Tennisography John Isner on Tennis Channel Oct. 3

LOS ANGELES, Sept. 30, 2010 – Tennis Channel, the only 24-hour, television-based multimedia destination dedicated to both the professional sport and tennis lifestyle, will unveil a new player-biography series, Tennisography, Sunday, Oct. 3, at 7:30 p.m. ET.  The half-hour program will profile different players every month, and the unique stories behind their rise to the professional tennis ranks and their tales’ ongoing chapters today.

Sunday’s inaugural edition will highlight American John Isner, who gained international acclaim as one half – and the ultimate winner – of the longest match ever played, during the first round of Wimbledon this summer.  Beyond the three-day, 6-4, 3-6, 6-7 (7), 7-6 (3), 70-68 match, Isner discusses his teenage choice between tennis and basketball, the beloved other sport in which the six-foot-nine-inch player excelled.  He also reveals why he elected to develop his tennis skills from home rather than attend a tennis academy and talks about reaching a Washington, D.C., final against top-10 American star Andy Roddick this summer after winning his way into the tournament.  At the same time, Isner’s family recounts his experiences growing up while his childhood coach goes over what made the young player great.

Future editions of Tennisography will feature Americans Melanie Oudin, who stole the show while reaching the US Open quarterfinals as a 17-year-old in 2009, and Sam Querrey, who has steadily made his mark in both singles and doubles (occasionally partnering with Isner) during the past few seasons.  Another episode will showcase Russian Vera Zvonareva, who reached the singles final at both Wimbledon and the US Open this summer, is currently ranked No. 4 in the world and is studying for a second academic degree in her spare time.

Tennis Channel (www.tennischannel.com) is the only 24-hour, television-based multimedia destination dedicated to both the professional sport and tennis lifestyle.  A hybrid of comprehensive sports, health, fitness, pop culture, entertainment, lifestyle and travel programming, the network is home to every aspect of the wide-ranging, worldwide tennis community.  It also has the most concentrated single-sport coverage in television, with telecast rights to the US Open, Wimbledon, Roland Garros (French Open), Australian Open, Olympus US Open Series, ATP Masters Series, top-tier Sony Ericsson WTA Tour championship competitions, Davis Cup and Fed Cup by BNP Paribas, and Hyundai Hopman Cup.  Tennis Channel is carried by eight of the top 10 MSOs and has a national footprint via DIRECTV and DISH Network.

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ATP Launches Art Series

LONDON, ENGLAND – The ATP has commissioned the world’s top tennis players to create a series of one-of-a-kind self-portraits in celebration of their qualification for the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals, to be played at The O2 in London from 21-28 November.

The world’s leading players used their tennis skills to create individual masterpieces by hitting paint covered tennis balls against large art canvases. Each canvas was overlaid with a stencilled image, which, when removed, revealed a unique self-portrait showing one of the player’s signature moves on court.

The Barclays ATP World Tour Finals sees the Top 8 men’s tennis players in the world battle it out against each other for the last title of the season. Players compete for South African Airways 2010 ATP Rankings points throughout the season in a bid to earn one of the eight coveted berths and a chance to win the $1.6m prize money on offer for the winner.

The artwork created by the final eight players will be exhibited for public viewing in Central London in early November, and during tournament week at the new Fan Zone at The O2. The artwork then will be auctioned off for charity with tennis fans around the world getting the chance to bid on a rare piece of art created and signed by their favourite player.

Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer have already qualified for the tournament. The remaining six places are still up for grabs, as a chasing pack featuring the likes of Andy Murray, Novak Djokovic and Andy Roddick continue to battle for rankings points at ATP World Tour events during the remainder of the season in order to finish among the Top 8.

Nadal, the 2010 Wimbledon, Roland Garros and US Open Champion, is looking forward to returning to London in November. “Making the artwork was fun and something I’ve never done before. It’s a great way to celebrate the World Tour Finals coming back to London. Last year the crowd and the stadium were amazing although I didn’t play my best tennis. Hopefully this year I will arrive playing well again and will try to do my best in front of the London fans who add such a special feeling to the event,” said the World No.1.

Federer, a four-time winner of the season-ending tournament, has qualified for the event for a ninth consecutive year. “They staged a fantastic event at The O2 last year and I look forward to returning in November and finishing the season strong. It was great fun being invited to create my self-portrait and I’m excited to see how the finished artwork looks hanging in the gallery,” said the Swiss.

The tournament is the world’s biggest indoor tennis event, where each of the top eight players are drawn to play a minimum of three round-robin matches to determine which four players advance to the knockout semi-finals. Tickets are available online at www.BarclaysATPWorldTourFinals.com.