Sampras v McEnroe Tonight On Court, Not on TV
by Richard Vach | May 5th, 2007, 9:28 am
Television drives professional sports, so you have to wonder, how high could tennis’ popularity rise if the powers that be could get tennis’ biggest events on TV? And we’re not talking about Wimbledon here.
This week Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal played an exhibition on a court that was half clay, half grass. Rafa won. Not on TV.
Tonight at the Outback Champion Seires event in Boston, where Pete Sampras is making his senior tour debut, the 14-time Slam winner faces John McEnroe. Will Johnny Mac try to get in Pete’s face, throw a couple tirades to get him off his game, maybe grab a random child out of the crowd to berate? Again, not on TV.
You’d think the fix was in at the Boston event as all four Americans won Friday, with Sampras pounding Tim Mayotte 6-2, 6-1; McEnroe edging Petr Korda (who Sampras had easily beaten earlier in the week) 10-2 in a match tiebreak; Todd Martin easing past Wayne Ferreira 6-3, 6-2, and Jim Courier moving past Pat Cash 7-6(3), 6-3.
Now all four Americans are 2-0 in round robin play have guaranteed themselves spots in either the Sunday championship or the third-place playoff.
“I’m expecting an entertaining match,” said Sampras, who by “entertaining” really means “easy,” as the American has been thumping his serve and volleying crisply all week, and beat McEnroe in all three of their meetings during their ATP days. “I’ve always matched up pretty well against John. It will be fun and competitive. We both want to play well and also put on a good show.”
Mayotte, the latest victim of Sampras’ hammering game, found himself levels below the competition in his first senior tour appearance, a late replacement for Mats Wilander who withdrew from the event due to a back injury.
“He’s just unbelievable,” Mayotte said of Sampras. “Everything’s in hyper speed for me and everything for him looks like it’s in slow motion. It’s a whole different category.”
McEnroe could not hold a lead against Korda, blowing early breaks in both the first and second sets, not a good look coming into the match against Sampras where it should be a race to the net, unless Sampras feels like toying some from the baseline.
“I figured out a way to win,” McEnroe said of edging Korda. “I shouldn’t have put myself in that position, but at least I was able to pull it out.”
Martin will also face Courier on Saturday for a berth in Sunday’s final, with the winner facing the Sampras-McEnroe victor.
Sampras vs. McEnroe will likely be great theater, as was the Fed vs. Rafa exo. Unlike golf which has the pull to get a slot somewhere on TV at a moment’s notice to show Tiger Woods mowing his lawn, don’t look for it live on national or international TV — because from the standpoint of promoting tennis, that would actually make sense.

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7 Comments for Sampras v McEnroe Tonight On Court, Not on TV

di-10S Says:

ummm funny because i kept running across those matches last nite on FSNY i believe
Must have been just my tv

beerme Says:

i guess they are being shown locally in the northeast from what i read somewhere.

zola Says:

i guess they have hamburger eating contests o paintball to show instead. this is why tennis is going down in U.S.

grumpy oldman Says:

Its on tv in NYC but almost a week late.
This weekends matches will be aired next weekend.

These tournaments should be dealing with The Tennis Channel so we can see all matches at least on the same day they played if in not live.

forehandwinner Says:

It’s on Comcast Sports:

jennifernotcapriati Says:

Not only are the games not broadcast nationally, but here it is 11:20 PM on Saturday and I was hoping to see the result of the match. Not on CNNSI, not on Champion Series sites, not on, not on tennis-x. I guess in the age of instant information, tennis isn’t on the radar. Sigh. :-)

Randy Walker Says:

Thanks to everyone for their interest in the Outback Champions Series. The event in Boston is televised in over 20 million homes, which is more than DOUBLE the distribution of The Tennis Channel. Please see this press release regarding the TV coverage of Boston and visit the website for TV and event info….


