ESPN Serves First Ball to Last Ball Exclusively at the US Open

Tennis

ESPN Serves First Ball to Last Ball Exclusively at the US Open

  • 160+ Hours on TV; ESPN App home to 1,300 More, from all 16 Courts, via ESPN+ and ESPN3
  • ESPNEWS, ESPN+ Have Exclusive Live Coverage of Qualifying This Week
  • ESPN’s Biggest Production of the Year
  • Men’s Draw: How Long Can Legends Keep Dominating Final Sundays?
  • Women’s Draw: Defending Champ Osaka, Wimbledon Champ Halep & Serena Lead Field; Coco Gauff Given Wild Card Entry
  • Serena Goes for Record-Tying 24th Grand Slam Title
  • Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day on ABC on Sunday, Aug. 25

ESPN will have exclusive live coverage from tennis’ fourth and final Major of the year, the US Open, beginning with qualifying Monday, Aug. 19, and the main draw Monday, Aug. 26.  In what is ESPN’s largest production all year, once again all 16 courts will be covered, with more than 160 hours on television and 1,300 more streaming live on the ESPN app via ESPN3 and ESPN+.  The daily action from the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center will culminate with the Women’s Championship on Saturday, Sept. 7, and the Men’s Championship on Sunday, Sept. 8, both at 4 p.m. ET.

ESPN’s coverage of qualifying is expanded for 2019.  ESPN+ will cover five courts for five days, August 19-23, starting at 11 a.m. each day through the end of each day’s play.  After the first day, ESPNEWS will offer six hours of qualifying each day through Friday also starting at 11 a.m.  On Thursday, Aug. 22, coverage on ESPNEWS will include the live announcement of the men’s and women’s draws.

Also, on Sunday, Aug. 25, ESPN2 will air SportsCenter at the US Open at 1 p.m. to preview the tournament, followed by a one-hour review of Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day powered by Net Generation at 2 p.m. on ABC.  The show will feature a number of new and up-and-coming musical performers:  Radio Disney’s Blanco Brown, iHeart 2019 Best New Pop Artist nominee MAX, and MTV VMA Best New Artist nominee Ava Max.  Meg Donnelly, star of ABC’s American Housewife and Disney’s Zombies 2, will perform and co-host the show along with Hollywood Records recording artist and star of The Lion King, JD McCrary and Radio Disney host Morgan Thompkins.

ESPN’s Largest Production of the YearThe US Open – for which ESPN won the 2019 Sports Emmy in the category Technical Team Remote – is ESPN’s largest production of the year, in part because of the role as host broadcaster, providing coverage for networks around the world.  Some fun facts:

  • In total, more than 600 people (some on site since mid-July) provide more than 1,300 hours of television across three weeks, including qualifying.
  • The entire tournament is covered, all 16 courts, with most days lasting 12 or more hours.
  • Coverage is provided to virtually every corner of the globe.
  • Equipment: 10 40’ sea containers (63,000 kg), plus air freight (35,000 kg) and road containers (25,000) totaling 9,500 pieces of technical equipment.
  • 19 control rooms, three host sets, and 177 cameras including one SpiderCam.
  • 22,000-square-feet of production space created specifically for the US Open.

Highlights

  • The first five days, TV starts on ESPN at noon and will continue nonstop – transitioning on Monday, Thursday and Friday at 6 p.m. to ESPN2 – through both the day and the 7 p.m. Primetime at the US Open presented by IBM sessions until play is concluded.
  • On Labor Day Weekend, action starts at 11 a.m. all three days (ESPN2 on Saturday and Monday, ESPN on Sunday before transitioning to ESPN2 at 7 p.m.) and will continue 12 or more hours.
  • Quarterfinal matches on Tuesday, Sept. 4, and Wednesday, Sept. 5, are on ESPN, starting at noon (to 6 p.m. or later, and resuming at 7 p.m.).
  • The women’s semifinals and championship will be played the second Thursday (at 7 p.m.) and Saturday (4 p.m.); the men’s semis and championship on the second Friday (4 p.m.) and Sunday, Sept. 8 (4 p.m.), all on ESPN. A one-hour preview show will precede the Men’s Championship on ESPN at 3 p.m.  Spanish-language ESPN Deportes will carry the men’s semis and both singles championships with a 30-minute preview show before the men’s final.
  • Throughout the tournament, fans can enjoy action from every court for men’s and women’s singles and doubles plus mixed doubles between the TV coverage and ESPN+ and ESPN3 on the ESPN app. They begin with first ball each day – at 11 a.m. through Wednesday, Sept. 5, and at noon the final four days.
  • ESPN will also present the three doubles championships: Men’s on Friday, Sept. 6, on ESPN2 at noon; Mixed on Saturday, Sept. 7, on ESPN3 at noon, and Women’s on Sunday, Sept. 8, on ESPN at 1 p.m.
  • ESPN3 – online and streaming live on the ESPN App – will once again add an additional feed – “Wimbledon Multicam” – with three boxes, the primary TV view, plus two more, each focusing on one player.  Usage will begin earlier this year, with the quarterfinals, and continue through the championships.
  • ESPN3 will again provide a feed dedicated to press conferences and other events in the main press conference room at the Bud Collins Media Center all day, every day, beginning with media day Friday, Aug. 24.
  • Also, ESPN3 will stream the USTA’s new US Open Now, a live companion channel to the core US Open broadcasts. A digital-first lifestyle show, it aims to attract a more youthful, casual audience to the US Open. It will showcase the entire fan experience on the grounds, the off-the-court and behind-the-scenes stories and interviews, and will also introduce new original content franchises. US Open Now also will be streamed live for free on USOpen.org and the US Open App.

