It’s been a long while following a jam-packed Australian Open Tennis back in mid-late January earlier this year, but the 2nd grand slam of 2023 is just around the corner in a few weeks time starting on Sunday May 28th when we will turn our attention to the Roland Garros/French Open in Paris.
There’s going to be some decent match-ups as always from start to finish, as well as some hopeful upsets from our Aussies which is why Nine is the home of all four grand slam tennis tournaments alongside their own paid streaming service Stan Sport here in Australia. But the make up of the scaled down on-air talent other than the wider annual Australian Open coverage may be a bit different going forward as most of them have committed to NRL, AFL or Rugby Union throughout the year.
We can 100% tell that Sam Groth won’t be back to do some studio insight & colour commentary because he’s now committed to State Politics for the Liberal Party in Victoria, having won the local Nepean seat during the recent election in late November last year. So won’t be the same without him when he was always there for Nine’s Tennis coverage all year round from the moment Nine switched over from Cricket back in 2018 up until his successful election campaign at this point.
We wish him the best of luck.
I don’t know if Nine will be seeking out a replacement for Sam when they only had Brett Phillips to kick off the overnight shift before Todd & Jelena took over for the morning sessions while providing their own commentary during the US Open last year.
But maybe John Fitzgerald could be a great get alongside Todd & Jelena for the early evening ties & all-important finals, as he too has done plenty of overnight shifts before in a studio/off-tube with the Davis Cup coverage involving Australia in the past as well as Stan Sport’s Roland Garros & Wimbledon coverage last year.
Speaking of Todd (Host/Announcer) & Jelena (Analyst), they will always be there to provide studio & insight play-by-play commentary including most finals, with Brett Phillips to back them up once again except both men’s & women’s singles’ finals for the overnight/early morning shift.
And you never know if Roz Kelly will stop by from Sydney to Melbourne studio when she might do some hosting of Nine’s French Open coverage, but then she has a packed schedule coming up with the Cricket over in England that will begin sometime next month for The Ashes.
So it’s unlikely that she will juggle both the other three Tennis grand slams & Cricket this year, with Todd or another different anchor taking her place.
Can’t wait for the next grand slam soon where we expect to see 9Gem showing one match at a time through each day of the tournament including the all-important matches on one Nine FTA channel once again, while viewers can watch all other matches only via subscription on Stan Sport.