via press release:
Tennis on ESPN3: 200+ Hours from Madrid, Rome on Road to French Open
14 Consecutive Days of Clay Court Action Starts Monday
ESPN3 will provide more than 200 hours of live matches during 14 consecutive days from the ATP and WTA back-to-back events in Madrid and Rome from Monday, May 6, through Sunday, May 19. With top fields, the two events will determine the critical seeding for the climax of the clay court campaign, the French Open in Paris starting on ESPN2 on Sunday, May 26.
At the Mutua Madrid Open, top-ranked Novak Djokovic – fresh off ending Rafael Nadal’s eight-year stranglehold on the title in Monte Carlo – leads the men’s field, followed by the 2012 winner No. 2 Roger Federer, No. 3 Andy Murray, No. 4 David Ferrer and No. 5 Nadal. Meanwhile, Serena Williams is both the defending champion and the top-ranked player in the world, followed by Maria Sharapova, 2013 Australian Open champ Victoria Azarenka, Agnieszka Radwanska and Li Na. The schedule follows, with ESPN3 airing largely early morning play beginning Monday, May 6, at 4:50 a.m. ET through the championship Sunday, May 12, at 10 a.m.
|Mon, May 6||4:50 – 8:50 a.m.||WTA Mutua Madrid Open First Round|
|7 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.||ATP Mutua Madrid Open First Round|
|Tue, May 7||4:50 – 11 a.m.||WTA Mutua Madrid Open First/Second Round|
|5 a.m. – 4 p.m.||ATP Mutua Madrid Open First/Second Round|
|Wed, May 8||4:50 – 11 a.m.||WTA Mutua Madrid Open Second Round|
|5 a.m. – 4 p.m.||ATP Mutua Madrid Open Second Round|
|Thur, May 9||4:50 – 2 p.m.||WTA Mutua Madrid Open Round of 16|
|8 – 5:30 p.m.||ATP Mutua Madrid Open Round of 16|
|Fri, May 10||4:50 – 8:50 a.m.||WTA Mutua Madrid Open Quarterfinals #1 and #2|
|9:15 a.m. – 6 p.m.||ATP Mutua Madrid Open Quarterfinals|
|Sat, May 11||9:30 a.m. – Noon||ATP Mutua Madrid Open Semifinal #1|
|1 – 3:30 p.m.||ATP Mutua Madrid Open Semifinal #2|
|Sun, May 12||10 a.m. – 1 p.m.||ATP Mutua Madrid Open Championship|
In Rome at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia, Nadal – currently ranked No. 5 because of his long layoff the latter half of 2012 – seeks to repeat as champion in hopes of rising to No. 4 for in the French Open. He defeated Djokovic in that final and went on to win his 11th major title with a record seventh victory in Paris. Maria Sharapova used a title here last year as a springboard to completing a career Grand Slam with her first French Open crown. The ATP schedule follows (the WTA schedule is TBD), with action beginning at 5 a.m. on Monday, May 13, and continuing daily, ending with the championship Sunday, May 19.
|Mon, May 13||5 a.m. – 5 p.m.||ATP Internazionali BNL d’Italia First Round|
|Tue, May 14||5 a.m. – 3:30 a.m.||ATP Internazionali BNL d’Italia First/Second Round|
|Wed, May 15||6 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.||ATP Internazionali BNL d’Italia Second Round|
|Thur, May 16||6 a.m. – 5 p.m.||ATP Internazionali BNL d’Italia Round of 16|
|Fri, May 17||6 – Noon||ATP Internazionali BNL d’Italia Quarterfinals #1-3|
|3 – 5 p.m.||ATP Internazionali BNL d’Italia Quarterfinal #4|
|Sat, May 18||10 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.||ATP Internazionali BNL d’Italia Semifinal #1|
|2 – 4:30 p.m.||ATP Internazionali BNL d’Italia Semifinal #2|
|Sun, May 19||10 a.m. – 1 p.m.||ATP Internazionali BNL d’Italia Championship|
ESPN3, the company’s live multi-screen sports network, 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.
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 85 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 in 2012.
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 85 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.