davis cup: semifinal coverage by tennis channel

Davis Cup logo

Tennis Channel will provide exclusive, live “bounce style” coverage from both Davis Cup semifinals in Belgrade, Serbia, and Prague, Czech Republic, this weekend, with live and same-day, “Instant Encore” replays Friday through Sunday, as telecast windows overlap. Serbia will host Canada while the Czech Republic will welcome Argentina. Top-ranked Canadian Milos Raonic and 2013 US Open finalist and World No. 1 Novak Djokovic have never faced each other in competitive play, nor have the two nations met in Davis Cup competition. Tennis Channel’s coverage gets underway at 9 a.m. ET, Friday, Sept. 13; 8:30 a.m. ET, Saturday, Sept. 14; and 8 a.m. ET, Sunday, Sept. 15.

Live, “bounce style” coverage from Belgrade Arena in Belgrade, Serbia, and O2 Arena in Prague, Czech Republic (all times ET):

Friday, Sept. 13:
9 a.m. – Live Singles #1 Czech Republic vs. Argentina (Serbia vs. Canada underway at 10 a.m.)
1 p.m. – Live Singles #2 Czech Republic vs. Argentina and Canada vs. Serbia
{8 p.m. – Instant Encore Singles #1 Czech Republic vs. Argentina and Canada vs. Serbia}
{12 a.m. – Instant Encore Singles #2 Czech Republic vs. Argentina and Canada vs. Serbia}

Saturday, Sept. 14:
8:30 a.m. – Live Doubles Czech Republic vs. Argentina (Serbia vs. Canada underway at 10 a.m.)

Sunday, Sept. 15:
8 a.m. – Live Singles #1 Czech Republic vs. Argentina and Canada vs. Serbia
11 a.m. – Live Singles #2 Czech Republic vs. Argentina and Canada vs. Serbia

Canada and Serbia have never faced each other in Davis Cup play. Serbia defeated France 3-2 in the 2010 Davis Cup finals at Belgrade Arena to win its sole title. The Serbian team enters this weekend’s matchup after a 3-1 victory over the United States in Boise, Idaho. Serbia is captained by Bogdan Obradovic and features Djokovic, Janko Tipsarevic, Dusan Lajovic, and Nenad Zimonjic.

Canada enters this weekend after defeating Italy 3-1 to reach the semifinals for the first time since 1913 and only the second time in the nation’s history. The Canadian team achieved its best Davis Cup results to date by defeating both Spain and Italy and is bidding to win its first Davis Cup title. The squad is captained by Martin Laurendeau and features the same players who beat Italy in the quarterfinal: Raonic, Vasek Pospisil, Frank Dancevic, and Daniel Nestor.

The Czech Republic holds a 4-1 advantage over Argentina in Davis Cup competition, most recently winning last year’s semifinal 3-2 in Argentina. Argentina’s sole victory over the Czech Republic came in 2005 in Buenos Aires. The team enters this weekend’s match after defeating Kazakhstan 3-1 in the quarterfinals. The Czech Republic clinched its first Davis Cup trophy as an independent nation last year, when it defeated Spain 3-2 in Prague. In 1980,it captured its first Davis Cup title while competing under the flag of Czechoslovakia. Coached by Jaroslav Navratil, the team consists of Tomas Berdych, Radek Stepanek, Lukas Rosol, and Jiri Vesely.

Argentina has finished runner-up on four occasions: in 1981, 2006, 2008 and 2011. The Argentine team is captained by Martin Jaite and features Juan Monaco, Carlos Berlocq, Horacio Zeballos, and Leonardo Mayer.

merchant of tennis (channel)

Tennis Channel Sells Merchandise through Shop the TVThe folks at Tennis Channel launched an online store this week featuring network-branded merchandise and gear, accessible via tennischannel.com and shopthetv.com. The network partnered with Delivery Agent on this project.

The initial offering is standard branded fare — t-shirts, mobile phone cases, tablet cases, mugs with Tennis Channel logos and slogans — so we expect the store to step up its game after the marketing folks get their feet wet. (Jerseys, right?)

Our Pick: “Love Means Nothing” T-Shirt, $24.95, shopthetv.com

tennis channel to air rafael nadal’s return

Tennis Channel will air Rafael Nadal's return to competitive play in 2013

Tennis Channel will air Rafael Nadal‘s first single match back after being sidelined for seven months due to various ailments. Nadal, who already won a doubles match with teammate Juan Monaco, will play in the main draw of the VTR Open in Vina del Mar, Chile, on Wednesday at 4pm ET. This marks the return of Nadal after a roller coaster absence involving knee injury and a stomach virus, among others.

