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Asian Season Next For The Tennis Channel This Fall

LOS ANGELES, September 16, 2004

The Tennis Channel, a 24-hour cable television network devoted to tennis and other racquet sports, is covering tennis' Asian season this month with the semifinals and finals two Asia-based tournaments on the ATP circuit and two in the WTA Tour. The events, beginning Saturday, Sept. 18, are the China Open in Beijing (both the men's and women's), the Wismilak International in Bali and the Thailand Open in Bangkok.

The announcement was made today by Bruce Rider, executive vice president, programming and marketing, The Tennis Channel. This is the first time the network has carried matches from tennis' fall Asian season.

"We're really excited about the caliber of players that are entered in these tournaments, including both US Open champions this year: Roger Federer and Svetlana Kuznetsova," said Rider. "Our audiences are going to appreciate the chance to view championship matches from the entire Asian season, an opportunity that just hasn't been available on American television before. Also, the Beijing Tennis Center features a new, 10,000-plus center court, and the event directors are working to establish it as one of tennis' top-level tournaments. It's going to be a great tennis atmosphere."

The Tennis Channel's coverage begins in Beijing Sept. 18, with the singles semifinals and final of the men's China Open draw. Semifinal telecasts get underway Saturday, Sept. 18, at 6 a.m. ET, with both matches run back to back. The network's coverage of the final Sunday, Sept. 19, also begins at 6 a.m. ET. The list of ATP stars at the Beijing Tennis Center this week includes former French Open champion Juan Carlos Ferrero, in addition to other notables Carlos Moya, Guillermo Coria, Younes El Aynaoui, Taylor Dent, Justin Gimelstob, David Nalbandian and Rafael Nadal.

The WTA Tour's Wismilak International in Bali, Indonesia, features newly crowned US Open champion Svetlana Kuznetsova, who won the Bali tournament two years ago. She faces a field of contenders with equally impressive credentials. Top-seeded Anastasia Myskina won this year's French Open title, and Elena Dementieva - who was the runner-up at both the US Open and French Open this year - took the championship at last year's Wismilak International. The Tennis Channel will telecast both singles semifinals Monday, Sept. 20, beginning at 8 p.m. ET. The championship will run following the conclusion of the second semifinal, at approximately 12 a.m. ET, Tuesday, Sept. 21.

The women's China Open competition takes place Sept. 20-26, and also showcases Kuznetsova, along with a host of other top-ranked WTA Tour stars. Among these are Serena Williams, 2003 Wimbledon champion Maria Sharapova, Vera Zvonareva and Alicia Molik. Semifinal coverage on The Tennis Channel starts Saturday, Sept. 25, at 1 p.m. ET. Both matches will run consecutively. The championship-match telecast Sunday, Sept. 26, also begins at 1 p.m. ET.

The ATP's Thailand Open gets underway the final week in September, with a tournament draw that features many of the game's dominant heavyweights. Roger Federer, who won three of the four Grand Slams in 2004, shares the courts with Andy Roddick, Marat Safin and Carlos Moya - each with a Grand Slam title to his name. Not to be outshined, Paradorn Srichaphan is Thailand's top-ranked player, and Taylor Dent returns to defend the championship trophy he won in 2003. The Tennis Channel will cover both semifinals Saturday, Oct. 2, beginning at 6 a.m. ET; and the championship final Sunday, Oct. 3, also at 6 a.m. ET.

The Tennis Channel's 2004 Asia Tournament Schedule (All times EST):
Sept. 18-19 China Open (ATP)
Singles semifinals and championship coverage
Saturday, Sept. 18 - 6 a.m.-10 a.m.
Sunday, Sept. 19 - 6 a.m.-8 a.m. (repeated Sept. 19 - 10 a.m.-noon, 8 p.m.-10 p.m. and Sept. 20 - 8 a.m.-10 p.m.)
Sept. 20-21 Wismilak International (WTA Tour)
Singles semifinals and championship coverage
Monday, Sept. 20 - 8 p.m.-12:30 a.m. (repeated Sept. 21 - 8 a.m.-12:30 p.m.)
Sept. 25-26 China Open (WTA Tour)
Singles semifinals and championship coverage
Saturday, Sept. 25 - 1 p.m.-5 p.m.
Sunday, Sept. 26 - 1 p.m.-3 p.m. (repeated Sept. 27 - 8 p.m.-10 p.m.)
Oct. 2-3 Thailand Open (ATP)
Singles semifinals and championship coverage
Saturday, Oct. 2 - 6 a.m.-10 a.m. (repeated Oct. 2 - 8 p.m.-midnight)
Sunday, Oct. 3 - 6 a.m.-8 a.m. (repeated Oct. 3 - 8 p.m.-10 p.m.)

The Tennis Channel ( www.thetennischannel.com ) is the 24-hour cable television network devoted to tennis and other racquet sports, and provides unparalleled coverage of the game, its elite championships and its superstar athletes. The network's comprehensive coverage includes telecasts of the US Open Series, ATP Masters Series, top-tier WTA Tour championship competitions, Davis Cup by BNP Paribas, Fed Cup and Hyundai Hopman Cup. The Tennis Channel also showcases instruction from the finest teachers, legendary matches, in-depth profiles of the greatest players, analysis and news, the latest on equipment, and tennis getaways.

For Further information:
Eric Abner , Tennis Channel, 310-314-9445 or eabner@tennischannel.com