tampabay.com

CBS finds perfect pair in tennis, basketball

By KEITH NIEBUHR
Published April 4, 2005


KEY BISCAYNE - Nasdaq-100 Open organizers announced an agreement with CBS Sports that will keep the men's and women's finals on the network through 2011. The event will continue to coincide with the NCAA's college basketball Final Four weekend, an arrangement tournament chairman and founder Butch Buchholz seems to like.

"It works perfectly for CBS because we can have the women's final in the afternoon (Saturday) and then they go to basketball," Buchholz said. "On Sunday they don't have any basketball, so we get three hours. Then they obviously do their Monday final, so it fits perfectly."

The 2005 tournament had almost 50 hours of live and tape-delayed coverage on CBS, ESPN, ESPN2 and the Tennis Channel.

STRANGE PAIR: Rafael Nadal sported an unusual outfit throughout the tournament, an ensemble that included a sleeveless T-shirt and white pants/shorts that fell well below his knees. When asked what he called the pants, which were labeled clam diggers and pedal pushers by media covering the event, Nadal responded, "Pirates."

Andre Agassi , who as a younger player was known for making fashion statements (you remember the jean shorts, don't you?), called it the "not-pants, not-shorts look."

"I like them on some people," Agassi said, joking. "I just won't say who."

ODDS AND ENDS: Federer became the first top seed to win the event since Pete Sampras (over Agassi) in 1994. The last five-set men's final was in 1985, when Tim Mayotte defeated Scott Davis . ... Sunday's final was shown live on the big-screen TV in New York's Times Square. ... On a changeover with Federer behind 5-6 in the third set, fans began doing the wave. Federer stood several seconds with a tennis ball in his hand while waiting to serve before the exuberant crowd calmed down. ... During this year's event, about 11,500 Starbucks coffee drinks, 16,000 hamburgers and 18,500 ice cream bars were consumed. ... The Nasdaq was named the ATP tournament of the year by the tour a third year in a row and for the sixth time in seven years.