U.S. Open tennis is serving up better numbers for ESPN so far this year. The Worldwide Leader said today that overnight ratings for its first three days of coverage are up 20% from 2017 — a 0.6 vs. 0.5.
The highest-rated telecast so far was Wednesday night’s six-hour, 15-minute block that featured Serena Williams, Rafael Nadal and other and lasted until 1:15 AM ET. It peaked with a 1.3 rating from 8:30-9:15 PM ET.
Notable this year is the return of the singular Williams, who missed the 2017 tournament for her pregnancy. ESPN also noted today that the 30th pro meeting between Williams and her older sister Venus will air Friday on the flagship network, rather than on ESPN2 as previously announced. The third-round matchup will be the earliest the two have met in a major tournament since their very professional matchup in the Round of 64 at the 1998 Australian Open.
ESPN has exclusive live coverage of the 138th U.S. Open with 130 hours on television and 1,300 more streaming online. The action from the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows, NY, continues daily through the Women’s Championship on Saturday, September 8, and the Men’s Championship the next day.