The first serve on the 2009 U.S. Open won't be tossed up until Aug. 31, but DirecTV on Wednesday will give New Yorkers a taste for the upcoming action from Flushing Meadows.
DirecTV will showcase the U.S. Open Experience on Aug. 26 at Manhattan's Bryant Park, where the No. 1 satellite provider is sponsoring a free exhibition open to the public. The event, beginning at 10 a.m. (ET), will feature a USTA clinic with Venus and Serena Williams, the Bryan and Jensen brothers, ATP star James Blake and Hall of Famer John McEnroe.
From 11 a.m. - 1 p.m., the tennis pros will compete in tie-break matches against one another in various combinations. Celebrities from the entertainment world will also play alongside the tennis stars or officiate as line judges and/or chair umpires.
The day will open and close with USTA teaching pros putting the public through the paces with a variety of consumer skills challenges presented by K-Swiss, focusing on serving, receiving and ground strokes.
The event comes in support of DirecTV's multi-screen presentation of the Grand Slam tournament, which is forged through a partnership with Open telecasters, ESPN2, CBS and Tennis Channel. DirecTV's planned coverage comprises more than 435 hours of live tennis action, 140 extra matches, with five extra court channels in addition to the main feeds from ESPN2 and CBS -- all of which is displayed on the satellite operator six-on-one-screen Mix Channel. All of the action is available in the high-definition format.
DirecTV will offer ESPN2's national coverage during the tournament's first five days, Aug. 31 through Sept.4, and then three days of coverage from CBS, Sept. 4-7.