With an unprecedented seven French Open championships to his name and the best clay-court record in the Open Era (254-19; .930), Nadal is considered by many to be the greatest player of all time on clay, the surface used at this week’s event in Vina del Mar. He will face the winner of Delbonis/Pella. (Browse: VTR Open Singles Draw)

Leif Shiras will call the match for Tennis Channel. Encore presentations of Nadal’s comeback will air Wednesday at 8pm ET and Thursday, Feb. 7, at 10pm ET. The network had already planned to carry the singles semifinals and championship in Vina del Mar this weekend prior to Nadal’s entry into the tournament. That schedule is as follows (all times live):

Saturday, Feb. 9
5pm – Semifinal #1
8:30pm – Semifinal #2

Sunday, Feb. 10
4pm – Championship

julien farel – the u.s. open's on-site hairstylist

Stylist Julien Farel has been taking care of players’ hair at the U.S. Open for five years running (and, for 2011, blogging about it at Tennis Channel). We asked him a few questions this week.

TSF: How did you get started working with tennis clients?
Julien Farel: I use to do it for Roland Garros and always thought it was a great tournament and sport for JF Group. Now we’re in our fifth year at the Open.

TSF: Whose hair is the most fun to style?
JF: Cutting Rafa Nadal, or styling Lauren Bush or Gwyneth Paltrow is tough to compare, they are all great — and the best in their fields!

TSF: And whose are you dreaming of working on?
JF: Federer and Sharapova. Penelope Cruz and JLo.

TSF: Do you follow the sport?
JF: Yes I am I big fan of tennis and try to play as often as I can. I prefer singles and I like the back hand passing shot.

TSF: How much does a player’s outfit for a particular tournament play into how you cut/style their hair?
JF: A lot. I particularly like Wimbledon because it is all-white: very classic and elegant. I love the classic! I love Nadal’s haircut with a very fitted outfit. It’s very trendy, sexy, and cool.

TSF: What about accessories?
JF: I like men’s hair accessorized with headbands or sweatbands; for the women, a fishtail or classic braid. They can control frizz with a little JF Relaxing Balm and that will do the trick.

TSF: What are players most concerned about with their hair?
JF: Keeping the hair off their face and controlling the frizz. JF styling products work great because they all contain an UVA protection to keep the hair hydrated and healthy.

more moving and shaking: carillo joins tennis channel

As if we needed one more reason to restart our Tennis Channel subscription (since we got rid of our cable sports package during a “break” from blogging over the winter): first we had to twiddle our thumbs while that Nole/Nadal Madrid final was bowling everyone over (including Rafa!) and now it’s going to be the only place to hear the wacky commentary of Mary Carillo.

After ending her run with ESPN in 2010, she’s signed on with TC for both the French and U.S. Opens to work the tourney desk, conduct interviews, offer analysis, and occasionally handle play-by-play commentary during select matches. She’ll also get to do the human interest segments we’ve come to know her for. (What antics will she get into when they let her loose in Paris?)

For Roland Garros, Carillo’ll join a roster of on-air talent including John McEnroe, Martina Navratilova, Lindsay Davenport, Justin Gimelstob, and Corina Morariu. Mary will also work with Bill Macatee on “French Open Tonight.”

(screengrab by Nick via NBC)

tennis channel: soon for the comcast masses?

Tennis Channel and Comcast will go before the FCC Administration Law Judge today to settle a complaint filed by TC calling out the cable distrbutor for discrimination. TC execs want their network to join Golf Channel and Versus in Comcast’s basic tier offerings, but Comcast says it’s too expensive to set up. (Of course, Golf Channel and Versus are owned by Comcast.)

We’ll let you know when we hear of any updates.

(src)

in los angeles' west side, traffic will grind to a halt for obama

For our readers in Los Angeles: if you warming up your shoulders to hurl tomatoes at Obama as his motorcade cuts through the Westside this afternoon — the traffic will. be. a. disaster. — consider this: his fundraiser at Tavern in Brentwood is co-chaired by Tennis Channel CEO Ken Solomon. Now all we need is the first family watching a match at the U.S. Open…

BTW: The cost to attend tonight’s party? $35,800 per person. Schnikes.

with tennis on our minds, is it time to dump tennis channel?

NYTimes.com’s DealBook blog reminds us that Tennis Channel’s been around for seven years now, and that the network’s investors are probably itching to get a return on their money.

From the post:

“The Tennis Channel’s owners have controlled the business now for seven years, a long slog for a private-equity investment. With the network improving its fortunes over the past few years and achieving viability as an independent cable channel, the investors could be looking to exit in the near term, say several people familiar with the deal.

Potential buyers include a large media company with an existing portfolio of cable assets (Comcast, Cox or Viacom); a talent agency (CAA or IMG); or to a new set of private-equity owners (Blackstone and Bain, for instance, own the Weather Channel).”

Now that TC’s finagled its share of Slam coverage, let’s hope they can get themselves a good deal. Life wouldn’t be the same without Bag Check!

(via DealBook)

larosa’s sweet spot + nick in smash

James LaRosa‘s Sweet Spot, born on September 10, 2008.

The prolific Tennis Channel scribe’s Cinderella story gets another chapter with the establishment of James’ weekly TC column (on Wednesdays). The first post: a look at recent butterfly-effect matches on the tour.

Also, Nick McCarvel has a great article in the fall 2008 issue of SMASH about how to travel (and pack) smart for tournament travel. Check it out.