.m. ET for daylong coverage (scheduled to end at 4:30 p.m. except 4 p.m. on Tuesday). The action gets started at 6:30 a.m. on ESPN3 and streaming live on the ESPN App with all televised courts (up to 15 at a time).
  • On Saturday, July 8, 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 9 – Wimbledon’s traditional annual day of rest – ABC will broadcast a three-hour review of the first week at 3 p.m. In addition, ABC will present encore presentations of the finals on the day they take place, July 15 and 16, 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 10, and at 8 a.m. on July 11 and 12.
  • From Thursday, July 13, through the Championships, all the action is on ESPN, beginning each day with Breakfast at Wimbledon (7 a.m. on July 13-14 leading into the semifinals, 8 a.m. on July 15-16, previewing the Championships).
  • ESPN Deportes will air the semifinals and Championships (July 13-16).
  • Saturday, July 15, 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 ESPN3 and the ESPN App.
  • The ESPN and ESPN2 telecasts, and a total of 1,500 hours from all 15 televised courts (Centre, Courts 1-3, 5-9, 11, 12, 14, and 16-18.) plus AELTC’s daily The Wimbledon Channel will be presented from first ball to last ball each day on ESPN3 and streaming live on the ESPN App. The action will also be available on demand afterwards.  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 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, the recent French Open finalist, 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, an ESPN analyst since 2000, 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.  She was the coach of the United States’ Fed Cup team for eight years, stepping down in 2016, and coached the 2012 and ’16 U.S. women’s Olympic team.
  • Mardy Fish, a former longtime pro who once was No. 7 in the world, joins ESPN’s roster as an analyst. The Minnesota native won six events on tour, an Olympic Silver Medal in 2004 and reached the quarterfinals of three Majors – Australia, French and Wimbledon.  He was the top-ranked American man in 2011 when he reached a career high of No. 7.  He retired after the 2015 US Open.
  • Chris Fowler – who joined ESPN in 1986, is the lead ESPN/ABC college football play caller and joined the ESPN tennis team in 2003 – will call matches. He hosted College GameDay on football Saturdays 1990-2014, and has hosted World Cup soccer, college basketball including the Final Four, the X Games and Triple Crown horse racing events.  Originally, he was the first host of Scholastic Sports America and later was a SportsCenter
  • 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 a studio and match analyst. A one-time standout among Juniors in Britain whose career was ended by injury at 21, he later coached ESPN’s Mary Joe Fernandez and Pam Shriver and the British Fed Cup team.
  • John McEnroe won seven Major singles titles, including three at Wimbledon, during his storied career, which included 10 more Major crowns 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.
  • Patrick McEnroe, who has worked for ESPN since 1995, was a three-time singles All-American at Stanford – where the team won NCAA titles in 1986 and 1988 – and 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.  He served as the U.S. Davis Cup captain 2001-2010; in 2007 the team won its first championship since 1995.
  • 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 Spring 2016, she focuses on tennis.  She attended Drexel University on a tennis scholarship.
  • Patrick Mouratoglou, Serena Williams’ coach since 2012, helped her to unprecedented success deep into her mid-30s – 10 Major titles, an Olympic Gold Medal and a stranglehold on the WTA No. 1 ranking. A longtime coach, including great results over seven years with Marcos Baghdatis, he will serve as an analyst.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Rennae Stubbs, who enjoyed a long career in doubles – winning six Majors: four in women’s and two in mixed, representing Australia at four Olympic Games and for 17 years in Fed Cup, will be an analyst. She’s worked summer events for ESPN for many years, and for NBC at the Olympics and for Tennis Channel.

