Navratilova, Macatee Lead TC In Oz
It's been a decade since the last lefthander, Petr Korda, captured an Australian Open singles title but former Australian Open champion who leans left will serve as a major presence at the Australian Open this month.
Tennis Channel has signed Hall of Famer Martina Navratilova as its primary commentator during all Grand Slam tournaments on the network in 2008. The winner of more singles titles than any other tennis player in history, male or female, will cover the Australian Open (January 14-27), the French Open (May 25-June 8) and Wimbledon (June 23-July 6) for TC.
Australian Open television coverage begins on Sunday, January 13 on ESPN2 at 7 p.m. Eastern. ESPN2, ESPN Classic and Tennis Channel will all present Australian Open coverage during the two-week fortnight.
In May 2007, Navratilova made her Tennis Channel debut during the channel’s groundbreaking French Open coverage.
"We had a wonderful time breaking the mold together during Tennis Channel’s inaugural Grand Slam tennis coverage at last year’s French Open," said Navratilova. "Our approach is what U.S. television audiences have wanted for so long: round-the-clock coverage and the best action from court to court as it happens. I’m really proud of what we accomplished and to be associated with the advances we’re bringing to televised tennis, and I look forward to continuing this relationship for many years to come."
Navratilova and John McEnroe shared analyst duties with Ted Robinson working as the play-by-play announced for TC's Roland Garros coverage last year. Neither McEnroe nor Robinson will be in the booth for Tennis Channel's Australian Open coverage, which begins next Monday, January 14, at 7 p.m. Eastern.
Instead, Navratilova will team with network anchor/producer Bill Macatee as one of two primary commentators. Long-time analyst Leif Shiras, the recently retired Justin Gimelstob and current player Renee Stubbs (when she is not competing in the tournament) will join Navratilova and Macatee on TC's broadcast team. Shiras, Gimelstob and Stubbs will handle sideline and interview duties, announce a number of matches in conjunction with Australian Open Today and appear in feature material.
Tennis Channel will telecast a prime-time block of live matches almost every night of the two-week tournament, in addition to special replays of the men’s and women’s singles semifinals and finals (initially aired on ESPN2). For the complete Australian Open television schedule, please visit this www.tennisweek.com/ontv/
Tennis Channel will also offer more than 70 hours of programming dedicated to Australian Open Today, a daily morning show that recaps the day’s events as the action is winding down in Melbourne and American East Coast audiences are just facing the day. The six-hour program airs at 8 a.m. Eastern every morning of the tournament, leading up to the final weekend, and follows in the footsteps of the network’s landmark French Open Tonight, a nightly series that offered the best of the day’s tennis, previously unseen matches, and original features that reflected the atmosphere of the prestigious event.
Navratilova has won more singles titles than any tennis player in history — male or female. Inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 2000, she holds a record nine Wimbledon singles championships, and is tied with Billie Jean King for 20 overall Wimbledon titles (singles, doubles and mixed doubles). In 2006 she reached the French Open mixed doubles semifinals with Bob Bryan, the teammate with whom she closed out her career later in the year with a Grand Slam championship at the U.S. Open.