LOS ANGELES, December 1, 2005 —
Croatia’s Ivan Ljubicic Chases John McEnroe’s Perfect 1982 Davis Cup Season
During Historic Final Against the Slovak Republic
The Tennis Channel, the only 24-hour, television-based multimedia destination dedicated to tennis and the healthy, active lifestyle that surrounds it, will offer exclusive, live coverage of the 2005 Davis Cup championship between Croatia and the Slovak Republic this weekend. During the competition Croatia’s Ivan Ljubicic has the chance to become the first man to go a perfect 12-0 in a Davis Cup championship season since John McEnroe in 1982.
Bruce Rider, executive vice president, programming and marketing, The Tennis Channel, announced the network’s telecast schedule today. Play gets underway Friday, Dec. 2, beginning at 8 a.m. ET/5 a.m. PT with the first of two singles matches. Coverage continues on Saturday, Dec. 3, with a doubles match at 9 a.m. ET/6 a.m. PT. Sunday, Dec. 4, concludes Davis Cup action with the first of two singles matches starting at 8 a.m. ET/5 a.m. PT.
The 2005 Davis Cup final takes place at the Sibamac Arena National Tennis Centre in Bratislava, Slovak Republic. This will be the first meeting between Croatia and the Slovak Republic, and both nations’ first appearance in a Davis Cup championship.
“We’re very excited about this year’s Davis Cup final on The Tennis Channel,” said Rider. “If Ljubicic is able to continue his dominant streak, our viewers are going to see live tennis history unfold. Regardless, the excitement in the stands when one of these countries wins the Davis Cup championship for the first time is going to be electric. Both teams are playing tremendous tennis, and it should be a fun, dramatic championship.”
Croatia, which upset last year’s finalist United States in the first round this year, is led by Ivan Ljubicic, who rides a blistering 9-0 Davis Cup performance into the 2005 championship (six singles and three doubles). On pace to mirror John McEnroe’s perfect 12-0 Davis Cup season in 1982, Ljubicic set the tone for his team at the outset, defeating both Andre Agassi and Andy Roddick in singles competition, and partnering with Mario Ancic to take down twins Bob and Mike Bryan, tennis’ top doubles combo. Between then and now Croatia defeated Romania 4-1 and Russia 3-2. The team also includes Ivo Karlovic and 2001 Wimbledon champion Goran Ivanisevic.
Dominik Hrbaty leads the Slovak Republic into the championship with near-perfect record of his own, posting a 4-1 Davis Cup singles total this year. Hrbaty, who hails from Bratislava, won a
perfect four straight before finally losing a close semifinal match to Argentina’s David Nalbandian, who later went on to win the men’s year-end Tennis Masters Cup championship. The Slovak team is rounded out by Karol Beck, Michal Mercinak and Karol Kucera, and has won all of its 2005 Davis Cup matches but three, shocking defending champion Spain 4-1 in the first round before eliminating first Netherlands and then Argentina by the same score.
The Davis Cup competition is the most prestigious annual international team event in men’s tennis. The International Tennis Federation’s worldwide Davis Cup tournament takes place on four select weekends throughout the year, from spring to late fall. National teams of four players each face off in head-to-head, best-of-five events spread over the course of three days, and referred to as “ties.” Two singles matches and one doubles match are worth a point each, with the winner advancing and the loser out for the year. This year 130 countries participated in Davis Cup competition.
The Tennis Channel’s 2005 Davis Cup Final Coverage (all times ET):
December 2-4 Davis Cup Final (ITF)
Complete live coverage, Croatia at the Slovak Republic
Friday, Dec. 2, 2005 at 8 a.m. (live)
Saturday, Dec. 3, 2005 at 9 a.m. (live)
Sunday, Dec. 4, 2005 at 8 a.m. (live)
The Tennis Channel (www.thetennischannel.com) is the only 24-hour, television-based multimedia destination dedicated to tennis and the healthy, active lifestyle that surrounds it. As the most concentrated single-sport network on television, the brand combines comprehensive sports coverage with health, fitness, pop culture, lifestyle and travel programming. Fifty-two week tournament telecast rights include the US Open Series, ATP Masters Series, top-tier WTA Tour championship competitions, Davis Cup by BNP Paribas, Fed Cup and Hyundai Hopman Cup, offering compelling coverage of the game’s most dramatic rivalries and energetic personalities.
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