|The clash of the tennis titans begins on August 27, as reigning and former tennis champions once again prepare to volley their way to victory in the 2007 U.S. $ 22.2 million U.S. Open at Flushing Meadows, New York— being telecast on ART Sport 3 of the Firstnet Premium and Pehla Gold Bouquet.
From Aug 27 to Sept 9, the tennis courts at Flushing Meadows, N.Y. will echo to the grunts and squeals of players, and the roars and cheers of stadium spectators watching the action in the tennis arena.
All eyes will be on Indian tennis sensation Sania Mirza, who has been seeded number 26 in the U.S. Open and is the first Indian woman to be seeded at a Grand Slam. While she will be partnering Mahesh Bhupathi in the mixed doubles, Mirza’s earlier games witnessed her overcoming opponents like Martina Hingis, Svetlana Kuznetsova and Nadia Petrova, besides also being the first Indian woman to reach the 4th round of the US Open (in 2005).
Selima Sfar from Tunisia is the lone participant from the Arab world in the women’s singles of the 2007 U.S. Open. The Indian singles challenge will also feature Prakash Amritraj – son of the legendary Vijay Amritraj -- and Rohan Bopanna (both in men’s qualifying singles) and Sunitha Rao (women’s qualifying singles), while Aisam Ul Haq Qureshi represents the Pakistani hope in the men’s qualifying singles.
Fresh from his victory in the Cincinnati Masters recently, world number one and three-time defending US Open Mens Singles champion Roger Federer of Switzerland -- the only man to win both the Wimbledon and US Open titles three times consecutively -- will be looking at maintaining his winning streak and titles against former U.S. Open champions Lleyton Hewitt, Andy Roddick and Marat Safin, besides other players. Federer, who is also a three-time defending US Open champion and reigning Australian Open and Wimbledon champion, joined Ivan Lendl (1985-87) and John McEnroe (1979-81) as the only men to win three consecutive US Open men’s singles titles in the Open Era last year.
In the women’s singles, defending US Open champion Maria Sharapova will be defending her title against world number one Justine Henin, who warmed up for her American clash with a victory in the Rogers Cup in Toronto recently. Besides Sharapova and Henin, four other US Open champions including the Williams sisters -- Venus and Serena – Svetlana Kuznetsova and Martina Hingis will also be seen in action at the US Open.
The other prominent players defending their titles include: Indian tennis star Leander Paes and Martin Damm of the Czech Republic with their US Open Men’s Doubles title, and Nathalie Dechy of France and Vera Zvonareva of Russia who are the defending US Open Womens Doubles champions. The mixed doubles too feature interesting players including yesteryears women’s tennis champion Martina Navratilova who, with her partner B Bryan, bagged the mixed doubles title last year.
The 2007 event will be witnessing about 250 of the world’s top tennis players from 60 countries participating with 100 top players having received a direct entry in the US Open. Like every year, this year too the U.S. Open is set to bring the thrills of its action and fashion to the television screens of viewers in the region on ART Sport 3.