Pete Sampras’ Return To Tournament Tennis To Be Televised On Four Regional Sports Networks With A Reach Of Over 20 million Homes

NEW YORK, May 1, 2007 – InsideOut Sports & Entertainment today announced its TV broadcast schedule for the 2007 Champions Cup – Boston, the second of six events on the 2007 Outback Champions Series that will mark the return to tournament tennis for 14-time Grand Slam tournament champion Pete Sampras.

New England Sports Network (NESN) will be the host broadcaster for the event and will show 17.5 hours of live and taped coverage started Thursday, May 3. Sportsnet New York (SNY) will broadcast 14.5 hours of taped coverage starting Friday, May 4, while Altitude will broadcast 17 hours of live coverage of the event to audiences in Colorado. Comcast Maryland will also broadcast 17 hours of taped and live coverage to audiences in the Maryland/Washington, D.C. area starting May 3. The network coverage will make Champions Cup Boston available to a potential viewing audience of over 20 million combined homes.

For all broadcast times, please log on to and go to the “On The Air” section.

Champions Cup Boston features an eight-man round-robin match format with the winner of each four-player group meeting in the championship match on Sunday, May 6 while second place finishers in each division meet in the third-place match. Competitors in Group A feature world No. 1 players Sampras, John McEnroe and Mats Wilander along with Petr Korda. Players in Group B consist of former world No. 1 Jim Courier, former Wimbledon Champion Pat Cash, Todd Martin and Wayne Ferreira. Tickets start at just $15 and are available at (617) 931–2000 or

Each event features $142,000 in prize money with an undefeated winner taking home $50,000 as well as ranking points that will determine a year-end champion. To be eligible to compete in the Outback Champions Series, players must have reached at least a Grand Slam singles final, been ranked in the top five in the world or played singles on a championship Davis Cup team.

Champions Cup Boston, part of the Outback Champions Series, is sponsored by Staples, The Parthenon Group, The Boston Globe and, Boston Common, NESN, CBS Radio, Wolf Blass and series sponsors Outback Steakhouse, ASG, Talon Air, Kraft and The Coca Cola Company. For hospitality packages, sponsorships and information please phone (646) 367–2770.

The 2007 Outback Champions Series kicked off March 7-11 in Naples, Fla.., at The Oliver Group Champions Cup where Wayne Ferreira of South Africa defeated Aaron Krickstein in the final. Other events on the Outback Champions Series include stops in Boston, Mass., Newport, R.I., Charlotte, N.C., Dallas, Texas and Houston, Texas. The International Champions Series, the international counterpart of the Outback Champions Series will debut In Athens, Greece in May. All points earned in both Outback Champions Series and International Champions Series events count towards the race for the year-end Champions Series points championship.

All Outback Champions Series and International Champions Series events feature eight-man round-robin match formats with the winner of each four-player division meeting in the title match while second place finishers in each division meet in the third-place match. To be eligible to compete on the Outback Champions Series and the International Champions Series, players must have reached at least a Grand Slam singles final, been ranked in the top five in the world or played singles on a championship Davis Cup team.

In 2006, Courier finished the year as the Champions Series year-end points champion, with tournament victories in Naples and Charlotte and third place finishes in both Boston and Houston. John McEnroe finished in second place in the year-end points standings, led by a runner-up finish in Boston and a third-place finish in Naples. Todd Martin finished in third place in the 2006 points standings, with the tournament triumph in Boston being his best result.

InsideOut Sports & Entertainment is a New York City-based independent producer of proprietary events and promotions founded in 2004 by former world No. 1 and Hall of Fame tennis player Jim Courier and former SFX and Clear Channel executive Jon Venison. In 2006, InsideOut launched its signature property, the Outback Champions Series, a collection of tennis events in the United States featuring the greatest names in tennis over the age of 30. In 2007, InsideOut launched the international equivalent to the Outback Championships Series – the International Champions Series – with its first event in Athens, Greece. In addition, InsideOut produces many other events including one-night “Legendary Night” exhibitions across the United States and Canada as well as charity events and tennis fantasy camps, including the annual Ultimate Fantasy Camp in Orlando, Fla. For more information, please log on to or

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