By Liz Kobak
TV RATINGS UP IN USA FOR US OPEN SINGLES FINALS
The 2013 US Open men’s singles final that saw Rafael Nadal win his 13th major singles title over world No. 1 Novak Djokovic earned a 2.8 overnight rating on CBS Monday evening which is up 22% from the Andy Murray vs. Djokovic final last year (2.3) and up 8% from the Djokovic vs. Nadal final in 2010 (2.6), as reported by Sports Media Watch. The 2.8 overnight is the highest for the men’s final since 2007, the last time the event took place on a Sunday afternoon (4.2). That final featured Roger Federer defeating Djokovic. The six straight Monday finals have earned overnights between 2.2 and 2.8, compared to a range of 3.3 to 7.9 for the previous six, according to Sports Business Daily.
Sports Media Watch also reports the women’s final featuring Serena Williams winning her 17th major singles title, defeating Victoria Azarenka, earned the highest overnight ratings in 11 years – a 4.9 overnight rating on CBS. That is up 26 percent from the same match-up from 2012 (3.9) and up 17 percent from Serena’s final-round upset loss to Sam Stosur in 2011 (4.2). The 4.9 rating is the highest for a women’s final at the U.S. Open since the much-hyped Saturday night prime-time final between Venus and Serena Williams in 2002. That final earned a 7.2 rating. The 4.9 rating for Sunday’s Williams-Azarenka final was the highest for any U.S. Open singles final since Federer beat Andy Roddick in 2006 (5.1). For more details, read here: http://www.sportsmediawatch.com/2013/09/tv-ratings-six-year-high-for-u-s-open-mens-final-also-college-football-mlb-on-fox/
WILLAMS, NADAL EARNED LARGEST PRIZE MONEY PAYCHECKS IN TENNIS HISTORY
After winning the 2013 US Open singles titles, world No. 1 Serena Williams and world No. 2 Rafael Nadal each raked in $3.6 million in prize money, the largest prize money paychecks in tennis history.
That’s $1 million more than usual as both tennis superstars also won the 2013 Emirates Airline US Open Series Bonus Challenge leading up to this year’s Open.
Williams claimed her fifth US Open title and 17th Grand Slam Sunday, while Nadal won his second men’s singles championship and 13th overall Slam on Monday.
ESPN AD FEATURES 2013 US Open CHAMP NADAL
Commemorating Rafael Nadal’s recent US Open win, ESPN debuted its newest “This is SportsCenter” campaign starring the Spanish tennis ace. The ad was filmed in English and Spanish and is running on ESPN and ESPN Deportes as a follow-up to Nadal’s 6-2, 3-6, 6-4, 6-1 win over world No. 1 Novak Djokovic and 13th Grand Slam title.
“Candy Dish” is 30 seconds long and features SportsCenter anchors John Anderson and Bram Weinstein, who question Nadal’s office popularity among ESPN colleagues. Rafa might keep something in his US Open trophy that explains it all. ESPN Deportes’ SportsCenter theme parallels the American version, but includes different anchors: Alvaro Morales, Jorge Eduardo Sánchez and Carolina Padrón.
See the clip here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XOjpmsmJUqI
GOVERNOR CUOMO SIGNS LEGISLATION TO EXPAND, IMPROVE NATIONAL TENNIS CENTER
During the US Open’s second week, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo signed legislation allowing refurbishment and expansion of the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.
This law enables essential infrastructure reparations, more fans to attend major tournaments and create more than 1,500 construction and full-time jobs.
“As the site of the US Open, the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center brings thousands of fans to New York every year, boosting our tourism industry and spurring local economic activity,” Governor Cuomo said. “New York is proud to showcase the biggest players in tennis at this annual event, and I am committed to making this facility the best it can be to attract and host more events like the US Open.”
The signing allows for a near one-acre boundary expansion of the entire complex and 1.56 acres to be returned to the New York Department of Parks for public recreational use. The planned improvements include a new row of tennis courts, one fenced and landscaped border to enhance spectator safety and circulation and repositioning the Grandstand stadium.
The US Open creates 6,000 seasonal jobs annually, with 85 percent of employees from New York City who collectively earn $40 Million. Labor demand will increase and likely cause that compensation to rise upon this project’s completion.
DAVENPORT, PIERCE, BOLLETTIERI HIGHLIGHT HALL OF FAME NOMINEES
Former world No. 1 and six-time Grand Slam champion Lindsay Davenport, two-time singles Grand Slam winner Mary Pierce and 1994 Wimbledon Champion Conchita Martinez highlight those players nominated for the ballot for induction into the International Tennis Hall of Fame.
“[These women] were three of the most exciting women’s tennis players of their time,” said 1987 Hall of Fame inductee and International Hall of Fame Nominating Committee President Stan Smith. “I extend my congratulations to the nominees and our gratitude for their many contributions to the sport.”
These former champions are staying involved with their favorite sport. Martinez supportively watched young Spaniard Lara Arruabarrena lose to Jamie Hampton in the 2013 US Open’s opening round. Lindsay Davenport is an on-air Tennis Channel who commentated during the Open. While Pierce was not spotted on the grounds this year, she remains in the tennis world and is PTR certified in all three pathways.
Also on the ballot are famed tennis coach Nick Bollettieri, wheelchair player Chantal Vandierendonck, tennis executive Jane Brown Grimes, and author and broadcaster John Barrett.
International Tennis Hall of Fame enshrinement has been given to 235 people representing 20 countries since 1955. Located in Newport, Rhode Island, the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum is a non-profit organization that preserves tennis’ history and heritage.
EDBERG JOINS McENROE, RAFTER AT ROYAL ALBERT HALL
Two-time Wimbledon champion Stefan Edberg returns to London in December, competing in IMG’s Statoil Masters Tennis at Royal Albert Hall.
Edberg, whom Pat Rafter beat in this tournament’s 2009 final, joins Rafter, John McEnroe, Goran Ivanišević and Tim Henman in the highly popular pre-Christmas tennis event held Dec. 4-8, 2013.
“I am very excited to be coming back to play in the Statoil Masters Tennis at the Royal Albert Hall,” Edberg said. “It is one of the most beautiful arenas in the world and I feel very lucky to have the chance to play against John McEnroe and the other great champions in front of a great crowd in London.”
Edberg, 47, is one of tennis’ most dynamic serve-and-volley experts and has maintained his fitness. The Swede won six Grand Slam singles titles and reached World No.1 in both singles and doubles in his thirteen-year professional career.
The Statoil Masters Tennis is part of the ATP Champions Tour, a circuit of former World No. 1 tennis players, Grand Slam singles finalists and Davis Cup winners.
Liz Kobak won the 2013 USTA National Women’s Open Singles Grass Court Championship. She is a 2010 Columbia University graduate and Northwestern University journalism master’s recipient. She is a former WTA ranked pro and #1 ranked United States junior tennis player who rates her 6-4, 6-1 win on Italian clay over Sara Errani as her best victory.