NEW YORK – Serena Williams’s defeat on the U.S. Open on Friday in what was doubtless the ultimate match of her glittering profession was the most-watched tennis telecast in ESPN’s 43-year historical past, the community mentioned on Tuesday.
Williams’s third-round loss to beat Arthur Ashe Stadium in New York averaged 4.8 million viewers from 7:15 p.m. – 10:30 p.m. ET and peaked with 6.9 million viewers within the 10:15 p.m. quarter-hour.
Williams and sister Venus took the tennis world by storm once they emerged from the courts of Compton, California as youngsters and went on to dominate and alter the face of the predominantly white sport.
The winner of 23-Grand Slam singles tournaments, Williams transcended the game and her doubtless departure from aggressive tennis to deal with rising her household and enterprise pursuits led to a flood of tributes from athletes, celebrities and politicians.
Williams’s three singles matches and one doubles match alongside Venus helped drive up viewership via the primary 5 days of the match as a mean of 1.1. million viewers tuned in to ESPN networks, up 101% versus 2021.
“These are the most-viewed first 5 days of the U.S. Open on file on ESPN networks,” ESPN mentioned in a press launch.
A spokesman for community, whose steady of tennis analysts embody former world quantity ones Chris Evert, John McEnroe and Caroline Wozniacki, final week instructed Reuters that the community can be joyful to debate the potential for bringing Williams into the published sales space if she needed to go in that path in retirement.