People have been coming to this blog and seeing my post about the US Open golf announcers, so here’s ESPN’s press release about their announcers for the tennis:
ESPN has televised tennis since its first week on the air nearly 30 years ago, but on Monday, August 31, it will do what no U.S. network has ever done – complete the Grand Slam by televising the US Open for the first time. In the first year of a six-year agreement with the USTA, tennis fans will enjoy 100 hours in high definition on ESPN2, US Open update shows each weekday on ESPNEWS, nearly 400 hours on ESPN360.com’s multi-court offering and coverage across ESPN’s platforms in the U.S. and around the world.
ESPN’s multimedia coverage will begin Thurs., Aug. 27, with the live, exclusive announcement of the tournament’s brackets on ESPNEWS at noon ET. Chris McKendry will host the half-hour, commercial-free show, with Mary Joe Fernandez and Patrick McEnroe. Live interviews with defending champions Roger Federer and Serena Williams from New York are planned.
Before the first ball is in the air, ESPN’s first presentation from the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center will be on ESPN Radio and ESPN2 with Mike & Mike in the Morning. Mike Greenberg and Mike Golic will host their 6-10 a.m. show – heard on more than 350 radio stations (plus Sirius and XM Satellite Radio) and simulcast on ESPN2 – both Monday, Aug. 31, and Tuesday, Sept. 1.
During the first week of the tournament, ESPN2’s coverage will start at 1 p.m. each weekday and will continue non stop through both the day and evening sessions. A one-hour US Open Scoreboard program will lead into Primetime at the US Open presented by IBM at 7 p.m. and until 11 p.m. or 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, Sept. 7 (ESPN’s 30th Anniversary), followed by 12-hour windows Tuesday – Thursday starting at 11 a.m., with US Open Scoreboard at 6 p.m. and Primetime at the US Open presented by IBM at 7 p.m.
On the final day of the tournament, Sunday, Sept. 13, ESPN2 will televise live the women’s doubles championship at 1 p.m., and will review all the action at 9 p.m. with a special two-hour edition of SportsCenter presented by BMW at the US Open. Both weeks, ESPNEWS will present a two-hour weekday US Open update show at noon. As with the other three Grand Slams, ESPN2 will work with Tennis Channel to bring fans virtually round-the-clock coverage during the US Open, each utilizing its own commentators.
ESPN2’s Commentator Lineup
ESPN’s tennis team is led by Cliff Drysdale, completing his 30th year with ESPN. The former US Open finalist has been with ESPN since its first tennis telecast September 14, 1979, exactly one week after the network launched, making him second in ESPN tenure among commentators behind only Bob Ley. Chris Fowler, ESPN’s lead studio anchor for Grand Slam tennis since 2003, will serve as a host and call matches. Mike Tirico of Monday Night Football and Hannah Storm of the weekday morning SportsCenter will make their debuts as a tennis host.
They will team with John McEnroe, the four-time US Open champ who has joined ESPN for the event, plus familiar ESPNers Darren Cahill, Mary Carillo, Fernandez, Brad Gilbert, Patrick McEnroe and Pam Shriver, plus Hall of Fame tennis journalist Bud Collins. Shriver will frequently be utilized as a sideline reporter and as a roving reporter covering play in “outer courts”, as will Luke Jensen, and the McEnroes will at times be teamed together to form a sibling booth pairing. In addition, Tom Rinaldi will provide essays and conduct interviews during the first week and Rick Reilly will contribute commentary.