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Serena Williams helps boost ESPN’s coverage of U.S. Open

Sep 2, 2022; Flushing, NY, USA; Serena Williams (USA) waves to the crowd after her match against Ajla Tomljanovic (AUS) (not pictured) on day five of the 2022 U.S. Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie Jean King Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

ESPN’s U.S. Open Coverage saw a 50 percent increase in viewership compared to 2021, Sports Business Journal reported Wednesday.

An average of 1.21 million viewers tuned into the event, the third-most since ESPN secured exclusive rights to the U.S. Open seven years ago.

Viewership numbers spiked due in large part to Serena Williams, who had three primetime matches during the opening week of the event. She also played a doubles match with her sister, Venus, that aired on primetime television.

Serena Williams was playing in what could be her last U.S. Open after she announced in August that she would be retiring.

Friday’s five-hour men’s semifinal match between Carlos Alcaraz of Spain and American Frances Tiafoe also helped ESPN’s ratings, averaging 2.96 million viewers. At the broadcast’s peak, 3.6 million were watching, making it the most-watched major match that didn’t feature Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal or Serena Williams.

Alcaraz, 19, won the men’s U.S. Open title, becoming the youngest No. 1 in the ATP Rankings’ history.

–Field Level Media