· 140 Live Hours on TV – ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNEWS and ABC
· 1000 Live Hours on ESPN3, Fans Choose from up to Nine Courts
· “Cross Court Coverage” Returns for Monday-Wednesday the Second Week
· Murray Seeks Repeat, Djokovic a Second, Nadal a Third, and Federer an Eighth…the field a first.
· Serena Aims for 18th Major, First in 2014; 10th Anniversary of Sharapova’s Win; Old Guard, New Stars to Challenge
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ESPN’s exclusive coverage of The Championships, Wimbledon – from first ball to the trophies – begins Monday, June 23, from the storied grass courts of the All England Lawn Tennis Club and includes an expanded schedule of 1,000 hours on ESPN3 and the return of complete television coverage including “Cross Court Coverage” on three days to start the second week. ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNEWS – supplementing Wimbledon programming during FIFA World Cup matches from Brazil – will combine for 140 hours. The fortnight will climax with the Ladies’ and Doubles Championships on ESPN on Saturday, July 5, and the Gentlemen’s Championship on Sunday, July 6.
- The first four days of the tournament, ESPN will begin at 7 a.m. ET for daylong coverage that transitions to ESPNEWS at 11:30 a.m., with ESPN2 simulcasting from 2 – 3:30 p.m. On Friday, June 27, ESPN will have all the action, and also on Saturday, June 28, beginning with Breakfast at Wimbledon from 7-8 a.m.
- “Cross Court Coverage” will return the first three days of the second week, with ESPN2 focused on Centre Court all day while fans will enjoy a “grounds pass” with matches from Court One and elsewhere on ESPN (transitioning to ESPNEWS at 11:30 a.m. on Monday, June 30, and Tuesday, July 1).
- Starting Thursday, July 3, all the action is on ESPN, beginning each day with Breakfast at Wimbledon hosted by Hannah Storm.
- On the “middle Sunday,” June 29, a scheduled day off as is Wimbledon tradition, ABC will broadcast a three-hour review of the first week at 3 p.m. ABC will also present encore presentations of the finals on the day they take place, July 6 and 7 at 3 p.m.
- ESPN3 has increased its multi-screen offering to 1,000 hours – all available TV courts (up to nine) presented from first ball to last ball each day, with action available on demand afterwards. Also, ESPN3 will add AELTC’s daily Live@Wimbledon. For the first time, Wimbledon.com will host the ESPN3 video offerings, greatly increasing its reach.
- WatchESPN will deliver all ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNEWS programming, accessible online at WatchESPN.com, on smartphones and tablets via the award-winning WatchESPN app, and streamed on televisions through ESPN on Xbox LIVE to Gold members, Apple TV, Roku and Amazon Fire TV to more than 92 million households nationwide via an affiliated video or internet provider.
The ESPN Tennis Team, the best tennis team in television, at Wimbledon:
- 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.
- Cliff Drysdale, who was inducted into the Tennis Hall of Fame in July 2013, 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, her 18 major titles includes a record six US Open titles. She recorded the best career win-loss record in history, and this year is the 40th anniversary of the first of her three Wimbledon titles.
- Mary Joe Fernandez, who 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. An ESPN analyst since 2000, she leads the United States’ Fed Cup team and coached the 2012 U.S. women’s Olympic team.
- Chris Fowler, who joined ESPN in 1986 has hosted College GameDay on football Saturdays since 1990 and tennis since 2003, the year of ESPN’s first Wimbledon, branching out over the years to also call matches. His diverse resume includes hosting World Cup soccer, college basketball including the Final Four, the X Games and Triple Crown horse racing events. Originally the host of Scholastic Sports America and later a SportsCenter anchor, in 2014 he becomes the lead play caller on ABC’s Saturday night college football, including the new championship game.
- Brad Gilbert, whose flair and unique nicknames for players has 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.
- LZ Granderson, a senior writer for ESPN The Magazine (and formerly a tennis editor) and ESPN.com who has covered the sport for years, will provide his perspective in reports and features. He often appears on SportsCenter, Outside the Lines and other ESPN programs. He also is a contributor to CNN and CNN.com and has previously worked at the Atlanta Journal Constitution.
