Andy Murray’s first match at the 2023 US Open is set to be available to a big audience in the UK and Ireland after Sky made a decision to move away from their premium sports channel.
Sky are making a return to tennis broadcasting after a lengthy absence at the US Open and they have opted to broadcast Murray’s opener against Corentin Moutet live on Sky Showcase, meaning it will be available in all Sky homes – even those without a Sky Sports package.
The US Open has returned to Sky Sports after a new rights deal was agreed with the United States Tennis Association (USTA) in December 2022, bringing the final Grand Slam of the year back to Sky Sports screens for the first time since 2015.
The coverage will be fronted by Gigi Salmon alongside an all-star line-up of tennis experts, including Martina Navratilova, Tim Henman and Johanna Konta, with much of the coverage presented from Sky Sports’new studio.
There has been some negative social media attention on Sky’s return to tennis, with fans expressing disappointment that Amazon Prime are no longer broadcasting tennis in the UK and Ireland.
The Amazon service is relatively cheap compared to Sky, but they have opted to step away from their broadcast deals with the ATP and WTA Tours at the end of this year.
Sky looks set to step into the Amazon void, with Netflix also rumoured to have expressed an interest in tennis broadcasting rights after the success of their Break Point series that took tennis fans behind the scenes on the ATP Tour.
Sky Sports may look to introduce a tennis channel when they confirm the deal to screen the ATP and WTA Tour from the start of 2024, with the broadcaster set to offer tennis fans more comprehensive coverage, as well as the opportunity to promote the sport every day on their popular Sky Sports News channel.
Murray’s match will be the first big test of the appetite for tennis fans to watch the sport on the network, with the Scot admitting he is eager to make up for the disappointment of his early exit at Wimbledon last month by enjoying success in New York.
The Scot was leading world No 5 Stefanos Tsitsipas 2-1 in their second-round match when the 11pm curfew kicked in.
It seemed the momentum was with Murray but when the match resumed the following day, the two-time champion was beaten in five sets.
Murray revealed it took a few days to get over the narrow defeat, but he quickly set about working on areas of his game which he could improve.
“I went away on holiday straight afterwards,” he said. “Always immediately after matches, especially Wimbledon, at majors there’s greater disappointment and greater emotions than at any other time in the year.
“Probably after three or four days of being away from it, I chatted to my team about things that I feel I need to change, certain shots in my game if I wanted to win more of those matches and dictate more of those matches.
“So I did that, went away and worked on things for a period of time.”
Murray is likely to face another seed, Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria, in the second round of the US Open.
But first, the 2012 Flushing Meadows champion must overcome France’s world number 72 Corentin Moutet.
“I’ve not played against him, but I practised with him once, he’s an unbelievably talented guy,” added Murray.
“He’s not the biggest, he tends to play quite long points but he’s got tons of variety and good hands at the net.
“He can be a bit volatile at times but yeah, a good challenge for me, very different to how most players play in the draw.
“A lot of the game nowadays is based on power and serves and he’s the opposite really. A good test for me.”
Murray is one of six Brits in the first round on Tuesday, with Cameron Norrie, Dan Evans, Jack Draper, Katie Boulter and Jodie Burrage also in action.
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