By Justin Cohen
Tennis Channel Names Jim Courier Lead Men’s Analyst for 2012 US Open
Tennis Channel is adding Hall of Famer Jim Courier to its on-air roster for its fourth US Open, August 27 through September 9. As lead men’s tennis analyst, the current U.S. Davis Cup captain and four-time major singles champion will provide his unique point of view during much of the network’s 70-plus match hours. In all, Tennis Channel will devote close to 245 hours of US Open-related programming to the two-week tournament, a round-the-clock schedule built on matches all day, US Open Tonight after hours and Breakfast at the Open the following morning. Courier, through a multiyear agreement with the network, joins an all-star stable of Tennis Channel personalities, including fellow Hall of Famers Martina Navratilova and Tracy Austin, and sports casting mainstays Bill Macatee and Ted Robinson. In 2011 he offered analysis during select first-week matches, marking his first appearance on the channel. This year his role is being expanded throughout the event. “We had fun last year and I look forward to doing more matches with Tennis Channel at this year’s US Open,” said Courier. “With different men’s singles winners at each of the other majors, as well as the Olympics, there are a lot of question marks coming into the tournament this time around, and I’m excited to see how it’s all going to unfold.” No network devotes as many hours of television to the US Open as Tennis Channel does each summer while the sport’s largest spectacle takes place. In addition to full slates of matches most days, highlight and analysis shows US Open Tonight and Breakfast at the Open bridge the late-night and early morning hours with the latest on-court activity. The tournament’s first day, Monday, Aug. 27, represents Tennis Channel’s typical US Open telecast schedule during the event. The network is live at 10:30 a.m. ET, with a new, half-hour lead-in show that breaks down everything that has happened to that point and what can be expected in the day ahead. Match coverage gets underway at 11 a.m. and runs until 7 p.m. ET. US Open Tonight airs from 11 p.m. to 2:30 a.m., followed by an immediate encore. At 6 a.m. Breakfast at the Open takes viewers to the start of the next day’s play at 10:30 a.m. During almost any 24-hour period, viewers will be able to turn to Tennis Channel and stay on top of the US Open.
ESPN and 2012 US Open; Nearly 100 Hours on ESPN2 HD and 400 Hours on ESPN3
According to a press release, ESPN’s multi-platform and worldwide coverage of tennis’ final Grand Slam event of the year, the US Open from New York, will begin Monday, August 27 and fans can again expect nearly 100 hours in high definition on ESPN2 HD, 400 hours on ESPN3’s multi-court offering plus coverage across ESPN’s platforms in the U.S. and around the world. During the first week of the tournament, ESPN2’s coverage will start at 1 p.m. each weekday and will continue nonstop for at least 10 hours through both the day and evening sessions. The latter, Primetime at the US Open presented by IBM, will begin at 7 p.m. and continue until 11 p.m. or when play is concluded, whichever is later. The second week, ESPN2 will have Primetime at the US Open presented by IBM at 7 p.m. on Labor Day Monday, September 3, followed by day-long windows Tuesday – Thursday. The telecast on Thursday, September 6, will include the Mixed Doubles Championship. On the final day of the tournament, Sunday, September 9, ESPN2 will televise live the women’s doubles championship at 12:30 p.m., and will review all the action at 9 p.m. with a special two-hour edition of SportsCenter at the US Open. All of ESPN2’s telecasts are also available online through ESPNnetworks.com, and on smartphones and tablets via the WatchESPN app. Both are accessible to fans who receive their video service from an affiliated provider. While ESPN2 is on the air, SportsCenter will have the right to cut-in live for updates and key moments. SportsCenter’s daytime edition is on ESPN until 3 p.m. with later editions from 6-7 p.m. and 11 p.m.-midnight. On ESPNEWS, SportsCenter airs from 3-6 p.m. and 7-11 p.m. On Thursday, Sept. 6, the evening telecast at 7 p.m. will start with an exhibition doubles match played for charity – actor Adam Sandler will team with ESPN’s John McEnroe to play against actor Kevin James paired with tennis great Jim Courier. Sandler, McEnroe and James all were raised in Queens, New York, and Courier now lives in New York. Comedian Colin Quinn, a native of Brooklyn, New York, will serve as the chair umpire and no doubt will have to deal with some demonstrative on-court behavior. Broadcasters for this year’s US Open include Chris Evert, Cliff Drysdale, Darren Cahill, Mary Joe Fernandez, Chris Fowler, Brad Gilbert, LZ Granderson, John McEnroe, Patrick McEnroe, Chris McKendry, Tom Rinaldi, Pam Shriver, Mike Tirico and Hannah Storm.
