Schnyder/Morariu for the doubles
Key figure in Acura Classic almost sidelined
By Jerry Magee
UNION-TRIBUNE STAFF WRITER
July 24, 2007
The Acura Classic is coming together. It has its field. It has its television arrangements. It has its plans to introduce on-court coaching. It has Raquel Giscafre, who as an officer of Promotion Sports Inc., has had a prominent voice in the event's development.
It might have had to do without Giscafre. She had to be hospitalized last week while she dealt with a kidney stone, one of the most excruciating of experiences.
“I was screaming like an opera singer,” said Giscafre, whose discomfort has been relieved. She said she considers herself fortunate.
“I have a whole week to recuperate,” she said. “Can you imagine what it would have been like if I had this problem next week?”
The tournament, scheduled Saturday through Aug. 5 at the La Costa Resort and Spa, is to have television coverage through its final three days from both ESPN2 and The Tennis Channel. For the first time, Ted Robinson, lead announcer for NBC's coverage of the French Open and Wimbledon since 2000, will serve at La Costa as the stroke-by-stroke voice of ESPN2's coverage. He is to be joined by Pam Shriver and Mary Joe Fernandez.
The Tennis Channel's coverage is to be anchored by Leif Shiras and Katrina Adams.
ESPN2's Acura programming is to begin at 8 p.m. on Aug. 3 and Aug. 4 and at 2 p.m. on Aug. 5, the Sunday final. The Tennis Channel's segments are to begin at 11 a.m. on Aug. 3, at 1 p.m. on Aug. 4 and at 7 p.m. (for the doubles final) on Aug. 5.
The draw for the Acura, a $1.34 million, Tier I event on the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour, is to be made on Friday, with Martina Hingis, winner of the tournament in 1997 and 1999, and Conchita Martinez to sit in on the proceedings. The tournament has a 56-player main draw. Eight players win places in it through qualifying. Giscafre said that a wild card for the doubles competition has been awarded to the team of Patty Schnyder-Corina Morariu.
Players are to be permitted to converse with their coaches during breaks between sets as well as when their opponents call for a trainer or take other breaks. Coaches, to be seated at courtside, are to be miked during televised matches and their remarks aired live.
An eye in the sky
Acura is to employ the Hawk-Eye system of instant replays. At Wimbledon, when men requested an electronic review of a line call, only 21 percent of the calls were overturned. Thirty-nine percent of the calls challenged by women were overturned.