Here are NBC’s coverage plans and announcers for the 2012 French Open:
NEW YORK – May 23, 2012 – NBC’s 20 hours of 2012 French Open coverage begins this Sunday, 12 noon ET, with live opening-round coverage, and culminates with the Women’s Final on June 9 and the Men’s Final on June 10. In all, NBC will broadcast 20 hours from Roland Garros, including coverage on the first Sunday of play for the first time.
Defending champion Rafael Nadal has won six French Open titles (2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011). With a win this year he will surpass Bjorn Borg for the most men’s French Open championships in the Open era.
COMMENTATORS: Host Ted Robinson anchors NBC’s coverage, joined by analysts John McEnroe and Mary Carillo. McEnroe and Carillo teamed to win the mixed doubles title at the 1977 French Open. This is NBC’s 30th consecutive year televising the event.
MCENROE ON NADAL’S PLACE IN TENNIS HISTORY: “He still has the chance to be the best player in history. So that alone is something pretty major. I’ve long considered Roger Federer to be the greatest in history, but Nadal sort of knocked on the door with a winning record over Roger. (Rod) Laver was my other guy and then (Pete) Sampras. Those are the four best.”
MCENROE ON NADAL’S STANDING ON CLAY: “This is sort of a historic event, because my buddy and rival Bjorn Borg won six out of eight and only lost twice at the French Open. Nadal’s won six and lost only once, so he has a chance to basically say ‘I’m the best ever.’”
CARILLO ON NADAL-FEDERER: “Rafael Nadal will go down in history as the greatest-ever clay-courter, eclipsing the luminous Bjorn Borg, but Roger Federer continues to dominate the ‘greatest-ever’ dialogue. A second French Open title from Roger would cement his superiority over Laver, Sampras…even Rafael, until and unless the Spaniard racks up more Wimbledons and U.S. Open titles.”
MCENROE ON NADAL-FEDERER: “Nadal-Federer is something that we’ll look back on and realize that this is one of the all-time great rivalries.”
MCENROE ON FEDERER’S DRIVE: “It’s amazing that he still has that hunger and passion. It sort of reminds me of what I see with Kobe Bryant. He’s someone who’s getting on an age but still seems to want it just as badly as in the very beginning of his career.”
MCENROE ON DJOKOVIC: “Don’t forget about Djokovich trying to win four-in-a-row (majors). That’s pretty historic as far as that goes, because that hasn’t happened since Laver did it when he won the Grand Slam.”MCENROE ON HIS PICK FOR THE MEN’S FINAL: I’d like to see Djokovic-Nadal to see if Djokovic has it in him to be able to beat Rafa for three out of five (sets) on clay.”
CARILLO’S FINAL FOUR PROJECTIONS:
Men: Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic, Tomas Berdych
Women: Maria Sharapova, Serena Williams, Li Na, Samantha Stosur
FRENCH OPEN ON NBC: Following is the schedule for NBC’s coverage of the 2012 French Open, which culminates with live coverage of the Women’s (June 9) and Men’s (June 10) Finals:
FRENCH OPEN ON NBC
Sunday, May 27
Noon – 3 p.m. ET
First Round (Live)
Saturday, June 2
Noon – 3 p.m. ET
Third Round (Live)
Sunday, June 3
1 p.m. – 4 p.m. ET
Fourth Round (Live)
Friday, June 8
11 a.m. – 2 p.m. (all time zones)
Men’s Semifinals (Live ET)
Saturday, June 9
9 a.m. – Noon ET
Women’s Final (live)
Sunday, June 10
9 a.m. – 2 p.m. ET
Men’s Final (Live)
FRENCH OPEN ON NBCSPORTS.COM: Tennis fans can go online to watch a live simulcast of each day of NBC’s coverage including the Men’s and Women’s Finals, and live streaming coverage, across the country, of the Men’s Semifinals on Friday, June 8. NBCSports.com will also provide daily video highlights online-only analysis for NBC’s tennis commentators.
NBC AND THE FRENCH OPEN: In 1975, NBC became the first American television network to provide coverage of the French Open when the network signed a three-year deal with the French Tennis Federation. The tournament was covered by CBS from 1980-82 and returned to NBC in 1983, where it has remained since.
–NBC SPORTS GROUP–