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LOS ANGELES, October 31, 2007 Visitors can Choose Most Popular Players Now

LOS ANGELES, Oct. 31, 2007 – Chris Evert or Maria Sharapova? John McEnroe or Pete Sampras? Steffi Graf or Serena Williams? Tennis Channel, the only 24-hour, television-based multimedia destination dedicated to both the professional sport and passionate lifestyle of tennis, is letting fans decide who makes the cut and who gets left out on a special episode of Open Access Sunday, Nov. 18, at 7:30 p.m. ET. The fun, fast-paced show will be hosted by former French Open champion Murphy Jensen, who will use humorous interview sequences, match footage and off-court highlights to reveal the results of’s Fan Favorites poll, open to Web visitors now.

The network received thousands of online nominations for the fans’ favorite tennis players of all time. The finalists – 10 men and 10 women – are online now, along with career facts and stats for fans to consider when voting prior to the polls’ close. The top five men and women, and individual appeal of each will be profiled on the Nov. 18 program.

“The final group includes icons like Arthur Ashe, Billie Jean King and John McEnroe [complete list below], in addition to modern stars like Maria Sharapova, Serena Williams and Roger Federer,” said Victoria Quoss, executive vice president of programming and network strategy, Tennis Channel. “The diversity of personalities and styles speak volumes to the fan base, which extends to every age group and every background, all over the world. Tennis Channel’s had success with online fan votes in the past, and we think our viewers will have a great time with Open Access Fan Favorites.”

In fall 2006, a similar online fan poll led to’s systems crashing due to a record number of programming-related votes for Open Access Tennis Hotties. That ballot allowed visitors to select their “hottest” tennis stars, who were then dealt with comically by host Jensen on the subsequent show.

Tennis Channel Fan Favorites Nominees: (alphabetically)

Andre Agassi
Arthur Ashe
Bjorn Borg
Jimmy Connors
Roger Federer
Rod Laver
John McEnroe
Rafael Nadal
Patrick Rafter
Pete Sampras

Lindsay Davenport
Chris Evert
Steffi Graf
Justine Henin
Billie Jean King
Martina Navratilova
Monica Seles
Maria Sharapova
Serena Williams
Venus Williams

Open Access takes viewers on a worldwide tour for an up close and personal look at what tennis players do when they’re not on the court. Going behind the scenes at Grand Slams and other top tournaments, Open Access snags a backstage pass for extravagant player parties, exclusive ceremonies, photo shoots, and days and nights out on the town. From Australia to Paris to Doha and beyond, Open Access is the only magazine show that focuses on stars from both the men’s and women’s tours.

Tennis Channel ( is the only 24-hour, television-based multimedia destination dedicated to both the professional sport and passionate lifestyle of tennis. A hybrid of comprehensive sports, health, fitness, pop culture, entertainment, lifestyle and travel programming, the network is home to every aspect of the wide-ranging, worldwide tennis community. It also has the most concentrated single-sport coverage in television, with telecast rights to Wimbledon, Roland Garros (the French Open), the Australian Open, US Open Series, ATP Masters Series, top-tier Sony Ericsson WTA Tour championship competitions, Davis Cup and Fed Cup by BNP Paribas, and Hyundai Hopman Cup. Tennis Channel is carried by eight of the top 10 MSOs and has a national footprint via DIRECTV and Echostar’s DISH Network. 

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For Further information:
Eric Abner, Tennis Channel, 310-314-9445 or