Tennis Channel Serves Up Federer-Sampras


Roger Federer is taking aim at Pete Sampras as tennis’ all-time Grand Slam champion.

Now, they’re getting ready to take aim at each other in a three-match exhibition series that will be televised exclusively by Tennis Channel.

The network will initiate its coverage of the Federer-Sampras series from Seoul, South Korea on Nov. 20 at 7 p.m. (ET) on same-day delay. Tennis will then serve up the second of the three matches as a live breakfast treat from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on Thanksgiving, Nov. 22 at 7 a.m. The series finale is set for 1 a.m. on Nov. 24 from Macau, China.

Tennis will encore all three of the matches those days in primetime.

Following the broadcasts of the historic competition, Tennis will make each match available via free broadband replay on its Web site,  The Nov. 20 match will appear online Dec. 5, while the second and third matches make their broadband debuts the following two days. Currently, the site is featuring Sampras and Federer highlights pages and online poll for fans to vote on who they believe is the sports’ best-ever player.

“Tennis Channel is proud to offer tennis fans the opportunity to see this monumental event in sports, both live as it happens on the other side of the world, and again in primetime,” said Victoria Quoss, Tennis Channel executive vice president of programming and network strategy, in a statement. “It’s rare in any sport for fans to actually find out what would happen if a legend from the past were to take on the greatest player in the game today.  This will literally be history in the making right before our eyes.”

Sampras, 36, won 14 Grand Slam titles, including the last competitive match he played, the 2002 U.S. Open. Federer, 26, has a dozen Slams in his bag.

The exhibition series grew out of an invitation for the world’s current No. 1 to practice at Sampras’ Los Angeles home in preparation for Federer’s appearance at the Indian Wells tournament last March.

In their only meeting on tour, Federer in 2001 ended Sampras’ 31-match win streak at Wimbledon in a five-setter.