LOS ANGELES, December 30, 2003 —
The Tennis Channel 24-hour cable television network devoted to tennis and other racquet sports, has an elite roster lined up for Center Court with Chris Myers over the next six weeks, including Serena Williams, perhaps the most recognizable icon in the game today. The announcement was made today by Bruce Rider, executive vice president of programming and marketing, The Tennis Channel.
In addition to Williams, other upcoming episodes of Center Court with Chris Myers will feature interviews with Hall of Famer Pam Shriver, tennis commentator Cliff Drysdale and American Fed Cup representative Alexandra Stevenson.
The Tennis Channel will run Myers' interview with doubles legend Shriver on Wednesday, Dec. 31, at 11:00 p.m. ET/8:00 p.m. PT. The following Sunday, Jan. 4, at 7:30 p.m. ET/4:30 p.m. PT eight-time Grand Slam winner Williams discusses her route to on-court success with Myers, in addition to her passions off the court - fashion and acting. Sunday, Jan. 11, at 7:30 p.m. ET/4:30 p.m. PT brings one of the game's pre-eminent tennis announcers to the show, as Myers interviews Cliff Drysdale. Stevenson will appear on Center Court with Chris Myers Sunday, Feb. 8, at 7:30 p.m. ET/4:30 p.m. PT.
"Center Court with Chris Myers continues to be a can't-miss program for both tennis fans and those who follow professional athletics," said Rider, who also serves as executive producer. "We're pleased to offer an inside look at some of the better-known figures in the game over the next two months. Shriver, Williams and Drysdale are household names in the world of tennis, and Stevenson's rapidly making hers known as well."
Pam Shriver won 20 Grand Slam titles and a record 109 consecutive doubles matches from April 1983 to July 1985 while partnered with Martina Navratilova. She also won the doubles gold medal at the 1988 Olympics with Zina Garrison and collected 21 tour single titles and 111 doubles. A versatile voice in tennis, Shriver has served as a television commentator for numerous events since her retirement, and her outgoing approach and passion for the game have added to her list of fans.
Serena Williamsbecame the fifth woman to hold all four Grand Slam singles titles at once when she won the Australian Open in 2003, and the ninth to win each Grand Slam singles tournament in her career. Ranked No. 1 in the world for much of 2003, she is currently ranked No. 3 overall, and No. 1 among U.S. women. As one of the most recognizable athletes on the planet, Williams was selected by Sports Business Daily as the most marketable female athlete in the world in 2003. She was included in cable network A&E and Biography magazine's 10 most significant people in 2002 list, and was named among People magazine's "Top 25 Most Intriguing People in 2002," an honor she also received in 1999.
Cliff Drysdale is one of the most popular tennis personalities in the world. He was ranked in the world's top 10 in singles several times, and made it to the U.S. Open finals in 1965. Teaming with Roger Taylor, he won the U.S. Open doubles championship in 1972. During his career Drysdale grabbed 35 singles and 24 doubles titles. Now well known for his tennis commentary on ESPN, he stays close to the game and its fans.
Alexandra Stevenson broke onto the world tennis stage in 1999 when she became the first player to come out of the qualifying rounds to reach the Wimbledon women's semifinals. She has made a steady rise up in the world rankings ever since, reaching as high as No. 18. In 2003, she was selected by team captain Billie Jean King as a representative of the U.S. Fed Cup team, which defeated the Czech Republic, Italy and Belgium before losing to France in the finals.
Center Court with Chris Myers is a half-hour original production hosted by Chris Myers (SportsCenter, Up Close), who orchestrates exclusive conversations with the tennis world's leading players, coaches, legends, luminaries and newsmakers, including recent in-depth interviews with Michael Chang, Hall of Fame tennis legends Jack Kramer and Billie Jean King, and current stars like Wimbledon champion Roger Federer and two-time Grand Slam champion Lleyton Hewitt.
The Tennis Channel ( www.thetennischannel.com ) is a 24-hour cable television network devoted to tennis and other racquet sports that provides unparalleled coverage of the game, its elite championships and superstar athletes. The network features comprehensive coverage of major tournaments including ATP Tour, WTA Tour, Fed Cup, Davis Cup by BNP Paribas and Hyundai Hopman Cup competition and the European tournaments of the Tennis Masters Series. The network 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.