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Mcenroe, Becker, Courier Headline Delta Tour Of Champions Season On The Tennis Channel

LOS ANGELES, November 9, 2004

The Tennis Channel, a 24-hour cable television network devoted to tennis and other racquet sports, in November and December will televise the Delta Tour of Champions season, the seven-city tour of retired, former top-ranked tennis players and Grand Slam champions. The network’s coverage includes more than 30 matches and all championship finals during the season, with contests between a number of tennis legends and household names, including John McEnroe, Boris Becker and Jim Courier.

Additionally, The Tennis Channel will cover The Masters Tennis at the Royal Albert Hall in London, the tour’s season-ending championships, and telecast matches Dec. 24-26. Leading up to the event that week, viewers will have another chance to see the final match from each city on the tour: Rome; Algarve, Portugal; Seiersberg, Styria, Austria; Paris; Eindhoven, Netherlands; and Brussels, Belgium.

“The Delta Tour of Champions is a second go-round for many of the game’s elite; you have to have competed at the highest level during your career to even qualify for the tour,” said Bruce Rider, executive vice president, programming and marketing, The Tennis Channel. “It’s another chance to see matches between stars like McEnroe and Becker, Courier and Ivanisevic. The players take it seriously, and the quality of tennis is outstanding. Also, you’re not going to find a more fascinating championship-tennis venue than London’s Royal Albert Hall.”

The 2004 Delta Tour of Champions consists of players no longer active on the men’s tennis circuit, and each must have been either a world No. 1 during his competitive playing career, a Grand Slam singles finalist or a singles player on a victorious Davis Cup team. Most of the players in The Tennis Channel’s Delta Tour matches are household names. Among them three former No. 1 stars: fiery icon John McEnroe, six-time Grand Slam-winner Boris Becker and 1990s American star Jim Courier. Others include Wimbledon-winners Pat Cash, Goran Ivanisevic and Richard Krajicek; French Open-champion Thomas Muster; and seven-time Grand Slam-champion Mats Wilander.

Eight players vie at each venue, divided into two groups that compete in round-robin format. Players earn points toward a trip to The Masters Tennis at London’s Royal Albert Hall, the Delta Tour’s championship event. Only the top 10 points-earners qualify, with two wild cards added to create a field of 12. At The Masters Tennis championship four groups of three play in a round-robin format, with the top two in each group advancing to the quarterfinals. In addition to the recognition of his peers, the winner of the end-of-year event claims a $100,000 prize.

This year the Delta Tour of Champions begins in Rome, with John McEnroe, Thomas Muster, Cedric Pioline, Omar Camporese, Mats Wilander, Petr Korda, Pat Cash and Paolo Cane. The Tennis Channel’s coverage starts Tuesday, Nov. 10, at 7 p.m. ET, and will include the championship final, in addition to two of McEnroe’s matches.

The network’s coverage from Algarve, Portugal, begins Tuesday, Nov. 16, at 7 p.m. ET. Jim Courier, Mats Wilander, Henri Leconte, Emilio Sanchez, Michael Stich, Richard Krajicek, Mikael Pernfors and Joao Cunha Silva are the competitors.

The next event is Seiersberg, Styria, Austria. Thomas Muster, Jim Courier, Mats Wilander, Sergi Bruguera, Boris Becker, Guy Forget, Mikael Pernfors and Alex Antonitsch take to the courts, with The Tennis Channel’s action underway Wednesday, Nov. 24, at 12 a.m. ET.

Paris’ Delta Tour stop hosts John McEnroe, Boris Becker, Sergi Bruguera, Guy Forget, Jim Courier, Michael Stich, Mats Wilander and Henri Leconte. Telecasts on The Tennis Channel begin Tuesday, Nov. 30, at 9 a.m. ET.

Next the tour moves east to Eindhoven, Netherlands, where Jim Courier, Richard Krajicek, Pat Cash, Emilio Sanchez, Thomas Muster, Goran Ivanisevic, Mats Wilander and Jan Siemerink compete. Monday, Dec. 6, at 8 p.m. ET, is when The Tennis Channel’s coverage begins.

