Former US Open Champs Djokovic, Del Potro in Men’s Championship Sunday on ESPN

Tennis

Former US Open Champs Djokovic, Del Potro in Men’s Championship Sunday on ESPN

  • Audience for Men’s Semifinals Best since 2014, US Open up 5% Overall

·         Djokovic Aims for 14th Major Title, Second in a Row; Del Potro in Second Major Final, 9 Years Later

·         American CoCo Vandeweghe in Women’s Doubles Championship on ESPN2

 

Former US Open champions Novak Djokovic and Juan Martin del Potro will play for the Men’s Championship on Sunday at 4 p.m. ET on ESPN.  Chris Fowler will call the match alongside John and Patrick McEnroe.  The #6 seed Djokovic, who captured his 13th Major title at Wimbledon this summer while #3 Del Potro – his career sidelined often by wrist woes – returns to a Major final for the first time since taking the 2009 crown in New York.  The match will also be seen on ESPN Deportes.

  • Djokovic, 31 and from Serbia, suddenly regained his form this summer after a two years of injury and disappointing results, winning Wimbledon and the Masters event in Cincinnati. The former was his 13th career Major championship; the latter gave him a “Golden Masters” – winning each of the nine events at that level in his career, something no other man has accomplished.  He is 2-5 in the US Open Championship, taking the trophy in 2011 and ’15, and 13-9 in Major finals.  Overall, he has won 70 titles and was 33-10 on the year before the US Open.
  • Del Potro, the Argentine two weeks from his 30th birthday, returns to a Major final for the first time since 2009, when he at 20 he won the US Open, shocking Roger Federer in five sets. His career since then has been plagued by injuries requiring surgery to both wrists, and that is his only previous Major final.  Overall, he has 22 career titles.  He was 37-10 in 2018 before this tournament, and his No. 3 current ranking is a career best.
  • The two have met 18 times with Djokovic the victor in 14, including twice in New York and the last three overall. Their most recent meeting was on clay in Rome in May 2017.

 

The match will be preceded by a one-hour preview at 3 p.m. hosted by Chris McKendry with the team of ESPN analysts.  An encore edition of the match will air on ESPN2 at 11 p.m.

 

Women’s Doubles Championship

Earlier in the day, at 1 p.m. on ESPN2, the Women’s Doubles Championship will be decided between the team of American CoCo Vandeweghe and Ash Barty of Australia who play Timea Babos of Hungary and Kristina Mladenovic of France.  That duo took the women’s doubles title at this year’s Australian Open.

 

Men’s Semifinal Audience, Tournament to Date

Friday’s Men’s Semifinals on ESPN was watched by an average of 1,222,000 viewers (P2+), the best for the telecast since 2014 and an increase of 12% from last year (1,091,000) and 28% from 2016 (958,000).

The six-hour telecast included the injury-shortened match between Juan Martin del Potro and Rafael Nadal, who had to retire from play, and Novak Djokovic’s straight-set win over Kei Nishikori.

After 12 days, the US Open on ESPN networks has averaged 986,000 viewers, up 5% over 2017 (942,000).

 

ESPN’s US Open Schedule

Date Time (ET) Event Network
Sun Sept 9 1 p.m. US Open Women’s Doubles Championship

CoCo Vandeweghe / Ash Barty of Australia vs.

Timea Babos / Kristina Mladenovic

ESPN2
  3 p.m. US Open Men’s Championship Preview Special ESPN
  4 p.m. US Open Men’s Championship

Del Potro vs. Djokovic

ESPN / ESPN Deportes
  11 p.m. US Open Men’s Championship ESPN2 (encore)

 

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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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