By Ryan Berenz
The ESPN networks present TV and online coverage of the 2010 French Open from Roland Garros in Paris. ESPN2 and ESPN3.com present early round coverage, teaming up with Tennis Channel for matches through June 3. Additional match coverage will be on NBC, including the women’s and men’s singles finals. Here’s the complete info from ESPN, including the live TV and online match schedule below:
French Open on ESPN2 & ESPN3.com
Action Starts Sunday, May 23; Women’s Semis Live June 3
Fans Can Follow the Action Wherever They Are via ESPN Platforms
The best players in tennis will gather for the second Grand Slam tournament of the year on the red clay of Paris – Roland Garros, the 2010 French Open presented by BRP – beginning on ESPN2 when the event begins on Sunday, May 23. The network will present more than 56 hours, culminating with the women’s semifinals live Thursday, June 3. In addition, ESPN3.com will have more than 270 live hours of a multi-court offering, also starting May 23, and continuing all days ESPN2 is on the air.
ESPN networks present all four Grand Slam events – and ESPN3.com delivers unmatched broadband coverage of the sport’s biggest events and more tournaments throughout the year – and have televised the French Open 1986 – 1993 and since 2002.
After the opening day, ESPN2’s schedule will continue Tuesday, May 25 – Friday, May 28, and resume on Memorial Day, Monday, May 31, and continue to June 3. ESPN2 will begin each day at noon – directly following Tennis Channel’s morning programming – except for June 3 with the women’s semifinals starting at 8 a.m. ET – and will generally continue until 6:30 p.m. (See schedule below.) For the fourth consecutive year, ESPN2 is working with Tennis Channel to bring viewers an almost around-the-clock tournament experience, with each channel cross-promoting the other’s schedule. Tennis Channel will produce all coverage for both channels, with each making use of its own on-air team.
In addition, ESPN Deportes, the Spanish-language U.S. sports network, will televise 25 hours from Paris starting Tuesday, May 25, and culminating with the women’s semifinals live Thursday, June 3. Luis Alfredo Alvarez, Javier Frana, and Jose Luis Clerc will call the matches, which will be chosen specifically for the network’s audience.
Cliff Drysdale, the dean of ESPN’s tennis team, will be joined by Darren Cahill, Mary Carillo, Mary Joe Fernandez, Brad Gilbert, Patrick McEnroe and Pam Shriver. Chris Fowler will host and call matches for the first week (before leaving for South Africa and ESPN’s coverage of the FIFA World Cup). Chris McKendry will also serve as an on-site host and Tom Rinaldi will provide features and reporting.
ESPN3.com – formerly called ESPN360.com until this past April – will deliver more than 270 hours live from the three primary courts at Roland Garros on the days ESPN2 is televising — Sunday, May 23, plus Tuesday, May 25 – Friday, May 28 and Monday, May 31 – Thursday, June 3. Live action will start early in the morning with the first ball in the air and continue to the last shot of the day. ESPN3.com will show matches from a number of courts not televised on ESPN2, as well as the ESPN2’s programming, either live or later that day. Matches will also be available after they take place via VOD. The same service – still called ESPN360.com – is also available in Latin America with the same programming as in the U.S. and Spanish commentary.
ESPN3.com is ESPN’s live sports broadband network, giving fans a 24/7 online destination that delivers more than 4,000 live, global sports events annually. It is the only broadband outlet with all four of tennis’ Grand Slam events, totaling 1,600 hours of action, and also carries nine ATP 500 tournaments and other tennis throughout the year.
ESPN3.com is available at no cost to fans who receive their high-speed Internet connection from an affiliated provider. ESPN3.com is currently available in more than 52 million homes. It is also available at no cost to 21 million U.S. college students and U.S.-based military personnel via computers connected to on-campus educational networks and on-base military networks (those with “.edu” and “.mil” domains).
Other ESPN Platforms
Fans will have a variety of ways to follow the French Open with live action and updates on an array of ESPN platforms wherever they are and regardless of whether there is live television offered.
ESPN.com will provide comprehensive coverage before, during and after the French Open, highlighted by an enhanced Pulse section – real-time scoring from all courts, plus continuous live polling with results revealed immediately in ESPN2’s telecasts. In addition to all the results, news, analysis, schedules and more, ESPN.com will provide live blogging throughout the tournament so fans can follow the action even when there is no live television coverage. Also, fans can watch “Digital Serve” with ESPN2 commentators discussing the latest action and previewing key matches on the days ESPN2 is on the air.
ESPN Interactive TV, exclusive to DIRECTV, will present the French Open showing ESPN2 or Tennis Channel’s live coverage along with five other courts available with commentary. Other features include interactive data, the tournament draw, up-to-date scores, and daily order of play.
ESPN Mobile TV, a 24/7 channel for wireless on FLO TV and MobiTV platforms, will provide 31 hours of live coverage, simulcasting most of ESPN2’s live programming, highlighted by the women’s semifinals Thursday, June 3.
