LOS ANGELES, December 14, 2005 —
Relive the Network’s 10 Best Matches of 2005 from Dec. 19-28 During Match Fest
The Tennis Channel, the only 24-hour, television-based multimedia destination dedicated to tennis and the healthy, active lifestyle that surrounds it, presented more than 2,500 hours of the best men’s and women’s tennis in 2005. From Dec. 19-28, the network will end the year by treating viewers to Match Fest, encore presentations of the top 10 matches that aired on The Tennis Channel this year.
Beginning Monday, Dec. 19, The Tennis Channel will begin a nightly rebroadcast of one of the top 10 matches on the network in 2005, continuing through Wednesday, Dec. 28. Each evening’s match begins at 8 p.m. ET/ 5 p.m. PT. The contests feature tennis’ best players of 2005, stars like Maria Sharapova, Lindsay Davenport, Roger Federer, Andy Roddick, Rafael Nadal and Anastasia Myskina, as well as exciting young stars Richard Gasquet and Fernando Verdasco.
Here is the complete lineup and brief description of each memorable match during Match Fest:
12/19 – Sharapova’s thrilling 6-1, 3-6, 7-6 (7-5) victory over Davenport in the championship final of the Toray Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo.
12/20 – Although Nadal took home the title at the Master Series Monte-Carlo, it was the Frenchman Gasquet saving three match points to end Federer’s winning streak in the quarterfinals that will forever be remembered.
12/21 – A great round-of-16 match between Roddick and Verdasco at the Telecom Italia Masters in Rome became the sportsmanship play of the year, when, up 5-3 in the second set, Roddick overturned the line judge’s call on Verdasco’s second serve that would have given him triple match point. Instead, Roddick checked the mark left in the clay and told the judge the ball was actually in, awarding Verdasco with an ace. Roddick went on to lose the match, but won the crowd’s appreciation as a sportsman.
12/22 – Just days after Roddick’s show of sportsmanship, Nadal earned his third consecutive title, with a 6-4, 3-6, 6-3, 4-6, 7-6 come-from-behind victory over Guillermo Coria in the Rome
Masters. Many felt this was the best match of the year as Nadal fought back from being down 0-3 in the deciding set of the final, despite needing treatment on a bruised, blistered racquet hand.
12/23 – Myskina, the 2004 French Open champion, upended Wimbledon champion Venus Williams 5-7, 6-4, 6-2 to give defending champion Russia a 1-0 lead over the United States in the Fed Cup semifinals. Myskina ended Williams’ eight-match Fed Cup undefeated streak and sent the American to her first defeat on clay in six Fed Cup matches.
12/24 – Australia’s Lleyton Hewitt defeated Guillermo Coria of Argentina in a bad-tempered Davis Cup quarterfinal rubber in Sydney 7-6 (7-5) 6-1, 1-6, 6-2.
12/25 – Spend Christmas Day watching Russia retain the Fed Cup after a titanic struggle against a valiant France as Elena Dementieva and Dinara Safina defeated Amelie Mauresmo and Mary Pierce 6-4, 1-6, 6-3 in the fifth and deciding match.
12/26 – In the Stanford Financial Champions Cup John McEnroe vs. Thomas Muster match in Houston, The Tennis Channel unveiled two new technologies – “Netcam” (a camera on the net) and “Ump-Cam” (a camera in the chair ump’s hat). Tennis fans got more than they bargained as John McEnroe berated the chair umpire, staring directly into the camera and at the television audience. It was a firsthand look at the receiving end of a classic Johnny Mac verbal assault.
12/27 – Dominik Hrbaty of the Slovak Republic upended Ivan Ljubicic of Croatia 4-6, 6-3, 6-4, 3-6, 6-4 in the Davis Cup final, bringing an end to the latter’s undefeated streak in 2005 Davis Cup play. In his final Davis Cup match of the year Ljubicic, then 11-0, was one win away from tying John McEnroe’s perfect, 12-0 Davis Cup performance in 1982, and in doing so would have given Croatia its first cup championship.
12/28 – Croatia won its first Davis Cup title as Mario Ancic defeated Michael Mertinak of Slovakia 7-6 (7-1), 6-3, 6-4 in the decisive fifth match of the Davis Cup finals.
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, and forges the personal connection between the professionals on the court and the game’s millions of aficionados. The home for people who watch, play and live their passions through tennis, the network is a hybrid of comprehensive sports coverage, health and fitness programming, pop culture and entertainment access, and lifestyle and travel information. The Tennis Channel is the most concentrated single-sport network in television, with telecast rights to the US Open Series, ATP Masters Series, top-tier Sony Ericsson WTA Tour championship competitions, Davis Cup by BNP Paribas, Fed Cup and Hyundai Hopman Cup, the combination of which offer the compelling, ongoing story of the game’s most dramatic rivalries, energetic personalities and emotional, yearlong journey.
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