US Open Chefs Prepare To Serve 700,000 Tennis Fans
The United States Tennis Association (USTA) and Levy Restaurants, the official restaurant partner of the US Open, announced today the official menu and expanded culinary offerings at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center for the 2012 US Open, which runs from August 27-September 9. With a menu that reflects the international flair of the event, the US Open showcases flavors from around the world and utilizes ingredients from across the region. The world’s highest-attended annual sporting event, the US Open will attract more than 700,000 fans over the course of the 20-day event. Overseeing all culinary efforts is Levy Restaurants Regional Chef Jim Abbey, who will have a 250-person culinary staff to serve guests at 60 concession stands, five restaurants, 100 luxury suites and the Player’s Lounge. An event that draws tennis fans from all over the world, the US Open menu will continue to feature fresh, inventive cuisine–including creations from Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto, celebrity chefs David Burke and Tony Mantuano. The USTA is locally sourcing more food for the Food Village, suites, stadiums and restaurants than ever before. Levy Restaurants has increased use of locally-sourced ingredients and this year 40 percent of all produce will be sourced from the region, including area farms, locally-sourced meat, seafood and poultry.
USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center Gets Major Building Enhancements
On Monday, the USTA announced a series of major building enhancements that are designed to elevate the overall fan experience at the 2012 US Open. Projects include new buildings, completion of Court 17, increased seating at all field courts and new sponsored programs for visitors to this year’s tournament. This year’s innovative Opening Night ceremony will include an immersive video and light show in Arthur Ashe Stadium for the first time and will feature a live performance of the song “Celebrate” by pop star Jordin Sparks. The hit song is from the movie “Sparkle,” in which Sparks stars alongside the late Whitney Houston, in Houston’s final film performance. Houston opened Arthur Ashe Stadium 15 years ago with a performance of “One Moment in Time” in front of a sold-out crowd and a parade of former US Open champions. The USTA has finished construction on its newest show court – Court 17 – for this year’s tournament. The court has full television broadcast capabilities, state-of-the-art video screens and includes the Chase Review electronic line calling system. With a capacity of 2,800, Court 17 is the fourth-largest spectator court at the US Open. The pavilion around Court 17 will include new attractions for fans, including Bar 17, a casual outdoor setting replete with TVs, and the return of the popular player photo wall, where fans can take pictures next to life-sized images of their favorite players.
Moët & Chandon Returns to US Open as Official Tournament Champagne for Second-Consecutive Year
According to a press release, Moët & Chandon returns to the US Open for the second consecutive year linking the world’s most beloved champagne with one of the world’s most prestigious and esteemed sporting competitions. Moët & Chandon, which has been the champagne of success and glamour since 1743, will once again create the ultimate tennis experience at the 2012 US Open by bringing the magic of champagne to one of the world’s most celebrated events, the US Open, held at Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, from August 27 through September 9. “The partnership with the US Open marks a strong commitment to the world of tennis. There is no better place to showcase Moët & Chandon’s values of success, glamour and celebration of victory than at the world renowned US Open,” stated Ludovic du Plessis, Vice President Moët & Chandon US. “Moët & Chandon looks forward to celebrating with both the champions and the fans of the US Open,” he added. In addition to being the Official Champagne of the US Open, Moët & Chandon will present a number of luxurious and charitable programs at the 2012 US Open, including the introduction of the Moët & Chandon Terrace; “Cheers for Champions,” which will benefit USTA Serves Incorporated, which supports, monitors, and promotes programs that enhance the lives of at-risk individuals and others with disabilities through the integration of tennis and education; and a new, interactive consumer digital sweepstakes designed to offer a chance to win lessons with revered tennis pro Jim Courier. Moët & Chandon experiences at the 2012 US Open will include: Champagne and tennis enthusiasts alike will enjoy the seductive palate of Moët & Chandon Imperial at the Moët & Chandon Terrace, a lounge environment designed in the brand’s signature international style that envelops guests, shaded from the summer sun yet still in the heart of the excitement . The Moët Terrace is located across from the Patio Café. Moët & Chandon will enhance its charitable initiative, “Cheers for Champions”, begun in 2011. Celebrity spectators and tennis champions will have the