ESPN’s SportsCenter – in particular the live editions from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. ET – will follow the action closely with frequent updates, highlights and reports from Paris, as will ESPNEWS, the 24/7 all-sports news network. This will include live look-ins during SportsCenter and on ESPNEWS when ESPN2 is on the air.
ESPN International will present up to 130 hours of the French Open to 63 countries in Latin America and the Carribbean on a variety of regional networks. Matches will be chosen based on local interest and commentary will be offered in Spanish, Portuguese and English.
Previewing the Action
For the first time, Roger Federer comes to Paris as defending champion, having completed a career Grand Slam with his win last year. He followed that by breaking the record for career major titles by capturing his 15th at Wimbledon, and started 2010 in similar form with his 16th at the Australian Open. He has reached the semifinals of 23 consecutive Grand Slam events. Rafael Nadal will be looking to reclaim the French title he had won the previous four years. Other contenders include Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray and Robin Soderling, who defeated Nadal in Paris last year on his way to the final.
On the women’s side, Svetlana Kuznetsova will defend her crown against a field led by Serena Williams, winner of this year’s first Grand Slam title, in Australia, her 12th career major title. Willliams is the top-ranked women’s player, with her sister Venus ranked second as of May 17. It is the first time they have been ranked 1-2 since May 2003. Other top challengers include 2009 US Open finalist Caroline Wozniacki and Jelena Jankovic.
ESPN – All Four Grand Slams. All in One Place.
Tennis has been part of ESPN since its first week on the air and has provided many memorable moments, but it has never been as important as today, with the US Open joining the lineup in 2009, giving ESPN all four Grand Slam events, something no other network has ever done.
ESPN debuted September 7, 1979, and the first tennis telecast was exactly one week later, September 14, a Davis Cup tie, Argentina at U.S. from Memphis with Cliff Drysdale on the call.
Almost all the tennis is found on ESPN2, giving the network the identity as the destination for tennis fans and giving the sport a home that is flexible enough to carry extensive live programming – and adding to the schedule as storylines dictate. ESPN and ESPN2 both reach 99 million households nationwide. Also, ESPN Classic shows great matches from the past and the sport receives extensive coverage on SportsCenter, ESPNEWS, broadband ESPN3.com, Spanish-language ESPN Deportes, ESPN Radio, ESPN.com and ESPN The Magazine.
2010 French Open on ESPN2 (All times Eastern)
Sun, May 23 Noon – 6 p.m. Early Round Action Live & Same-day action
Tue, May 25 Noon – 6:30 p.m. Early Round Action Live & Same-day action
Wed, May 26 Noon – 6:30 p.m. Early Round Action Live & Same-day action
Thur, May 27 Noon – 6:30 p.m. Early Round Action Live & Same-day action
Fri, May 28 Noon – 6:30 p.m. Early Round Action Live & Same-day action
Mon, May 31 Noon – 6:30 p.m. Round of 16 Live & Same-day action
Tue, June 1 Noon – 6:30 p.m. Quarterfinals Live & Same-day action
Wed, June 2 Noon – 6:30 p.m. Men’s Quarterfinals Live & Same-day action
Thur, June 3 8 a.m. – 1 p.m. Women’s Semifinals Live
2010 French Open on ESPN3.com (All times Eastern)
Sun, May 23 5 a.m. – 6 p.m. Early Round Action Live
Tue, May 24 5 a.m. – 6:30 p.m. Early Round Action Live
Wed, May 25 5 a.m. – 6:30 p.m. Early Round Action Live
Thur, May 27 5 a.m. – 6:30 p.m. Early Round Action Live
Fri, May 28 5 a.m. – 6:30 p.m. Early Round Action Live
Mon, May 31 5 a.m. – 6:30 p.m. Round of 16 Live
Tue, June 1 8 a.m. – 6:30 p.m. Quarterfinals Live
Wed, June 2 8 a.m. – 6:30 p.m. Men’s Quarterfinals Live
Thur, June 3 5 a.m. – 7 p.m. Women’s Semifinals Live
2010 French Open on ESPN Deportes (All times Eastern)
Tue, May 25 – Noon – 3 p.m. Early Round Action Live & Same-day action
Wed, May 26 Noon – 3 p.m. Early Round Action Live & Same-day action
Thur, May 27 Noon – 3 p.m. Early Round Action Live & Same-day action
Fri, May 28 Noon – 3 p.m. Early Round Action Live & Same-day action
Mon, May 31 Noon – 3 p.m. Round of 16 Live & Same-day action
Tue, June 1 Noon – 3 p.m. Quarterfinals Live & Same-day action
Wed, June 2 Noon – 3 p.m. Men’s Quarterfinals Live & Same-day action
Thur, June 3 8 a.m. – 12 noon Women’s Semifinals Live
Credit: J. Conrad Williams Jr./Newsday/MCT