Re: ESPN annoyed me so much that I called them...........here's their explanation
Here's why from the LA Times:
Federer Gets a Late Victory
The top-seeded player defeats Ljubicic, 7-6 (3), 7-6 (4), in a match that stretches into the night.
PACIFIC LIFE OPEN TENNIS TOURNAMENT
By Bill Dwyre, Times Staff Writer
Suddenly, the Pacific Life Open tennis tournament has become "Late Night with Roger Federer."
The Swiss superstar, clearly the top player in the world at the moment, won his way into the quarterfinals with a fourth consecutive victory this year over the pride of Croatia, Ivan Ljubicic. The score was 7-6 (3), 7-6 (4), and ended at 10:59 p.m.
The match didn't begin until 9:12 p.m., 42 minutes after its scheduled 8:30 start. That was because a women's match won by Kim Clijsters over Conchita Martinez went three sets and 1 hour 45 minutes. The start time, a tough sell in a retirement area, where bedtime was close to match time, still drew a slightly more than half-full stadium.
The Federer match was put in that later-than-normal time slot because Federer is near to international rock-star status and the European television group that has paid for international TV rights to this event wants to be able to put his matches live into all parts of the world, especially Asia and Australia, as often as it can.
His quarterfinal against Nicolas Kiefer of Germany will be played tonight and will also start at 8:30.
American TV does not pay to carry this event, but rather has a marketing deal in which the tournament pays to have its event on TV and is allowed to sell commercial time on the domestic telecasts.
The first set lived up to the hype, Federer finishing a 7-3 tiebreaker with a 127-mph ace at 10:03 p.m.
Neither player had a break point and both hit lines like they were playing with radar guns instead of rackets. If there had been any expectation of a falloff in play from Ljubicic after his Davis Cup heroics 10 days ago, there were no signs of that.
Matter of fact, the only real difference between the two in the first set, in addition to the swagger of confidence that Federer has carried since his second Wimbledon title last year, was the fraction of an inch that Ljubicic missed a little lob after chasing down a drop shot by Federer at 2-2 of the tiebreaker. That made it 3-2 for Federer, with the next two points on his serve.
And once given that edge, Federer made the best of it, winning the next point with a half-volley drop shot that mortals can't make, then reflexing back a volley after drawing Ljubicic into the net. Ljubicic saved one set point at 2-6, but then it was Federer's chance to serve. And then came the ace. In the first set, Federer won 41 points, Ljubicic 37.
Federer's only loss this season came at the hands of Marat Safin in the Australian Open semifinals. But Ljubicic has come close. He lost in the final at Doha, Qatar, in early January, 6-3, 6-1, then got much closer a month later in Rotterdam, dropping that final, 5-7, 7-5, 7-6 (5). The next week, they did it again in Dubai, Federer winning, 6-1, 6-7 (6), 6-3.
This is March, and between the two they have pocketed more than $1 million in prize money so far this year. Federer had $731,728 and Ljubicic $361,895, not including whatever the Croatian Tennis Federation paid him for his Davis Cup heroics.