via press release:
Tennis Exhibitions Live on ESPN3: Williams Sisters in South Africa on Nov. 4,
“The Face Off” Doubleheader in Toronto on Nov. 16
Serena and Venus to Play for First Time in South Africa
Serena-Radwanska in Wimbledon Rematch, Roddick-Raonic a Battle of Servers
ESPN3 will present live two special tennis events with some of the biggest names in the sport – a family affair in Johannesburg, South Africa, with Serena and Venus Williams on Sunday, November 4, and a doubleheader from Toronto on Friday, Nov. 16, with Serena facing Agnieszka Radwanska and Andy Roddick against local favorite Milos Raonic.
The Williams Sisters will meet on an indoor hard court in front of 4,000 fans at Ellis Park Arena in the capital of South Africa on Sunday, Nov. 4, at 7 a.m. ET. ESPN3 holds exclusive distribution rights in the United States. The 31-year-old Serena, currently ranked No. 3 in the world, holds a 13-10 advantage over her older sister including their last four matches. The two have not played in three years, since the 2009 WTA Championships.
Between them, Serena and Venus, 32 and currently ranked No. 24 in the world, hold 22 Major Singles titles (15 and seven, respectively) and teaming in doubles they have won 13 Major championships and three Olympic Gold Medals. Each has also won two Major Mixed Doubles crowns and each has earned Olympic Gold in singles.
On Friday, Nov. 16, at 8 p.m. from Toronto’s Air Canada Centre, Serena and Agnieska Radwanska meet in a rematch of this year’s Wimbledon Ladies’ Championship. Serena took the three-setter, seen on ESPN, to start her immaculate summer, which later included Olympic Gold and the US Open.
Roddick, who carried the banner for American men’s tennis for a decade before announcing his retirement on his 30th birthday during the recent US Open, will cross the border to meet Raonic, the 21-year-old rising star of Canada. The 6’5” hard server was the ATP’s Newcomer of the Year in 2011 and is currently ranked No. 15 in the world.
ESPN3 delivers thousands of global sports events annually and accessible online at WatchESPN.com, on smartphones and tablets via the WatchESPN app and through ESPN on Xbox LIVE to Gold members. It is currently available to 74 million homes at no additional cost to fans who receive their high-speed Internet connection or video subscription from an affiliated service provider.
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 this year.
ESPN debuted September 7, 1979, and the first tennis telecast was exactly one week later, September 14, a Davis Cup tie, Argentina at U.S. from Memphis with Cliff Drysdale on the call and John McEnroe playing.
ESPN3, now in 74 million homes, carries every major global tennis event on the men’s and women’s circuit, including all four Grand Slam tournaments, every ATP World Tour 500 and ATP Masters 1000 event and WTA Premier events featuring all the top-seeded players. Also, ESPN Classic shows great matches from the past and the sport receives extensive coverage on SportsCenter, ESPNEWS, Spanish-language ESPN Deportes, ESPN Radio, ESPN.com and ESPN The Magazine. ESPN 3D aired its first tennis at Wimbledon in 2011.