The final stop before London is Brussels, Belgium. Matches took place Nov. 4-7, with Thomas Muster, John McEnroe, Guy Forget, Filip Dewulf, Jim Courier, Mats Wilander, Richard Krajicek and Pat Cash. The Tennis Channel will televise the final and other matches Monday through Thursday, Dec. 13-16.

Complete Delta Tour of Champions information, including news, results and player rankings, can be accessed at: http://www.atptennis.com/championstour/default.asp.

The Tennis Channel’s 2004 Delta Tour of Champions Coverage (all times EST):

Nov. 10-14 Rome

Tuesday, Nov. 10 – John McEnroe vs. Omar Camporese; 7 p.m.-8 a.m.

Wednesday, Nov. 11 – Thomas Muster vs. John McEnroe; 7 p.m.-9:30 p.m.

Thursday, Nov. 12 – Pat Cash vs. Paolo Cane; 7 p.m.-8:30 p.m.

Friday, Nov. 13 – Mats Wilander vs. Pat Cash; 7 p.m.-8:30 p.m.

Saturday, Nov. 14 – Final: Thomas Muster vs. Mats Wilander; 1 p.m.-2:30 p.m.

Nov. 16-19 Algarve, Portugal

Tuesday, Nov. 16 – Jim Courier vs. Emilio Sanchez; 7 p.m.-9 p.m.

Wednesday, Nov. 17 – Michael Stich vs. Joao Cunha Silva; 7 p.m.-8:30 p.m.

Thursday, Nov. 19 – Jim Courier vs. Mats Wilander; 7 p.m.-8 p.m.

Friday, Nov. 20 – Final: Jim Courier vs. Richard Krajicek; 7 p.m.-9 p.m.

Nov. 24-27 Seiersberg, Styria, Austria

Wednesday, Nov. 24 – Thomas Muster vs. Jim Courier; 12 a.m.-2 a.m.

Thursday, Nov. 25 – Boris Becker vs. Guy Forget; 12 a.m.-2 a.m.

Friday, Nov. 26 – Sergi Bruguera vs. Guy Forget; 12 a.m.-1 a.m.

Saturday, Nov. 27 – Final: Boris Becker vs. Thomas Muster; 12 a.m.-2 a.m.

Nov. 30-Dec. 5 Paris

Tuesday, Nov. 30 – TBA; 9 a.m.-11 a.m.

Thursday, Dec. 2 – TBA; 7 p.m.-9 p.m.

Friday, Dec. 3 – TBA; 7 p.m.-9 p.m.

Saturday, Dec. 4 - TBA; 7 p.m.-9 p.m.

Sunday, Dec. 5 – Final: Jim Courier vs. Sergi Bruguera; 8 p.m.-10 p.m.

Dec. 6 Eindhoven, Netherlands

Monday, Dec. 6 – Jim Courier vs. Richard Krajicek; 8 p.m.-10 p.m.

Tuesday, Dec. 7 – Goran Ivanisevic vs. Thomas Muster; 8 p.m.-10 p.m.

Wednesday, Dec. 8 – Final: Jim Courier vs. Goran Ivanisevic; 8 p.m.-10 p.m.

Dec. 13-16 Brussels, Belgium

Monday, Dec. 13 – TBA; 8 p.m.-10 p.m.

Tuesday, Dec. 14 – TBA; 8 p.m.-10 p.m.

Wednesday, Dec. 15 – TBA; 8 p.m.-10 p.m.

Thursday, Dec. 16 – TBA; 8 p.m.-10 p.m.

Dec. 24-26 London (Royal Albert Hall)

Friday, Dec. 24 – TBA; 8 p.m.-10 p.m.

Saturday, Dec. 25 – TBA; 12 a.m.-2 a.m., 8 p.m.-10 p.m.

Sunday, Dec. 26 – TBA; 12 a.m.-2 a.m.

The Tennis Channel ( www.thetennischannel.com ) is the 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