LOS ANGELES, July 1, 2003 —
The Tennis Channel will open its star-studded, 12-event "Summer Title Wave" tournament programming schedule with the ATP tour's Miller Lite Hall of Fame Tennis Championships from the International Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport, R.I. The network's exclusive weekday coverage from center court begins with first-round action Tuesday, July 8, and continues through Friday, July 11.
Featuring many of the biggest stars in men's tennis during unprecedented weekday tournament telecasts, The Tennis Channel's comprehensive event coverage culminates Saturday, July 12, with the International Tennis Hall of Fame induction ceremony of German tennis great Boris Becker, among others.
The Tennis Channel will telecast the official Hall of Fame induction ceremony live in its entirety, for the first time since the early 1990s, starting at 1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT. The Class of 2003 honors Becker, the former World No.1 and winner of six Grand Slam singles titles, as well as master players Francoise "Frankie" Durr of France and Nancy Richey of the United States and contributor Brian Tobin of Australia. Including this year's class, 183 people representing 18 countries have been inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame since 1955.
"We're thrilled to launch our 'Summer Title Wave' tournament programming from the International Tennis Hall of Fame," adds Bruce Rider, The Tennis Channel executive vice president of programming and marketing and executive producer. "It's important for The Tennis Channel to provide fans with live coverage of marquee events like this championship and its history-making Hall of Fame induction ceremony, most of which have never been covered so extensively."
"Boris Becker's accomplishments and contributions to the game of tennis are paramount," adds The Tennis Channel President and Founder Steve Bellamy, "and it's a real pleasure for The Tennis Channel to present the entire Hall of Fame induction ceremony the way it should be - live. The tournament and induction ceremony represent the kind of programming tennis fans around the country have been asking for, over and over, and we're happy to play an important role in bringing it to them."
This year's tournament, played for the Van Alen Cup, is the only ATP event held on grass in North America and is scheduled to feature six of the top nine Americans, including defending champion Taylor Dent, Vincent Spadea, James Blake, Robby Ginepri, Mardy Fish and Justin Gimelstob. In addition, the world's No. 1 ranked doubles team of Americans Bob and Mike Bryan will be looking to capture their third straight Hall of Fame doubles title.
Calling the tournament action for The Tennis Channel will be veteran sportscaster Barry McKay while former touring professional Geoff Grant will provide analysis.
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.