Wimbledon Primetime to air on Tennis Channel through 2023
According to a recently released press release, Tennis Channel and the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club (AELTC) have agreed to a multi-year extension of Wimbledon Primetime, the network’s nightly program that brings its audience the day’s best tennis, encore matches, original features and coverage from in and around Wimbledon Village. Ian Ritchie, chief executive, AELTC; and Ken Solomon, chairman and CEO, Tennis Channel; announced the extension, which runs through 2023. Beginning in 2012, Wimbledon Primetime will air each evening of the two-week tournament. The network will also produce a 30-minute preview edition of the program that will run during the two weeks leading up to the event. This marks a significant broadening of Wimbledon Primetime’s nightly reach, which previously had started on the first day of tournament play and concluded midway through the second week. “We are most pleased to extend and expand our relationship with Tennis Channel,” said Ritchie. “Their nightly Wimbledon Primetime coverage has been a great success since its debut in 2008, bringing the best of the Championships, Wimbledon, to the largest possible American audience during the highest-viewer evening hours. The telecast allows fans to stay on top of everything that’s happened each day with the editorial scope and depth of an organization whose sole, year-round focus is the sport of tennis.” “We’re deeply honored to extend our relationship with the All England Lawn Tennis Club for the coming decade, one of the most beautiful and hallowed places in the world of athletic competition,” said Solomon. “Wimbledon Primetimehas become a nightly institution for both die-hard tennis fans as well as more casual viewers who watch and enjoy world-class sports.”
Tennis Channel to feature 30 matches in 30 days in December
In December, Tennis Channel will countdown the 30 greatest matches of 2011. You can vote for which matches make the cut starting on October 30 by visiting Tennis Channel’s official website, www.tennischannel.com.
Doubles legends Bob and Mike Bryan to host “Bryan Brothers Slam Jam” on October 22 in Malibu
Benefiting the Bryan Brothers Foundation, ATP World Tour top-ranked doubles duo of Bob and Mike Bryan will host the annual “Bryan Brothers Slam Jam” on Saturday, October 22 at the Malibu Racquet Club at 23847 Stuart Ranch Road in Malibu, Calif. The event kicks off at 2 p.m. with a tennis Pro-Am featuring the Bryan Brothers and 14 other professional tennis players. The day will continue at 6 p.m. when Bob and Mike switch over to their musical side and join the Bryan Brothers Band, as well as special invited musical guests for a performance. Ticket prices for the event are $195 or $180 if you are a member of the Malibu Racquet Club. For more information and ticket purchases, call (310) 456-3314 Ext. 334.
Serena announces on Twitter that she will play Mixed Doubles with Roddick at 2012 Australian Open
Just last week, former world No. 1 and 13-time Grand Slam singles champion Serena Williams mentioned on her Twitter account that she will join forces with fellow American Andy Roddick in the mixed doubles tournament at the 2012 Australian Open in Melbourne. Roddick is a former world No. 1 and 2003 US Open singles champion.
Nadal will play Halle instead of Queen’s Club in prep for 2012 Wimbledon
According to the Daily Mail, world No. 2 and two-time Wimbledon champion Rafael Nadal will prepare for the only grass court Grand Slam by playing in the Gerry Weber Open in Halle, Germany, rather than competing at Queen’s Club in London, an event he traditionally participates in. “Rafa will not be with us next year,” said Chris Kermode, Queen’s Club Tournament Director. The Daily Mail is reporting that Nadal will earn a tournament appearance fee of around $1.2 million for playing in Halle.
