The U.S. Open starts Monday with coverage led by ESPN, which will offer more than 100 hours of tennis from Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in New York. The Tennis Channel will also be on hand, and CBS will broadcast Super Saturday on Sept. 1 with the women's singles final and the men's singles semifinals. CBS will also broadcast the men's singles final on Sept. 2.
ESPN tennis analyst Chris Evert, who has six U.S. Open titles, clearly knows what it takes to win. She discussed playing the final major on one of the biggest stages in tennis.
What makes winning at the U.S. Open so difficult?
Evert » "I don't mean to complain like it's the last Grand Slam and everybody is starting to get tired. I honestly did start to get tired around August, September. The season is so very long, and the travel so extensive that it wears on all of the players. Whatever health issues they may have had during the long season must be overcome because to win a U.S. Open title you have to be both physically and mentally fit. On the plus side, playing in New York lifts your spirits, and it inspires you to still work hard and grind it out and just try to play your best tennis. It really lifts you up to hear that crowd getting behind you."
What are some of your best U.S. Open memories?
"My first U.S. Open I think was just very special for me because that was sort of the beginning of what was a Cinderella story for me. The women that I had to beat to get to the semifinals and lose to Billie Jean King, but having her say to me while we are walking out to the course, 'You're riding on the crest of a wave, enjoy it.' I still remember those words. It's the one tournament I remember my losses just as vibrant as my wins. I think that says a lot. I remember that big Super Saturday final in 1984 with Martina Navratilova, which I lost. But it was the loss on the Super Saturday was bigger than any one match, and I remember that pretty much made history. There was Ivan Lendl beating Pat Cash in a five-setter, then Martina beating me in three sets and finally late into the night John McEnroe beating Jimmy Connors in five sets -- making it one of the greatest days of tennis ever."
Examiner columnist Jim Williams is a seven-time Emmy Award-winning TV producer, director and writer. Check out his blog, Watch this!, on washingtonexaminer.com.