Tennis Channel Adds Qualifiers in 10th Year of US Open Coverage
August 20, 2018
LOS ANGELES (Aug. 20, 2018) – Tennis Channel is starting a week early for its 10th year of US Open coverage, adding all five broadcast courts during the US Open Qualifying Tournament August 21-24. The daylong match blocks are expected to add 38 hours of live tennis before the main draw gets underway Monday, Aug. 27, as hopefuls attempt to fight their way into the world’s largest tennis event. The competition serves as a preamble for the network’s annual two-week telecast in New York Aug. 27-Sept. 9, with daily morning shows, all-night encore matches, and an on-air team of Hall of Fame analysts and award-winning sportscasters.
Typically running from 11 a.m.-9 p.m. ET each day, Tennis Channel’s US Open Qualifying Tournament coverage will include media days, player practices and other events on the tournament grounds this Tuesday through Friday. The network will also have access to the qualifiers’ world feed and will show another 76 hours of encore replays each night and leading up to the US Open main draw.
Brett Haber (@BrettHaber) will anchor Tennis Channel’s desk at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center during the qualifiers, joined by injured American player Shelby Rogers (@ShelbyRogers), who is rehabbing a knee injury. Rogers performed a similar role with the network in April at the Volvo Car Open in Charleston, S.C. Announcers Steve Weissman (@SteveWeissman) and Alex Faust (@alexfaust) will handle US Open Qualifying Tournament play-by-play, alongside Hall of Famer Tracy Austin (@thetracyaustin) and former players Mark Knowles (@Knowlzee10s) and Chanda Rubin (@ChandaRubin). Joining the team for the first time as an analyst is the recently retired Melanie Oudin (@melanieoudin), often remembered for her inspirational run to the US Open singles quarterfinals in 2009.
Tennis Channel’s encore, all-night match coverage will begin every evening at 11 p.m. ET, with the exception of earlier starts on Saturday and Sunday of championship weekend. From Monday, Aug. 27-Friday, Sept. 7, these telecasts will typically run throughout the late night and early morning, right up to the start of Tennis Channel Live at the US Open at 8 a.m. ET. During championship weekend, nighttime encores begin at 8 p.m. ET Saturday, Sept. 8, and Sunday, Sept. 9, with the women’s and men’s singles finals, respectively. Tennis Channel will provide 146 hours of encore matches during the fourteen-day US Open. Combined with 32 hours of live lead-in show coverage, the network will devote close to 180 total hours to the tournament in 2018.
Also back on the network’s US Open analyst’s roster are Annacone, James Blake (@JRBlake), and Justin Gimelstob (@justingimelstob). Blake is synonymous with taut nighttime battles in front of his animated “J-Block” fan base at Arthur Ashe Stadium, while Annacone is renowned for his coaching successes with Pete Sampras and Roger Federer, widely recognized as two of the greatest players to ever lift a racquet. A two-time major mixed-doubles champion as a player, Gimelstob is still very close to the game, with a variety of tennis endeavors – including a player representative role on the ATP board of directors – beyond his year-round work with Tennis Channel.
Carillo, who also won a major mixed-doubles championship as a player, brings her humor, passion and sense of story back to Tennis Channel’s US Open coverage in 2018. Praised for her honesty while covering tennis, Olympics and other competitions, she continues to be one of the most popular sports journalists in the United States. In Flushing Meadows she will again contribute special reports, moderate panel discussions and announce matches.
Award-winning sportscasters Haber and Weissman will also host conversations and handle play-by-play responsibilities during US Open matches again. A former anchor on ESPN’s SportsCenter, Haber has held sports director positions at news stations in New York City and Washington, D.C. Weissman, another SportsCenter veteran, also frequently appears on NFL Network. Carillo, Haber and Weissman host tournaments and studio shows for Tennis Channel throughout the year.
Tennis Channel reporter and analyst Wertheim is also back on the US Open team. The Sports Illustrated executive editor and senior writer has authored numerous books on tennis, including Strokes of Genius: Federer, Nadal, and the Greatest Match Ever Played, which is the basis for Tennis Channel’s first feature-length film, released in July.
Prior to the tournament, Tennis Channel’s on-air team will hold another fantasy draft on www.tennis.com and social media. Visitors to the site will also be able to compete in the channel’s free “Racquet Bracket” tournament prediction game. At the same time, social media users can engage with Tennis Channel’s US Open coverage on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.