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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-28-2009, 04:05 PM Thread Starter
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Jimmy Connors joins Tennis Channel

ESPN.com: Tennis
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Report: Connors to work U.S. Open
Associated Press

Jimmy Connors is heading back to the TV broadcast booth.

Tennis Channel plans to announce Wednesday that the eight-time major champion will be a lead analyst for its telecasts from this year's U.S. Open, The Associated Press has learned.

Aside from cameos, Connors hasn't been a TV announcer for a U.S. network since 1991, when he was calling matches for NBC -- while still entering tournaments as a player. After retiring from the circuit, Connors worked for the British Broadcasting Corp. at Wimbledon from 2005-07.

For all of his accolades -- including five consecutive years finishing ranked No. 1 and a record 109 singles titles -- Connors is most closely associated with the U.S. Open.

He claimed five singles championships at the American Grand Slam tournament and is the only player to have won the event on three surfaces: grass, clay and hard courts.

Footage from his stirring run to the 1991 semifinals at age 39 is often the time-filler of choice when there are rain delays at Flushing Meadows nowadays.

Connors' deal is scheduled to be announced formally when he appears via satellite during Tennis Channel's live coverage of the Australian Open on Wednesday.

This year marks the start of a six-year deal through 2014 for Tennis Channel and ESPN to carry the U.S. Open's cable TV coverage. Tennis Channel, which is in about 25 million homes, will air part of all four Grand Slam tennis tournaments in 2009 for the first time.
Tennis Week
Connors To Cover US Open
By Tennis Week
1/28/2009 4:18:00 PM

He is the only man to win the US Open on three different surfaces and now five-time US Open champion Jimmy Connors will make a comeback to the Flushing Meadows major.

Former World No. 1 Jimmy Connors will serve as Tennis Channel's lead analyst for TC's inaugural coverage of the 2009 US Open, the Tennis Channel announced today.

Connors, who worked as an analyst for the BBC's coverage of Wimbledon from 2005 to 2007, has not served as an analyst on American television since 1991 when he covered Roland Garros for NBC.

The 56-year-old Connors joins Martina Navratilova on Tennis Channel's broadcast team. Navratilova is currently covering the Australian Open for Tennis Channel.

Connors will team with other lead analyst Navratilova, primary commentator for all Tennis Channel Grand Slam telecasts, as well as veteran sportscaster and 19-year US Open anchor Bill Macatee. In bringing Connors into the mix for the US Open, Tennis Channel will have the all-time men’s and women’s singles title holders in the same broadcast booth, breaking down the on-court action and offering their respective insights to this year’s US Open hopefuls. The Navratilova-Macatee team has appeared during all network telecasts at the other three tennis majors: the Australian Open, French Open and Wimbledon.

"I’m very happy to join Tennis Channel’s on-air team during its first US Open coverage, and to work with Bill Macatee, Martina Navratilova and the rest of the team," said Connors. "The US Open has a special place in my heart and in the hearts of American tennis fans, and no other tournament in the world can match its drama and the electricity. In a short amount of time Tennis Channel has shaken up the way the sport is televised, and I’m excited to be a part of the effort to take US Open coverage to the next level."

Tennis Channel’s US Open coverage begins Monday, Sept. 1, at 11 a.m. and continues throughout the two-week tournament. In addition to more than 60 hours of live matches, including those in exclusive prime time over Labor Day weekend, the network will feature the official US Open highlights show for an hour each evening at 11 p.m. ET, before alternating throughout the late and early morning hours between US Open highlight and interview shows and best match replays, under an umbrella tentatively named US Open Tonight. Like the Tennis Channel’s Wimbledon Primetime, French Open Tonight and Australian Open Today, the programming will focus on the best of the day’s action on the courts, in the press room and around the tournament grounds. In all, Tennis Channel’s round-the-clock US Open schedule accounts for more than 200 hours during the event.

With the US Open in 2009, Tennis Channel will plant its studio flag at each of tennis’ four Grand Slams. The network has been covering the French Open since 2007, and added both the Australian Open and Wimbledon in 2008.

Beyond the booth, Connors will also have a presence on the network’s web site, www.tennischannel.com, and assist with promotional efforts for the inaugural US Open coverage.

The hiring means Connors will be on the grounds with archrival John McEnroe, who works for CBS and formerly served as an analyst for USTA Network. Together, they helped carry American tennis out of the country clubs and into the public arena. They treated tennis fans to tremendous — and often tempestuous — battles on courts across the world. Together, they helped the game grow to a new level of popularity and their passion for competition created memorable clashes both on and off the court.

"There were times on the court I wanted to beat him so bad I felt like I wanted to strangle him and I'm sure he felt the same way about me," McEnroe told Tennis Week.com in a past interview. "Jimmy is the ultimate battler, the ultimate hustler, the ultimate fighter. He is the only guy I ever played who, I would be trying as hard as I possibly could and I'd look across the net and he would be trying even harder. He hated losing."

Connors co-founded the Champions Tour, commonly known as the Senior Tour, with Ray Benton in 1993 and dominated the senior circuit for years winning a senior-record 38 titles. When he sold his share of the tour he reduced the number of events he played each year until he eventually stopped playing completely shortly after McEnroe began dominating their senior rivalry. McEnroe leads Connors in their the ATP and Champions Tour 26-19.

© 2007 Tennis Week

Last edited by smucav; 01-28-2009 at 10:37 PM.
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-28-2009, 04:26 PM
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Re: Jimmy Connors joins Tennis Channel

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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-29-2009, 05:13 AM
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Re: Jimmy Connors joins Tennis Channel

This could be interesting. How was he when he worked for the BBC?

Best twitter posts of the epic match:

@dougrobson - Whoever is supplying Mahut with hair gel needs to ink a sponsorship deal now.

@Wimbledon - FYI, with @Wimbledon live scoring devices, please add 50 to the games in the fifth set of the Isner v Mahut match.

@HolterMedia - Nice to see that a three-day test has come to tennis here @wimbledon.

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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-29-2009, 05:57 AM
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Re: Jimmy Connors joins Tennis Channel

I've missed seeing his rockin' sweatervests.

Say what you will but at least the man knows how to dress impeccably.

Labadze - Berrer - Junqueira
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-29-2009, 06:14 AM
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Re: Jimmy Connors joins Tennis Channel

You'll get to enjoy the wide rang of vocabulary he displayed at the BBC:







though in fairness that was as a commentator. he might not be quite so irritating as an analyst though I'm sure he'll be equally dull.
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-29-2009, 06:31 AM
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Re: Jimmy Connors joins Tennis Channel

Can't be any worse than Navratilova ... or ... can he?
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-29-2009, 06:38 AM
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Re: Jimmy Connors joins Tennis Channel

Originally Posted by moon language View Post
Can't be any worse than Navratilova ... or ... can he?
I haven't had access to the Tennis Channel this tournament, so I haven't heard her commentate recently, but I don't remember her being that bad. Surely she's better than the fools on ESPN?

The people in charge of this stuff seem to think great players automatically will make great commentators, which really often isn't the case. The guys who do the ATP Masters Series commentary are probably the best I've heard, and I have never heard of anything about them as tennis players (except for maybe Robbie Koenig).
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