Serves Up Downunder — Australian Open on ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNEWS, ESPN+ and ESPN3: First Ball to Last Ball Coverage Starts February 7

Tennis

Serves Up Downunder — Australian Open on ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNEWS, ESPN+ and ESPN3: First Ball to Last Ball Coverage Starts February 7

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February 1, 2021

 

  • 110+ Live Hours on TV plus Afternoon Encores of Overnight Action
  • ESPN App with Every Match Live from all 16 Courts via ESPN+, ESPN3
  • Production Based at ESPN Headquarters

Tennis’ first Major of the year – the 2021 Australian Open – will start Sunday, Feb. 7, with every match available across ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNEWS ESPN+ and ESPN3.   Daily marathon telecasts from Melbourne, totaling more than 110 hours of television plus 1,000 hours streaming, will culminate with the Women’s and Men’s Championships late on February 19 and 20, respectively, both at 3:30 a.m. ET.

In a change as a result of the ongoing pandemic, ESPN’s production will be based at its headquarters in Bristol, Conn.  Commentators will work from a combination of there, home offices or on-site in Melbourne.

Coverage Highlights

  • ESPN2 will again present daily, marathon, prime-time and overnight telecasts from Melbourne (at 7 p.m. starting for three hours on ESPN the first night, thereafter at 9 p.m.) through the women’s semifinals; later action airs on ESPN.
  • All 16 courts will be streamed across ESPN3 and ESPN+. Starting each night at 7 p.m. from Day 2 (Monday, Jan. 20) through Day 10, coverage begins on ESPN3 and ESPN+, with the latter showing the matches on Rod Laver Arena and Margaret Court Arena.  ESPN2 joins at 9 p.m.
  • ESPN2 will air the Women’s semifinals on Wednesday, Feb. 17, at 10 p.m. and ESPN will air the Men’s semifinals on Thursday, Feb. 18, and Friday, Feb. 19, both at 3:30 a.m.
  • ESPN+ and ESPN3, streaming on the ESPN App, will combine to present every match (singles, all doubles and wheelchair competitions) – 1,000 hours.
  • ESPN+ will present all three doubles championships (men’s, women’s, mixed) plus the Wheelchair Championships.
  • ESPN+ will also be home to all of its completed matches throughout the tournament for on-demand viewing (as ESPN3 is for its matches), as well as a daily highlights show which will be posted soon after the completion of play each day.
  • More than 40 additional hours recapping the action from the overnight telecasts will be aired on ESPN2, generally during the afternoon at 1 p.m.

The ESPN Tennis Team, the best in television:

  • James Blake, who joined ESPN at last year’s US Open, will serve as an analyst. Once ranked as high as No. 4 in the world, Blake won 10 titles during his playing career (1999-2013) and seven additional in doubles. He was part of the 2007 victorious U.S. Davis Cup team and placed fourth at the 2008 Olympics.  The tournament director of the Miami Open, his memoir, Breaking Back, was a New York Times Best Seller.
  • Darren Cahill, who once reached the US Open semifinals and the Australian Open doubles final, has worked for ESPN since 2007. As a coach, he guided Lleyton Hewitt to become the youngest player ever ranked No. 1 and Andre Agassi to be the oldest ever.  In 2017 and 2018, he coached Simona Halep to No.1 on the WTA Tour and win her first Major, the 2018 French Open.  After a 12-month hiatus, they reunited in 2020.
  • Cliff Drysdale, a member of the Tennis Hall of Fame, he 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, 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.  Played the Australian Open six times (1974 the first), reaching the finals every time, winning twice.
  • 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, joined the ESPN tennis team in 2003 and is the lead ESPN/ABC college football play caller – is the lead voice to 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 ranked No. 4 in the world and 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 call matches. 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.
  • John McEnroe, won seven Grand Slam singles titles 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 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.
  • Pam Shriver, who started working for ESPN in 1990, long before her Hall of Fame career ended, played in the 1978 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.
  • 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 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.

ESPN Interactive TV will present a multi-screen mosaic on AT&T DIRECTV featuring the ESPN/Tennis Channel linear feed and other TV courts, during the first seven days of the tournament.  Sam Gore will host with Luke Jensen. 

ESPN Deportes will present extensive, live coverage of the tournament across multiple platforms.  Wall-to-wall Spanish-language coverage will also be available via streaming on the ESPN App, featuring coverage of all rounds, the quarterfinals and the women’s semifinals.  ESPN Deportes will televise live more than 70 hours of coverage, including the men’s semis and both Championships. Online, ESPNDeportes.com will also provide up-to-the-minute news and information including results, recaps and chats. 

ESPN and its affiliated networks around the globe will provide extensive coverage of live action to tennis fans via its networks in Spanish-speaking Latin America (200 hours), Brazil (155 hours) and the Caribbean (140 hours).  Showcasing the biggest names in tennis, broadcasts will air in three languages, including Spanish in Mexico, Central America & South America; Portuguese in Brazil; and English in the Caribbean.  ESPN Play/WatchESPN, ESPN’s streaming service in the region, will also stream every single match from every televised court.

In addition, ESPN will also televise two two-hour “Best of the Day” daily (Spanish only).  In Canada, TSN (English) and RDS (French) will again provide comprehensive Australian Open coverage on its television and digital services. 