 

Surveying the Fields

MEN

  • Of the last 58 Majors, 50 have been won by either Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal or Novak Djokovic (plus three each by Andy Murray and Stan Wawrinka), including the most recent 11. Top seed and defending champion Djokovic is seeking his fifth Major title in the last six.
  • While the all-time legends continue to dominate the final weekend of Majors, the sport’s stars of the future are closer and closer to being the stars of today. The current top 10 includes #4 Dominic Thiem (25), #5 Daniil Medvedev (23) who won Cincinnati on Sunday, #6 Sascha Zverev (22), #8 Stefanos Tsitsipas (21),  and #9 Karen Khachanov (23).  Eventually, the generational page will turn.

WOMEN

  • It’s a very different scene in the women’s draw where the last 11 Majors have seen nine different winners, six of whom won their first-ever Grand Slam title. Can Naomi Osaka defend the crown?  Can Simona Halep use the momentum from winning Wimbledon to take her first US Open?  Or will there be another first-time winner?  And what can 15-year old American Coco Gauff  — who has been granted a wild card entry into the main draw – do for an encore after her electric debut at Wimbledon?
  • If it is Serena Williams the last woman standing, it would be her first title as a mom and her 24th Major title, tying the record held by Margaret Court.

 

The ESPN Tennis Team at the US Open:

  • 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 No. 1 player in the world and recent French Open champion, he will serve as an analyst for men’s matches.
  • Cliff Drysdale, who was inducted into the Tennis Hall of Fame in July 2013, has been with ESPN since its first tennis telecast in September 1979 (Davis Cup, U.S. vs. Argentina). He reached the US Open finals and is a two-time Wimbledon and French Open semifinalist.  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, counts a record six US Opens among her 18 Major titles. 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.
  • Chris Fowler – who joined ESPN in 1986, is the lead ESPN/ABC college football play caller and joined the ESPN tennis team in 2003 – is the primary voice calling 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 have 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 and calls matches. 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 four US Open crowns – plus 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 for ESPN since 2009.
  • 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 tennis Majors for ESPN. She joined ESPN in 1996 as a SportsCenter anchor, and later hosted the Little League World Series and X Games before focusing on tennis beginning in 2016.  She attended Drexel University on a tennis scholarship.
  • Patrick Mouratoglou, Serena Williams’ coach since 2012, will serve as an analyst. He has helped her to unprecedented success deep into her ‘30s – 10 Major titles, an Olympic Gold Medal and at times a stranglehold on the WTA No. 1 ranking.  A longtime coach, including great results over seven years with Marcos Baghdatis.
  • Tom Rinaldi will serve as a reporter and will call matches. Since 2003, 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 – 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 won 21 Grand Slam titles in women’s doubles (another in Mixed) including five at the US Open plus a Gold Medal in doubles at the 1988 Olympics.
  • Alexandra Stevenson is new to the ESPN tennis team and will serve as an analyst. At the 1999 Wimbledon, she burst onto the scene as an 18-year-old, becoming the first qualifier to reach the semifinals. Injuries marred her later career, but she did peak in the rankings at No. 18 in 2002.
  • 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.

 

MORE TV & DIGITAL MEDIA, AT HOME AND ABROAD

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

Past Great US Matches Available on Demand via ESPN+; Marathon on ESPN Classic

Fans can watch 56 great US Open matches from the past on demand from ESPN+.  The offerings go back as far as the 1971 Women’s Championship (Billie Jean King defeated Rosemary Casals in straight sets) and extend to the most recent four Men’s and Women’s Championships.  In addition, ESPN Classic will air a 70-hour marathon with many of those matches beginning Friday, Aug. 23, at 3 a.m. (Thursday at MID PT).

ESPN will provide multi-screen coverage on AT&T DirecTV, ESPN3 and streaming live on the ESPN app. 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. Sam Gore will host with Luke Jensen.  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 and draws – all without leaving the match the viewer is watching.