- John McEnroe won seven Major singles championships, including 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 the US Open for ESPN since 2009, adding Wimbledon to his ESPN resume this year.
- 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 is General Manager, USTA Elite Player Development. He won the 1992 French Open doubles title and reached the 1991 Australian Open semifinals in singles.
- Chris McKendry, a SportsCenter anchor since joining ESPN in 1996, will host live Wimbledon telecasts for the first time. She has served this role at the other three Majors, and in 2007 she hosted ESPN’s late-night Wimbledon highlights program. She attended Drexel University on a tennis scholarship.
- Tom Rinaldi will serve as a reporter and will call matches. 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 – since 2003, winning numerous Sports Emmy Awards.
- Hannah Storm joined ESPN in 2008 as a SportsCenter anchor will host Breakfast at Wimbledon. Previously, she spent five years with CBS’ The Morning Show and for NBC Sports hosted a variety of sports, including Wimbledon. She also hosts the US Open, and was a producer on two ESPN Films tennis projects: the 2010 documentary Unmatched reviewing the rivalry and friendship between Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova and this summer’s Venus Vs. about Venus Williams and her fight for gender equity in prize money.
- 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 three times in the Wimbledon semifinals. She won 21 Grand Slam titles in women’s doubles (another in Mixed) including five at Wimbledon plus a Gold Medal in doubles at the 1988 Olympics.
Surveying the Fields
- A look at the recent Gentlemen’s and Ladies’ Wimbledon champions and finalists shows two very different pictures. Only four men have shared the last 11 titles at the All England Club and in the last 10 years only one other active player has even reached the final (Tomas Berdych, 2010; the retired Andy Roddick did so three times). Meanwhile, eight different women have appeared in the last five finals.
- A repeat by Andy Murray on the men’s side would be almost as historic as last year’s triumph for Great Britain, while a defense of the women’s title is impossible – Marion Bartoli suddenly retired barely a month later.
- The “Big Four” of men’s tennis – Roger Federer (17 career major wins), Rafael Nadal (14 including the recent French Open), Novak Djokovic (6) and Andy Murray (2) – have reigned in Britain in a shared manner unlike any of the other three majors, with seven, two, one and one crown on the grass, respectively, covering the past 11 years.
- Overall, the fantastic foursome has won 35 of the last 37 Majors and comprise 28 of the last 30 Major finalists and 56 of the last 66.
- With the 77-year British drought ended a year ago, can Murray repeat the trick? His play suffered in the wake of back surgery later in 2013, but a strong performance at the French Open (equaling his career best by reaching the semifinals) and the recent headline-making choice of Amelie Mauresmo, the 2006 Wimbledon champion, as his new coach could provide critical momentum for a successful defense.
- Beyond that quartet, the leading contenders: Stan Wawrinka won the his first Major in Australia but is licking his wounds after falling in the first round in Paris, one-time finalist Tomas Berdych has had an up-and-down year since reaching the semis DownUnder; tireless 32-year old David Ferrer has reached at least the quarters in nine 2014 events including Australia and Paris; Milos Raonic sits at a career-high ranking and the 23-year old Canadian comes to London off his best Major performance in reaching the quarterfinals at the French Open; and Ernests Gulbis is in the top 10 for the first time following a semifinal appearance in Paris.
- Serena Williams comes to London still seeking her first Major title of 2014. It would be her 18th, tying her with legends Chrissie Evert and Martina Navratilova. In fact, this year she is yet to reach the quarterfinals of a Major. Owner of five Wimbledon titles, she has won three of the last five years.
- It’s been 10 years since a 17-year-old Maria Sharapova shocked Serena in the Wimbledon final, but she arrives in London fresh off an impressive second French Open win.
- Simona Halep has never gone past the second round at Wimbledon, but with seven WTA titles in the last 12 months she has shot up the rankings, giving Sharapova all she could handle the French Open final.