2021 AUSTRALIAN OPEN

(For these charts, all times are Eastern, and each day “begins” at 6 a.m. ET.

Therefore, the listing Mon., Feb. 15, at 3 a.m. ET is actually very late on Monday night.)

Date Time (ET) Event Network(s)  
Feb 7 – 16 First ball to last ball each day Australian Open – up to 16 courts ESPN+, ESPN3

on ESPN app

LIVE
   
Sun, Feb 7 7 – 10 p.m. Early Round Play ESPN LIVE
  10 p.m. – 7 a.m. ESPN2 LIVE
  3 – 7 a.m. ESPN Deportes LIVE
Mon, Feb 8 1 – 4 p.m. ESPN2 Same-day
  7 – 9 p.m. ESPN+, ESPN3 LIVE
  7 – MID ESPN Deportes LIVE
  9 p.m. – 7 a.m. ESPN2 LIVE
  3 a.m. – 7 a.m. ESPN Deportes LIVE
Tue, Feb 9 1 – 4 p.m. ESPN2 Same-day
  7 – 9 p.m. ESPN+, ESPN3 LIVE
  7 – MID ESPN Deportes LIVE
  9 p.m. – 7 a.m. ESPN2 LIVE
  3 – 7 a.m. ESPN Deportes LIVE
Wed, Feb 10 1 – 4 p.m. ESPN2 Same-day
  7 – 9 p.m. ESPN+, ESPN3 LIVE
  9 – 10 p.m. ESPNEWS LIVE
  10 p.m. – 7 a.m. ESPN2 LIVE
  3 – 7 a.m. ESPN Deportes LIVE
Thu, Feb 11 1 – 4 p.m. ESPN2 Same-day
  7 – 9 p.m. ESPN+, ESPN3 LIVE
  7 – MID ESPN Deportes LIVE
  9 p.m. – 7 a.m. ESPN2 LIVE
  3 – 7 a.m. ESPN Deportes LIVE
Fri, Feb 12 2 – 5 p.m. ESPN2 Same-day
  7 – 9 p.m. ESPN+, ESPN3 LIVE
  9 p.m. – 7 a.m. ESPN2 LIVE
  3 – 7 a.m. ESPN Deportes LIVE
Sat, Feb 13 8 – 11 a.m. ESPN2 Same-day
  7 – 9 p.m. Round of 16 ESPN+, ESPN3 LIVE
  9 p.m. – 7 a.m. ESPN2 LIVE
  3 – 7 a.m. ESPN Deportes LIVE
Sun, Feb 14 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. ESPN2 Same-day
  7 – 9 p.m. ESPN+, ESPN3 LIVE
  9 p.m. – 7 a.m. ESPN2 LIVE
  3 – 7 a.m. ESPN Deportes LIVE
Mon, Feb 15 1 – 4 p.m. ESPN2 Same-day
  7 – 9 p.m. Quarterfinals ESPN+, ESPN3 LIVE
  7 – MID ESPN Deportes LIVE
  9 p.m. – 2 a.m. ESPN2 LIVE
  3 – 6 a.m. ESPN2,

ESPN Deportes

LIVE
Tue, Feb 16 2 – 4:30 p.m. ESPN2 Same-day
  7 – 9 p.m. ESPN+, ESPN3 LIVE
  9 p.m. – 2 a.m. ESPN2 LIVE
  7 p.m. – MID ESPN Deportes LIVE
  3:30 – 6 a.m. ESPN2,

ESPN Deportes

LIVE
Wed, Feb 17 12 – 3 p.m. ESPN2 Same-day
  10 p.m. – 2 a.m. Women’s Semifinals ESPN2 LIVE
  3:30 – 6 a.m. Men’s Semifinal #1 ESPN

ESPN Deportes

LIVE
Thu, Feb 18 1 – 4 p.m. Men’s Semifinal #1 ESPN2 Encore
  12 a.m. Mixed Doubles Semifinals

Women’s Doubles Championship

ESPN+ LIVE
  3:30 – 6 a.m. Men’s Semifinal #2 ESPN

ESPN Deportes

LIVE
Fri, Feb 19 2 – 5 p.m. Men’s Semifinal #2 ESPN2 Encore
  3 – 3:30 a.m. Women’s Championship Pre-Show ESPN Deportes LIVE
  3:30 – 5:30 a.m. Women’s Championship ESPN

ESPN Deportes

LIVE
  5:30 a.m. Mixed Doubles Championship ESPN+ LIVE
Sat, Feb 20 8 – 11 a.m. Women’s Championship ESPN2 Encore
  11 p.m. Men’s Doubles Championship ESPN+ LIVE
  12:30 – 2:30 a.m. Women’s Championship ESPN2 Encore
  3 – 3:30 a.m. Men’s Championship Pre-Show ESPN Deportes LIVE
  3:30 – 6:30 a.m. Men’s Championship ESPN

ESPN Deportes

LIVE
Sun, Feb 21 8 a.m. – Noon Men’s Championship ESPN2 Encore
  11 p.m. – 3 a.m. Men’s Championship ESPN2 Encore

 

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Dave Nagle

It was 33 years at ESPN for me as of November 2019 (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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