Tennis Promoter says Venus Williams will be back in action in December during Barbados exhibition
The Tournament Director for the “Tennis Pon de Rock” exhibition in Barbados has been assured by a tennis promoter that Venus Williams will make her return to tennis at their event, which will be played from December 10-11. Williams has not played a competitive WTA match since withdrawing from her second round US Open match against Sabine Lisicki in September after being diagnosed with Sjogren’s syndrome. “I have spoken to Venus herself, I have spoken to her manager and I have had discussions with her doctors to get her full prescription for her specific autoimmune disease. In a short answer, yes, she will be fit,” said Kodi Lewis. “She is back on the court as we speak and she is very much looking forward to coming as well.” Williams recently said on Twitter that she is “absolutely planning on being in Australia” to participate in the Australian Open. Caroline Wozniacki, Victoria Azarenka, Gael Monfils and John Isner are also confirmed for the Spring Hill Tennis Resort event in Barbados.
Prince William and Duchess Catherine offered honorary membership to Queen’s Club in London
Prince William and Duchess Catherine have been offered an honorary membership to Queen’s Club in London, according to reports by the Daily Mail. The Queen’s Club annually hosts an ATP World Tour grass court tournament two-weeks before the start of Wimbledon. Membership to the club is said to be worth $22,000. Catherine’s sister Pippa Middleton is already a paying member at the club.
Daniel Nestor inducted into Canada’s Walk of Fame in Toronto
This past weekend at the Shanghai Rolex Masters, 39-year-old Canadian Daniel Nestor teamed with Max Mirnyi to save two match points en route to defeating Michael Llodra and Nenad Zimonjic for the title. The victory added to Nestor’s extremely impressive doubles resume. Nestor, who earlier this year became the first ever player to record 800 doubles wins in a career, is the only player past or present to have won all four majors, every ATP World Tour Masters 1000 event, a season-ending championship and an Olympic gold medal. The future Hall of Famer was recently inducted into Canada’s Walk of Fame with a star in Toronto.
Doubles specialist Ashley Fisher retires from professional tennis
Doubles specialist Ashley Fisher officially announced his retirement from the ATP World Tour following his first round loss at the China Open in Beijing. The 36-year-old Australian, who is now a resident of St. Petersburg, Fla., made the decision to retire after Skyping with his eight week old son Holden while in Asia. That moment made him realize he wanted to spend more time with his son and wife Kirsten. Fisher, who missed the latter part of the 2009 season and all of 2010 after having knee surgery for the fourth time, was a semifinalist at the US Open in 2006, as well as a quarterfinalist in 2004 at the Australian Open and at Wimbledon in 2006. Reaching a career-best doubles ranking of No. 19 in June 2009, Fisher won four titles, his last coming in Indianapolis in 2008 with American Tripp Phillips. He reached seven other ATP doubles finals, including the Sony Ericsson Open in Miami in 2009, and has served on the ATP Player Council since 2009. He states that his greatest match he ever played was when he and Stephen Huss beat Bob and Mike Bryan in the semifinals at the Sony Ericsson Open in 2009. He even claims he still gets goose bumps when he pictures match point. Fisher, who often times serves as a sideline reporter on Tennis Channel, won just over $850,000 in tournament prize money throughout his career that started in 1998.
USTA announces Men’s and Women’s Wheelchair Tennis Teams for 2011 Parapan American Games
The USTA recently announced the two men and two women who were invited to represent the United States in wheelchair tennis at the 2011 Parapan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico from November 14-18. Four-time Paralympic medalist Steve Welch of Arlington, Texas and 2007 Parapan Am gold medalist Jon Rydberg of St. Paul, Minn., will play on the men’s team. Top ranked American wheelchair player Emmy Kaiser of Fort Mitchell, Ky., and 2007 Parapan Am gold medalist Kaitlyn Verfuerth of Port Washington, Wis., will play on the women’s team. During the event, Dan James will serve as Head Coach, while Jason Hartnett will be the Assistant Coach. Jeremiah Yolkut will be the Team Leader. Started in 1999, the Parapan Am Games are an international multi-sport event for athletes with a physical disability. The Games are held every four years in the year immediately prior to the Paralympic Games. This year, an estimated 1,500 athletes will compete in 13 different sports from 26 countries.