ESPN HistoryTennis

International Tennis Hall Of Fame honors ESPN with Cullman Award for network’s commitment to the sport

[doptg id=”116″]

NEW YORK — On Friday night, ESPN was honored by the International Tennis Hall of Fame with the Joseph F. Cullman 3rd Award, given annually to a company in recognition of longstanding commitment to the sport. Executive Chairman George Bodenheimer accepted the honor, saying, “We take very seriously the trust of tennis fans who want and deserve coverage that is creative. . . thorough. . . and compelling. You have our commitment to continue to deliver on our 34-year track record doing just that.”

Christopher E. Clouser, chairman of the ITFHOF, cited “ESPN’s dedicated coverage and innovative tennis programming has been integral in keeping fans engaged in tennis and helping to grow the sport around the world. With each passing tennis season, ESPN has displayed its steadfast commitment to the sport, developing an astute on-air team, constantly adding more hours of coverage, creating innovative digital platforms, and celebrating tennis’ rich history through fascinating special programming.”

The entire evening had a very ESPN flavor. The 2013 Hall of Fame inductees were honored, including ESPN commentator Cliff Drysdale, and past honorees were introduced, including ESPN analysts Chris Evert and Pam Shriver.

ESPN analyst Darren Cahill had the privilege of introducing fellow Aussie Rod Laver who received the Eugene L. Scott Award, which is similar to the Cullman Award but presented to an individual.

The history of tennis on ESPN goes back to the network’s very beginning. Exactly one week after launch in September 1979, ESPN aired its first tennis telecast, a Davis Cup contest between the United States and Argentina in Memphis featuring John McEnroe and Guillermo Vilas.

Drysdale was on the call that day and has been there every step of the way, from Davis Cup marathons to Michael Chang serving underhand at the French Open, to late nights Down Under to Isner-Mahut and Andy Murray’s historic triumph at Wimbledon this summer.

Back to top button