LOS ANGELES, August 18, 2003 —
The Tennis Channel will provide exclusive nationwide coverage of the 2003 World TeamTennis (WTT) Pro League Finals live from Court No. 11 at the USTA National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows, N.Y., on Sunday, Aug. 23. This year's finals pits the five-time champion Sacramento Capitals against the Delaware Smash, owned by tennis legend and league co-founder Billie Jean King, with network coverage beginning at 2 p.m. ET/11 a.m. PT.
For the second consecutive season and eighth time overall, Sacramento will be playing for the WTT Championship. The Capitals have won five of the past six titles and bring a 9-5 record into their 2003 showdown with Delaware. Led by the 2003 WTT Male Rookie of the Year Daniel Nestor, Sacramento clinched the top spot in the Western Conference with a 22-17 victory over the host Hartford Fox-Force on July 26. Its 9-5 season mark tied with the Springfield Lasers, but Sacramento won the tiebreaker over the Lasers with two head-to-head victories during the regular season.
The Delaware Smash enter the Aug. 23 finals as the favorite, sporting an impressive 13-1 season record behind the play of the league's respective 2003 Male and Female Most Valuable Players, Paul Goldstein and Samantha Reeves. Piloted by 2003 Coach of the Year Brad Dancer, the Smash steamrolled through the WTT Eastern Conference en route to their second WTT Finals appearance in the past four years. Delaware's last finals appearance came in 2000 when the Smash were outlasted by Sacramento, 21-20.
Veteran sportscaster Barry Tompkins will call all the play-by-play action for The Tennis Channel, while former touring professional Katrina Adams will provide analysis.
"World TeamTennis is a fast-paced, high-intensity game with some of the best tennis played outside the major tournaments, and we are excited about telecasting these finals to a nationwide audience in it's entirety," says The Tennis Channel President and Founder Steve Bellamy. "Throughout the season, World TeamTennis has presented some of brightest up-and-coming tennis talent, alongside some of the current and past greats, and we're thrilled to provide live coverage of the dramatic conclusion to an exciting season of WTT competition."
The telecast of the WTT Finals is part of The Tennis Channel's power-packed, seven-week "Summer Title Wave," which serves unprecedented coverage of 12 events from July 8 through Aug. 23. The program schedule features more hours of televised action for these competitions than ever before, beginning with first-round live coverage of many of the events.
Billie Jean King and Larry King originated World TeamTennis and its unique gender-equity team concept in the early 1970s. The format used for a WTT Pro League match features teams comprised of two men, two women and a coach. Each match consists of five sets, with one set each of men's and women's singles, men's and women's doubles and mixed doubles. The WTT Pro League is presented by ADT Security Services. Other official WTT Pro League sponsors include Advanta, AstraZeneca, Gatorade, Penn Tennis Balls and Wilson Rackets. For more information on the WTT Pro League, visit www.WTT.com.
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, WTA Tour, World TeamTennis, 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.