Surveying the (very, very different) Fields

  • Is it 2017 in men’s tennis, or 2006? Roger Federer, 35, and 31-year old Rafael Nadal have split the first two Majors of the year and each has a pair of ATP Masters 1000 crowns.  Whatever they’re having, I’ll have two.
  • Of the last 49 Majors (more than 12 years), five men own every trophy but two (and they are currently ranked No. 1-5, and each is in their 30s): Roger Federer (18 career Major wins), Rafael Nadal (15), Novak Djokovic (12) and defending champion Andy Murray and Stan Wawrinka (3 each).  The traditional “Big Four” (all but Wawrinka) comprise 46 of the last 54 Major finalists and 78 of the last 90 (with Stan: 50 of 54, 82 of 90).  All but Wawrinka have won Wimbledon at least twice.
  • On the women’s side, the “short list” of top contenders is rather long, just like at the French Open where fans learned to expect the unexpected – a first-ever title of any type for unseeded 20-year-old Jelena Ostapenko. This year’s top performers seeking a first Major victory include Simona Halep, Karolina Pliskova, Elina Svitolina, Caroline Wozniacki, Kristina Mladenovic and Elena Vesnina, a semifinalist last year.
  • In addition to Ostapenko, women who have tasted Major victory: Garbiñe Muguruza (2016 French Open, also a finalist at the 2015 Wimbledon), 2016 sensation Angelque Kerber (won Australian Open and US Open and reached the Wimbledon final).  Then there’s the over-30 gang:  Svetlana Kuznetsova (31, won 2004 US Open, 2009 French Open), Francesca Schiavone (36, 2010 French Open) and, of course, Venus Williams, who turned 37 the other day, has five Venus Rosewater Dishes on her shelf, and reached the semis last year.  In January, she met her sister in the Australian Open final.
  • Two other players holding four Major championships, including two in London, will be in the draw, but Petra Kvitova and Victoria Azarenka are in the early stages of major comebacks. Kvitova (both Major victories at Wimbledon) is recovering from being stabbed on her left (playing) hand during a December robbery.  She won one match in her return to play, at the French Open.  On Sunday, she amazingly won the title at Birmingham, but has withdrawn from Eastborne this week, citing an abdominal injury.  Azarenka (two Australian Open crowns, plus twice a Wimbledon semifinalist) made her first appearance after maternity leave at last week’s Mallorca Open, winning a match before falling in the second round.
  • Two women who own 28 Major titles – including eight at Wimbledon – are on the sidelines the coming fortnight: Serena Williams (expecting a child, 23 and seven) and Maria Sharapova (injured, five and one).
  • Top Doubles Storylines: American Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Czech Lucie Safarova have captured three straight Major titles and will be attempting to make history in London.  The duo also has took the Australian and French Open titles in 2015.  Men’s trophies at Grand Slam events have been won by a variety of teams since the Bryan Brothers (Bob/Mike) won their 16th Major at the 2014 US Open but the 39-year-old twins from California are still a top contender.

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, poll questions, rolling Twitter feeds and scrolling bottom line
  • Digital Serve: Daily original videos previewing the next day
  • Social buzz: What’s happening around the grounds our fans need to know about.
  • Global scene: A daily look at the storylines that are resonating in all of our regions.
  • com will be on site, providing features and profiles. 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.

For a 10th year, ESPN will provide multi-screen coverage with commentary of five matches in addition to ESPN or ESPN2 network program through the second Monday of the Championships, on ESPN3, the ESPN App and DirecTV.  Fans will also receive interviews, features, press conferences and studio analysis from the All England Club.  Trey Wingo will return as host, joined in the studio by Rennae Stubbs, Mardy Fish and Chris Bowers.  Commentators for outer court matches will be provided by the BBC.  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 presenting a seven-day, non-stop marathon of memorable Wimbledon matches for exactly one week, ending after 168 hours (Monday, July 3 at 6 a.m. – one hour before ESPN’s live coverage begins) with 40 different matches including 33 finals..  The marathon will conclude with the 2016 Ladies’ and Gentlemen’s Championships.  Details.

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 60 million homes via its television and digital platforms throughout the region.  ESPN’s Spanish language pan-regional networks will offer more than 100 hours of live tennis, focused on the top-ranked players in the world, while the regional networks will focus on players of local interest. In addition to the live coverage, ESPN will offer two daily encore presentations featuring the best matches of the day. ESPN’s Spanish-language commentator team will include tennis experts Luis Alfredo Alvarez and Eduardo Varela calling matches with analysts Javier Frana and Jose Luis Clerc, along with reporter Nicolas Pereira. In Brazil, ESPN will offer more than 150 hours of combined coverage between its ESPN and ESPN+ networks and will be available via simulcast on WatchESPN – ESPN’s Portuguese broadband service.  ESPN’s Caribbean networks will provide simulcast coverage and will broadcast over 110-hours of live Wimbledon content.

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 qualifying matches for the first time, June 26-29, as well as the Wimbledon Surround three-screen service for the Gentlemen’s and Ladies’ Semifinals and Championships.

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, July 3 –

Sun, July 16

(no play Sun, 7/9)

6:30 a.m. All TV Courts (up to 15), all day;

The Wimbledon Channel (from AELTC)

ESPN3 Live
Mon, July 3 –

Fri, July 7

7 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

(to 4 p.m. July 4)

Early Round Action ESPN Live
Sat, July 8 7 – 8 a.m. Breakfast at Wimbledon ESPN Live
  8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Early Round Action ESPN Live
Sun, July 9 3 – 6 p.m. Highlights of Week One ABC Tape
Mon, July 10 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 11 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. Ladies’ Quarterfinals,

 Centre Court

  8 – 2 p.m. Ladies’ Quarterfinals, No.1 Court ESPN2 Live
Wed, July 12 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. Gentlemen’s Quarterfinals, Centre Court ESPN Live
  8 a.m. – 3 p.m. Gentlemen’s Quarterfinals,

No.1 Court

ESPN2 Live
Thur, July 13 7 – 8 a.m. Breakfast at Wimbledon ESPN Live
  8 a.m. – 1 p.m. Ladies’ Semifinals ESPN

ESPN Deportes

Fri, July 14 7 – 8 a.m. Breakfast at Wimbledon ESPN Live
  8 a.m. – 2 p.m. Gentlemen’s Semifinals ESPN

ESPN Deportes

Sat, July 15 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 16 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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