The AO Open was moved in 1987 to restore it to its original time slot in January. The year end masters was also moved back to December to restore it to its original time period that it had from December 1986. That is why one year you nad two AO Opens and none in 1986. The same was true for the Masters. You had none one year and in 1986 you had two. When ESPN first started they had the AO in December with semifinals at 7:00 PM EST on Wednesday and Thursday evenings US time and the finals on Friday and Saturday nights US time which was 9:00 PM on Friday and 10:00 PM on Saturday. That was the only coverage. The early round Masters from MSG was seen on USA and semifinal and finals on NBC for the weekend. In January 1986 early round Masters went to ESPN with both daytime and night covereage for Thursday and Friday. When the Masters moved to back to December ESPN tried to keep it as close to the previous AO time slots as possible. Coverage started in Wednesday at 6:00 PM EST with one to three matches beeing seen depending on what othe sports ESPN would want although three were played. Saturday went to 12:30 PM to get it away from footballs games that might run long in the evenings. Semifinals were Sunday evening and finals Monday evenings. Only the finals of the AO were seen on two night with semifnals dropped on Friday and Saturday evenings since only two days were seen of the Masters in January 1986. When ESPN got Sunday night football the Sunday coverage also moved to 12:30 PM EST starting in 1987 for the Masters. Then it was found the Masters was running too late so all night matches were moved up an hour starting in 1988 but ESPN showed the Monday night final on an hour delay and could also show more round robin matches since they were now starting at 5:00 PM EST. For 1989 the Masters schedule was then moved up a day so the final could be live at 12:30 PM EST on Sunday. Then the Masters became the ATP finals in November 1990 in Frankfort and went to ABC for two years. The former Masters time slots in December were replaced by the Davis Cup finals that years since the US hosted it. That was 5:00 PM EST on Friday night and 12:30 PM for the weekend just like the last three day of the Master the year before. Then the AO in January got some selected early round coverage which varied from year to year. When ESPN2 started on October 1, 1993, the network was far different from today. Because they were in far fewer homes you never go the big sports such as baseball, basketball, football, and the NHL as much. They had more time for tennis, soccer, and other lesser sports. They would have more live coverage of the AO including the semifnals at 7:00 PM EST on Wednesday and Thursday nights US time. ESPN would repeat it on tape after other sports were over or pick it up live where ESPN2 left off. Most of the European Masters series also got live early morning coverage which was repeated on ESPN. By January 1997 changes were made in the AO schedule. Now there were doubles that were played before the semifinals and you never knew what time the semifinals would start. That was very upsetting to ESPN2 since they would not know what time they would start. As a result ESPN2 dropped live coverage and would have other sports as well as an overkill of Superbowl highlight shows each past Superbowls. More of those have gone the ESPN Calssis since as well as the NFl channel. They would show the semifinals at a late enough time to be sure the doubles would be over when ESPN2 was ready. If you were lucky maybe one would be live if doubles were long enough or the second semifinal might be live and the first show after on tape if the timing was just right. Later they tried to guess when they would start and go back to live coverage but you often saw doubles first that had to get completed. ESPN would repeat the next day since what you saw was often now too late unless you were in Hawaii. Then the first men semifinals was moved to Thurday night Australia time which was 3:30 AM EST. The second continued as a day match after doubles. Then the sedond semifinal was moved to Friday night Australia time and when ESPN tried to show it they had to settle for the women's doubles final in 2003 at 11:00 PM EST. Then they decided to replace that with a second showing of the first semifinal last year. Now this year on Thusday night they only have an hour hightlight show listed. Also the women's final was moved a half hour later because doubles often were getting completed on time that went before. Last year and this year and also decided not to have doubles first and has the womens semifinals and finals at a set time of 1:30 PM local time which is 9:30 PM EST. That way ESPN2 can have the live with other sports first. That way if they run long you don't get other sports chopped off if you have the earlier time. Now of course the men's final moved to Sunday night in Australia.