ESPN International will offer extensive high-definition US Open coverage throughout the Caribbean, Oceania and Latin America including Brazil via its numerous regional media platforms.

  • ESPN Caribbean and ESPN in the Pacific Rim will televise the first ball through to the final in English, totaling more than 130 live hours. Additionally, Pac Rim will air two daily highlight shows as well as a 30-minute daily show totaling 55 more hours of content, again hosted by Stephanie Brantz and Mark Donaldson.
  • In Spanish-speaking Latin America, ESPN will televise a total of 185 hours of live action, as well as preview shows leading into the men’s and women’s finals.  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 (a former US Open competitor and juniors champion at the 1988 editions of the French Open, Wimbledon and US Open) and Carolina Guillen.  For the Argentina broadcast, ESPN will have reporter Pablo Stecco at the stadium conducting interviews and producing daily features for SportsCenterand ESPN’s complete line-up of daily news and information shows.
  • In Brazil, ESPN will air side-by-side telecasts on two linear networks, offering over 240 hours of live tennis action combined.  It will also air the daily Portuguese-language wrap up show Pelas Quadras.
  • Online, Latin America’s broadband service, ESPN Play (WatchESPN in Brazil) will offer more than 1,300 hours of live streaming, which will include exclusive coverage of 16 different courts.

ESPN Deportes will televise the men’s semifinals and both singles championships.

 

ESPN & the 2019 US Open

Date Time (ET) Event Network(s)
Mon Aug 19 11 a.m. Qualifying ESPN+
Aug 20-23 11 a.m. Qualifying ESPN+

ESPNEWS

   
Sun Aug 25 1 p.m. SportsCenter at the US Open ESPN2
  2 p.m. Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day powered by Net Generation ABC
   
   
Aug 26 – Sep 4 11 a.m. US Open – up to 16 courts ESPN+

ESPN3

Sep 5 – 8  Noon US Open – 3 courts in action ESPN+

ESPN3

   
   
Mon Aug 26 Noon US Open First Round ESPN
  6 p.m. US Open First Round ESPN2
  7 p.m. Primetime at the US Open presented by IBM – First Round ESPN2
Tue Aug 27 Noon US Open First Round ESPN
  7 p.m. Primetime at the US Open presented by IBM – First Round ESPN
Wed Aug 28 Noon US Open Second Round ESPN
  7 p.m. Primetime at the US Open presented by IBM – Second Round ESPN
Thur Aug 29 Noon US Open Second Round ESPN
  6 p.m. US Open Second Round ESPN2
  7 p.m. Primetime at the US Open presented by IBM – Second Round ESPN2
Fri Aug 30 Noon US Open Third Round ESPN
  6 p.m. US Open Third Round ESPN2
  7 p.m. Primetime at the US Open presented by IBM – Third Round ESPN2
Sat Aug 31 11 a.m. US Open Third Round ESPN2
  7 p.m. Primetime at the US Open presented by IBM – Third Round ESPN2
Sun Sep 1 11 a.m. US Open Round of 16 ESPN
  7 p.m. Primetime at the US Open presented by IBM – Round of 16 ESPN2
Mon Sept 2 11 a.m. US Open Round of 16 ESPN2
  7 p.m. Primetime at the US Open presented by IBM – Round of 16 ESPN2
Tue Sep 3 Noon US Open – US Open Quarterfinals ESPN
  7 p.m. Primetime at the US Open presented by IBM – Quarterfinals ESPN
Wed Sep 4 Noon US Open – US Open Quarterfinals ESPN
  7 p.m. Primetime at the US Open presented by IBM – Quarterfinals ESPN
Thur Sept 5 7 p.m. US Open Women’s Semifinals ESPN / ESPN Deportes
Fri Sept 6 Noon US Open Men’s Doubles Championship ESPN2
  4 p.m. US Open Men’s Semifinals ESPN / ESPN Deportes
Sat Sept 7 Noon US Open Mixed Doubles Championship ESPN3
  4 p.m. US Open Women’s Championship ESPN / ESPN Deportes
Sun Sept 8 1 p.m. US Open Women’s Doubles Championship ESPN
  3 p.m. US Open Men’s Championship Preview Special ESPN
  4 p.m. US Open Men’s Championship ESPN / ESPN Deportes

 

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Dave Nagle

It was 32 years at ESPN for me as of November 2018 (the only job I’ve ever had) after joining merely to help with the America’s Cup for three months at a robust $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 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 and Indy 500; Wimbledon (16 times and counting) and the “other Bristol,” the one with a race track in Tennessee. These days, in addition to overseeing the Fan Relations, Archives and ESPNPressRoom.com, my main areas are tennis, ratings, and corporate communications documents, including ESPN’s history and growth.
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