- Two-time Australian Open winner Victoria Azarenka hopes her recent long layoff for a foot injury can help her at the tournament in which she has reached the semis on two occasions.
- Others with the firepower to go deep: two-time Major winner Li Na has reached the Quarters twice, Agnieszka Radwanska has reached the semis and final the last two years, 21-year-old American Sloane Stephens has reached the fourth round in six consecutive Majors, 20-year-old Canadian Eugenie Bouchard reached the semis at both Majors this year, 24-year-old Sabine Lisicki has reached the semis, quarters and final her last three visits, and former champions Petra Kvitova (2011) and Venus Williams (2008, 2007, 2005, 2001, 2000).
DIGITAL MEDIA, AT HOME AND ABROAD; INTERNATIONAL TV
ESPN.com will have previews, reviews, the latest news and videos and more:
- Courtcast: A multi-tool application with live events via the ESPN3 syndicated player, all-court scoring, match stats, “Scribble Live” conversations, poll questions, rolling Twitter feeds and scrolling bottom line
- Five Things We Learned: Video series reviewing the top news of the day
- Grass Stains: A daily notebook wrapping up the best and worst of the day
- Digital Serve: Daily original videos previewing the next day
- Baseline Buzz: Greg Garber, Melissa Isaacson and Matt Wilansky weigh in on the hottest topics with a daily, written, roundtable discussion.
- Complete analysis of the women’s draw when it is announced.
- Melissa Isaacson will provide on-site coverage for espnW.com (and ESPN.com), including daily columns and analysis of matches.
- Daily espnW.com analysis segments.
- Weekly video reports from The Word, discussing play to date.
ESPNDeportes.com will provide live scores and draws, in depth news and coverage of Latin American players, columns, blogs, live chats, video, highlights and news, including ESPiando Wimbledon that will recap the day’s play. The site will also feature Slam Central, a special index page dedicated to all four Grand Slams.
ESPN Interactive TV, now in its seventh year at Wimbledon, will provide multi-screen coverage with commentary of five matches in addition to the match airing on ESPN2 or ESPN through the second Tuesday of the tournament through DirecTV. Fans will also receive interviews, features, press conferences and a studio wrap-around presence hosted by SportsCenter anchor Steve Weissman in London. Match and studio analysts include former players Jeff Tarango, Chandra Rubin and Fred Stolle. In addition to the video offerings, DirecTV viewers can access results, schedules, draws and other interactive features through the remote control “Red Button.” In total, ESPN will provide more than 350 hours of coverage through this unique application.
ESPN Classic is airing many great matches from Wimbledons past this month, including championships from 1984, 2004 and 2009 upon their 30th, 10th and 5th anniversary, respectively. Today, Monday, June 16, through Friday, June 20, ESPN Classic is airing at least two matches at 11 a.m. and midnight (9 p.m. PT) each day. The anniversary matches:
- 1984 Gentlemen’s Final (McEnroe-Connors) on Wednesday, June 18 at 11 a.m. and 5:30 p.m.;
- 2004 Gentlemen’s Final (Federer-Roddick) that day at 2:30 p.m.,
- 2009 Gentlemen’s Final (Federer-Roddick) on Thursday, June 19 at 2 p.m.
- 2004 Ladies’ Final (Sharapova-S.Williams) on Friday, June 20, at 11 a.m.
ESPN International – the home of tennis’ Grand Slam events in the Caribbean and in Spanish-speaking Latin America– will air over 90 hours of live Wimbledon coverage to over 40 million homes on its multiple television networks throughout the region. In addition to those, ESPN+ in the Southern Cone will present 40 additional original live hours plus daily prime-time highlight programs. Broadband’s ESPN Play — ESPN International’s multi-screen broadband service — will offer over 700 hours of live coverage throughout Latin American and the Caribbean with over 10 windows of simultaneous early round action available. ESPN’s Spanish-language commentator team at Wimbledon is led by Luis Alfredo Alvarez and Edurado Varela calling matches with analysts Javier Frana and Jose Louis Clerc along with reporter Nicolas Pereira.