opportunity to sign a Moët & Chandon jeroboam crystallized with the US Open logo while watching live matches from the exclusive Moët & Chandon suite. This one-of-a-kind bottle will be auctioned, with all proceeds benefitting USTA Serves. The Moët USA Facebook page will host The Moët & Chandon Ultimate Tennis Experience digital sweepstakes, in which consumers can enter for a chance to win private lessons with renowned tennis pro Jim Courier. Consumers are invited to compete in a virtual tennis match and are entered into the sweepstakes following two “perfect serves.” Sweepstakes entrants must be 21 years of age or older at time of entry. For more information, visit Moët & Chandon on Facebook (www.facebook.com/moet) or Twitter (@MoetUSA). “The US Open is where athleticism, entertainment and international star power converge, and we are thrilled to have Moët & Chandon be part of it,” said Lew Sherr, Chief Revenue Officer at the USTA. “We are equally excited that Moët & Chandon’s ‘Cheers for Champions’ charitable campaign will once again continue their connection with tennis beyond the US Open and help us transform lives through tennis in a meaningful and lasting way.”
Tennis Hall of Famer Chris Evert to be Honored at The Legends Ball in New York City
On Friday, September 7, the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum will gather hundreds of tennis enthusiasts and industry leaders at Cipriani 42nd Street in New York City for The Legends Ball, an annual social event that celebrates tennis and honors some of the sport’s greatest champions and contributors, including the International Tennis Hall of Fame Class of 2012 – Jennifer Capriati, Gustavo Kuerten, Manuel Orantes, Mike Davies, and Randy Snow. In addition to honoring the newest inductees, this year’s event will salute Hall of Famer Chris Evert, who will be awarded the Eugene L. Scott Award in recognition of her years of dedication to tennis, and the positive impact she has made on the sport. The award will be presented by fellow Hall of Famer and a past Scott Award recipient, Billie Jean King. “Gene had a remarkable ability to encourage people to really pause and think about what was important in the sport of tennis, and where the game was headed. I always admired his insight, and appreciated his dedication to the sport,” said Evert. “Today, I’m grateful for the platforms that I have to publicly observe developments in tennis and to speak out to help grow the game. It is truly an honor to be recognized with an award that pays tribute to such an effective communicator and important tennis industry leader as Gene.” Eugene L. Scott was a United States Davis Cup player and a tournament director, but perhaps his greatest impact on the tennis world was as a voice for the game. He founded Tennis Week magazine and wrote the most widely read and well-respected column about the sport, “Vantage Point” until his death in 2006. His writings about the sport were known for their poignancy and clarity, and he was dubbed “the conscience of the game.” Presented annually, the Eugene L. Scott Award honors an individual who embodies Scott’s commitment to communicating honestly and critically about the game, and who has had a significant impact on the tennis world. Previous recipients of the award have been: John McEnroe (2006); Andre Agassi (2007); Billie Jean King (2008); Arthur Ashe and his wife Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe (2009); Martina Navratilova (2010); and Dick Enberg (2011). “The International Tennis Hall of Fame’s Legends Ball is an opportunity to pay tribute to the outstanding contributors to the sport of tennis who have played an instrumental role in its growth, and naturally, Chris Evert is at the very top of that list. We are pleased to be able to say congratulations and thank you to Chris at this very special event, and are so pleased that Billie Jean will be able to help us do so,” said Christopher E. Clouser, chairman of the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum. For tickets, sponsorship opportunities, or to learn more about The Legends Ball, call (401) 849-3990 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Attendance Records Broken at 2012 Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati
The total attendance for the 2012 Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati, which saw Roger Federer and Li Na capture singles titles, was 175,963, which eclipsed last year’s single-week tournament record of 174,268 for the 16 sessions. Tournament officials said that fans from 50 states purchased tickets this year, as well as many tennis enthusiasts from abroad. In addition, 10 of 16 sessions were sold out this year, compared to just seven sessions sold out in 2011. During quarterfinal day on Friday, August 17, 24,710 fans were at the Lindner Family Tennis Center, marking the largest ever single day attendance. “Here in Cincinnati fans are great. They enjoy their tennis. You do feel that as a player as well. Obviously looking forward to coming back next year again!” said Federer, who captured his Open Era record fifth Cincinnati title and first as a 31-year-old.
