As Maria Sharapova continues her comeback after a 15-month doping ban, she’ll be attempting to quplift for Wimbledon next month. And ESPN has announced that it will stream the qualifying tournament in June on ESPN3 through the WatchESPN app with all-day coverage. It begins on Monday, June 26 and lasts through Thursday, June 29. Depending on breaking news and how far Sharapova advances, there is the potential for matches to carried on TV
Four matches per day will carried on ESPN3. This marks the first time that television coverage will be produced for the Wimbledon qualifying tournament. The All England Lawn Tennis Club will produce the coverage and hire the announcers.
For ESPN, it’s the first time that it will carry Wimbledon qualifying and have constant coverage. If Sharapova is to advance, she’ll have to advance through three rounds to get one of the 12 draws that are set aside for qualifiers.
But if Sharapova doesn’t win three rounds to qualify, let’s say she loses in the final round, she still can get through to the main draw if an already seeded player withdraws during qualifying. Wimbledon calls it a “lucky loser,” however, it has to be drawn by lot rather than by a selection.
So ESPN can have its fill of Sharapova during the qualification process and hopes that she will advance into the main draw so it has a star on the women’s side to promote during the main fortnight.