World TeamTennis’s quarantined summer tournament at The Greenbrier resort in West Virginia ended on a high note with record domestic television ratings for the event’s finals at the weekend.
New York Empire’s epic 21-20 victory over Chicago Smash in the last point of the super-tiebreaker on August 2 averaged 556,000 viewers on the main CBS network, making it the most-watched match in the league’s 45-year history.
During the super-tiebreaker, between 3-3.13pm ET, the audience peaked at 1.128 million viewers.
It was the second ratings record for the mixed-gender professional tennis league during the summer. Washington Kastles’ victory over Vegas Rollers on July 19 gained an average audience of 484,000, in a match also on the CBS network.
“By almost all metrics this has been the most successful season in World TeamTennis history,” WTT chief executive Carlos Silva said in a statement. “I can’t thank our partners, sponsors, WTT staff and the players and coaches enough for helping us responsibly bring tennis back in front of fans during these challenging times. Without this team effort, with safety our No. 1 priority, we would not have been able to complete this season and crown a champion.”
The event, which included limited spectators, was a health and safety success in the wake of the global Covid-19 pandemic. A total of 822 tests on players, coaches, trainers, WTT staff and media during the three-and-a-half week season all returned negative.
There was some controversy, however, when Orlando Storm player Danielle Collins was removed from the tournament for breaching protocols by leaving The Greenbrier resort mid-tournament.
The competition also delivered the most blue-chip sponsors in World TeamTennis history, including Geico, Wilson and DraftKings.