Tennis Legend Peter Fleming Named Associate Director of John McEnroe Tennis Academy
The doubles pairing of Peter Fleming and John McEnroe was one of the most successful partnerships in the history of professional tennis. Now, they are teaming up again, as Fleming recently accepted the position as Associate Academy Director of the John McEnroe Tennis Academy. McEnroe and Fleming will officially kick off this re-constituting of their partnership with a kids clinic at the new Sportime Lake Isle in Eastchester, New York on Sunday August 26th at Noon. Lake Isle will be one of two new annexes for the JMTA, with the other being in Bethpage, New York. Fleming, once the No. 1 doubles and No. 8 singles player in the world, will be based out of the JMTA’s flagship Randall’s Island and Lake Isle locations. He will maintain a presence at both clubs from September through May. “Peter and I have known each other since the early 1970s,” said McEnroe, “and probably no one on the planet knows better than Peter about my approach to the game – both on and off court – and how I would like to see the game played, kids train, and parents to act. It’s a perfect fit.” “I am very excited to be able to work formally again with John and the staff at JMTA,” Fleming said. “I have talked with John for years about his dream of exposing the game to a new generation of kids and using a system he believes in to build a new group of dedicated players and lifelong fans of the game, and anything I can do to help him I will.” In addition to his new duties at the JMTA, which will focus on working with top players privately and in group sessions, Fleming will continue as a standout commentator for Sky TV.
Bryan Brothers and USTA Serves Joining Forces with Esurance to Benefit At-Risk Youth
Esurance, the official car insurance sponsor of the US Open, is teaming up with the 2012 Olympic champion Bryan Brothers and USTA Serves to support two tennis programs benefiting at-risk youth. Facebook users can go to Esurance’s Facebook page at www.esurance.com/facebook to vote for one of the two “game-changing” programs. Esurance will donate $50,000 to USTA Serves to be distributed to each of the programs based on the percentage of votes received. Voters can also enter a sweepstakes to win a trip for two to the men’s singles final of the 2013 US Open. Additionally, visitors to the Facebook page will have access to an exclusive video of the Bryans, as well as more information about USTA Serves and the two participating tennis programs– East Palo Alto Tennis and Tutoring and the Kids and Police Tennis Association. “USTA Serves is excited to partner with Esurance to support East Palo Alto Tennis and Tutoring and Kids and Police Tennis Association. Both programs are game changers for the hundreds of kids benefitting from the powerful combination of tennis and education. Now they’ll get the extra attention, tutoring and computer support they need to succeed in school and throughout their lives,” said Deborah Larkin, Executive Director USTA Serves. USTA Serves is a not-for-profit entity dedicated to enhancing the lives of at-risk children and individuals with disabilities through the integration of tennis and education. People from all cultural and ethnic backgrounds are beneficiaries of USTA Serves, which supports organizations that use tennis as a vehicle to help at-risk children finish high school and qualify for college scholarships. “USTA Serves is a great organization that’s making a difference in the lives of young people around the country,” said Esurance CEO Gary Tolman. “Giving back to the community is a cornerstone of Esurance’s philosophy, and our work with USTA Serves and the Bryan Brothers continues our tradition of being a long-time supporter of charity in tennis.” East Palo Alto Tennis and Tutoring (EPATT) has made a difference for more than 1,500 at-risk students over the past 25 years. Using a unique mix of academic tutoring and tennis instruction, EPATT gives students the strong academic, athletic, and social skills they need to become successful adults in their community. Through EPATT, neighbors, teachers, coaches, and mentors are making a lasting impact on kids in need. The Kids and Police Tennis Association (KAPTA) provides year-round, after-school tennis, health, and education programs to 500 kids in low-income areas. KAPTA is a joint effort between the Palm Beach County Sherriff’s Department and the Police Athletic League with the goal of teaching young people to be accountable, responsible, independent, and critical thinkers. **No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited. For official sweepstakes rules go to http://esurancegamechanger.thesocialtab.net/Home/Rules
