Saturday, January 19, 2008

Tennis Rocks and Rolls All Night with ESPN

(Above: Dwarf Rockers Mini-Kiss)

Five years ago ESPN was in a dismal state with its tennis coverage. I can always find things to nitpick but their efforts (on the tv side only) have vastly improved since the network got expanded rights to the AO, French and Wimbledon. 

This year they added Bud Collins to the announcing team, allowing him to do expanded sideline reporting and commenatry in the booth. 

It all culminated in an outstanding day and a half of coverage that spanned four five-set matches on the men's side. This was coverage for tennis junkies. A fifth set is compelling no matter who the players are. This year they've had the remarkable luck to have the greatest of matches featuring the greatest of players: Federer, Roddick, Baghdatis, Blake, Hewitt.

The rain fell yesterday, meaning that the roof was closed. The matches went on consecutively rather than simultaneously and ESPN stayed on through the night. A big thank you to the four-letter for sticking with Federer - Tipsarevic and Baghdatis - Hewitt, amounting to about 11 extra hours of live tennis. They Aussie fans stayed for the entire five set Hewitt match, whic ended at about 5 am Aussie time. 

Send ESPN an email commending them for going live rather than tape-delay. The four-letter will be replaying the matches this afternoon, which is great for the casual fan to tune in and see what all the fuss is about.

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