In addition, for the first time ESPN has exclusive media rights to Wimbledon in New Zealand, where fans will receive the same live action as aired in the U.S. (more than 130 hours), featuring the ESPN tennis team – Fowler, Drysdale, Evert, the McEnroes, etc. Complementing the television coverage, ESPN3.com, ESPN’s multi-screen broadband service in New Zealand will offer over 700 live hours – every match played on a televised court available to broadband subscribers.
ESPN – All Four Slams, All In One Place
Tennis has been part of ESPN since its first week on the air and provided many memorable moments, but it has never been as important as today, with the US Open joining the lineup in 2009, giving ESPN all four Grand Slam events, something no other U.S. network has ever done, let alone in one year. ESPN has presented the Australian Open since 1984, the French Open since 2002 (plus 1986 – 1993), and Wimbledon since 2003, with exclusivity for live television with all other rights extended in a 12-year agreement starting in 2012. Exclusivity for the US Open in an 11-year agreement begins in 2015. ESPN3 delivers an unmatched multi-screen presentation of the sport’s four majors, all ATP 1000 and 500 tournaments, WTA Premier Events and season-ending championships for both tours.
ESPN & WIMBLEDON 2014
|Mon, June 23 – Sun, July 6 (not 6/29)||6:30 a.m.||All TV Courts (up to nine), all day; Live@Wimbledon||ESPN3||Live|
|Mon, June 23 – Thur, June 26||7 – 11:30 a.m.||Early Round Action||ESPN||Live|
|11:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.||Early Round Action||ESPNEWS||Live|
|2 – 3:30 p.m.||Early Round Action||ESPN2 (simulcast of ESPNEWS)||Live|
|Fri, June 27||7 a.m. – 5 p.m.||Early Round Action||ESPN||Live|
|Sat, June 28||7 – 8 a.m.||Breakfast at Wimbledon||ESPN||Live|
|8 a.m. – 4 p.m.||Early Round Action||ESPN||Live|
|Sun, June 29||3 – 6 p.m.||Highlights of Week One||ABC||Tape|
|Mon, June 30||7 – 11:30 a.m.||Round of 16||ESPN||Live|
|8 a.m. – 4 p.m.||Round of 16, Centre Court||ESPN2||Live|
|11:30 a.m. – 3 p.m.||Round of 16||ESPNEWS||Live|
|Tue, July 1||8 a.m. – 1 p.m.||Ladies’ Quarterfinals, Centre Court||ESPN2||Live|
|8 – 11:30 a.m.||Ladies’ Quarterfinals, Court One||ESPN||Live|
|11:30 a.m. – 3 p.m.||Ladies’ Quarterfinals, Court One||ESPNEWS||Live|
|Wed, July 2||8 a.m. – 3 p.m.||Gentlemen’s Quarterfinals, Centre Court||ESPN||Live|
|8 a.m. – 4 p.m.||Gentlemen’s Quarterfinals,Court One||ESPN2||Live|
|Thur, July 3||7 – 8 a.m.||Breakfast at Wimbledon||ESPN||Live|
|8 a.m. – 1 p.m.||Ladies’ Semifinals||ESPN||Live|
|Fri, July 4||7 – 8 a.m.||Breakfast at Wimbledon||ESPN||Live|
|8 a.m. – 2 p.m.||Gentlemen’s Semifinals||ESPN||Live|
|Sat, July 5||8 a.m. – 9 a.m.||Breakfast at Wimbledon||ESPN||Live|
|9 a.m. – 3 p.m.||Ladies’ Final||ESPN||Live|
|3 – 6 p.m.||Ladies’ Final||ABC||Tape|
|Sun, July 6||8 a.m. – 9 a.m.||Breakfast at Wimbledon||ESPN||Live|
|9 a.m. – 3 p.m.||Gentlemen’s Final||ESPN||Live|
|3 – 6 p.m.||Gentlemen’s Final||ABC||Tape|