World TeamTennis Finals Weekend presented by GEICO set for September 14-16 in Charleston
The World TeamTennis Finals Weekend presented by GEICO is set to take place from September 14-16 at the Family Circle Tennis Center in Charleston, S.C. Venus Williams, Lindsay Davenport, John McEnroe and Kevin Anderson lead a star-studded field of top players expected to battle it out for their teams in hopes of winning the World TeamTennis Championship. Ticket specials for the WTT Finals Weekend are available through the Family Circle Tennis Center box office. Fans who purchase Terrace Level tickets for Friday and Saturday through the FCTC Box Office will receive a free ticket for Sunday’s Championship Final. A full weekend Terrace Level pass is $77.00. Full weekend Box Seat passes are available for $160.50. Single session tickets are $38.50 for Terrace Level and $53.50 for Box Seats. All fees are included in ticket prices. For tickets, travel packages or more information, please contact the Box Office at (800) 677-2293 or visit www.familycirclecup.com.
Andy Murray Commits to 2013 Brisbane International
Olympic Gold Medalist Andy Murray will return to the Brisbane International in Queensland in January 2013 to defend his title, tournament officials announced on Tuesday. The current World No. 4 is the first player to commit to the event. “I really enjoyed playing the Brisbane International for the first time this January, and claiming the title was great preparation leading into the Australian Open,” said Murray. “Brisbane attracts a tough draw with a lot of top players … obviously I want to play as many matches as possible, and if I can, win. Winning always gives you extra confidence and is the perfect start leading into the first Grand Slam of the year.”
Norwegian Tennis Federation Partners with Professional Tennis Registry
Professional Tennis Registry (PTR) announced a Partnership Agreement with the Norwegian Tennis Federation. During Wimbledon, representatives of PTR and the Norwegian Tennis Federation (NTF) met to sign a partnership agreement. This inaugural two year agreement was enthusiastically received by both organizations. As part of the agreement, PTR will provide educational services with all full time tennis coaches in Norway becoming members of PTR. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed. “The ability to be able to provide quality education to our full time coaches is essential,” said Erik Solberg, NTF Vice President. “At the Norwegian Tennis Federation, we see our partnership with PTR as another indication of our resolve to improving tennis in Norway.” One of goals of PTR’s recently elected President, Jorge Andrew, is to expand PTR’s role internationally. Andrew commented, “PTR looks forward to providing educational content and events for the tennis coaches in Norway. We applaud the Norwegian Tennis Federation for their approach to improving tennis in Norway.” One of the highlights of the partnership is a ‘Top of the World’ Tennis Symposium that will be held in Norway’s northernmost city of Tromso. PTR CEO, Dan Santorum, stated, “The leadership of the Norwegian Tennis Federation is dedicated to providing their tennis coaches with the educational tools to increase tennis participation. PTR is excited to work with the tennis federation to co-present a world class Symposium in Norway.” One of the goals of the Norwegian Tennis Federation is to increase the participation in tennis, which will increase the chances of developing future tennis champions in Norway. Oivind Sorvald, Director of Sports for the federation, said, “PTR is a world class organization. Having been a long time member, I know the quality that PTR will bring to Norwegian Tennis.” PTR is the Official Training Partner for Special Olympics Tennis. PTR is the largest global organization of tennis teaching professionals with more than 14,000 members in 117 countries. It has the greatest percentage of multicultural and women members of any such organization. PTR is dedicated to educating, certifying and servicing tennis teachers and coaches around the world in order to grow the game.