Like buses, live tennis arrives all at once after a dearth of action since March, when the pro sport shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic, but while today’s play may not be official, it is the result of individual innovation to raise funds for charity and introduces new ideas.
The excitement around live tennis’ return has been building and the coming together of the world’s best tennis talent this weekend is a chance for fans to see how the preparations of best players in the world are faring ahead of the Grand Slams in August and September. Andrew Georgiou, President, Eurosport and Global Sports Rights & Sports Marketing Solutions
Fans will be wondering how to watch from their armchairs, so here is a quick guide:
- Summer Adria Tour – Today at 1pm on Eurosport 2 and Eurosport Player from Belgrade, with further coverage tomorrow, 14 June, and next weekend, 20th and 21 June from Zadar, Croatia.
- Ultimate Tennis Showdown, from 4.15pm today, on Eurosport 1
- Tipsport Elite Trophy – not televised in the UK
- Schroders Battle of the Brits, starts on 23 June on Amazon Prime Video and Eurosport Player
“The excitement around live tennis’ return has been building and the coming together of the world’s best tennis talent this weekend is a chance for fans to see how the preparations of best players in the world are faring ahead of the Grand Slams in August and September,” Andrew Georgiou, President, Eurosport and Global Sports Rights & Sports Marketing Solutions, said.
The Adria Tour, supported by the Novak Djokovic Foundation, features the current World No 1, Austrian Dominic Thiem (week one), Bulgarian star Grigor Dimitrov and Croatian pair Borna Coric and Marin Cilic and kicks off in Belgrade.
The Ultimate Tennis Showdown is the brainchild of coach Patrick Mouratoglou, who looks to revolutionise tennis through a series of innovations, such as the option of coaching time outs and mic’d up coaches, to engage new audiences, and is hosted at the Patrick Mouratoglou Academy in the south of France.
A string of top players have signed up to take part including Stefanos Tsitsipas, David Goffin, Benoit Paire, Richard Gasquet, Dustin Brown, Lucas Pouille, Matteo Berrettini, and Feliciano Lopez. Dominic Thiem will join UTS next weekend.
Matches will last no longer than one hour, divided into 12 minute quarters with a two minute break at each change over.
In Prague, the Tipsport Elite Trophy tournament brings together a bevy of Czech players, including Karolina Pliskova, Marketa Vondrousova, Karolina Muchova, Barbora Strycova and Katerina Siniakova, who will be playing on 13-15 June, 29 June–1 July 1, 11–13 July and 25–27 July.
This team event kicks off at the Štvanice Stadium today at 12 Noon in front of up to 250 spectators.
Petra Kvitová was supposed to be playing but has pulled out due to hand problems.
“During Thursday’s doubles practice, it turned out that my injured hand is not in such a condition that I can play a quality match,” said the No 12 in the world.
Unfortunately there is no transmission of this in the UK.
Not to be forgotten and yet to come, the Schroders Battle of the Brits tournament organised by Jamie Murray, will be hosted with the aim of raising a minimum of £100,000 for NHS Charities in the UK.
Screened on Amazon Prime Video in the UK and the Eurosport Player across Europe from the LTA headquarters at Roehampton, the event will feature some of Britain’s finest players including Andy Murray, Dan Evans and Kyle Edmund for the right to claim the singles and doubles titles.
Eurosport’s live coverage this month kick-starts a summer of tennis that culminates with the US Open and re-scheduled Roland-Garros from Paris later this year, with both tournaments screened on Eurosport and Eurosport Player.