Global audience for SA Open


The SA Tennis Open, which starts on Monday, will be broadcast to 65 countries. Countries like Brazil, Russia, the US and also the Middle East region will see action from the quarterfinal stage; the perfect opportunity to showcase South Africa.

The courts have been specially built at Montecasino, a venue North of Johannesburg. Supersport was consulted on the design, specifically to ensure optimum camera positions, and the result is a sleek, modern tennis facility that suits live spectators and a television audience.

"We’ll be using 30 people in all," said senior Supersport producer Desiree Flint, who added that this will be the biggest TV production of a local tennis event in over 10 years. "A number of the cameramen work on tennis events around the world, so I’m expecting a well-run, world class event."

Former SA tennis international Robbie Koenig, who commentates for ESPN, will head up the commentary team that also includes Mike de Jongh (former coach of Martina Navratilova, Mary Pierce and Amanda Coetzer) and Mike Lugg.

In a first for South African tennis, the Hawk-Eye computer system will be used - no doubt adding to the drama expected next week when players like Marcos Baghdatis, David Ferrer and Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga battle for the SA Open title.