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Mary Carillo (born March 15, 1957, in Queens, New Yorkmarker) is an American writer, sportscaster, and former women's tennis player.

Tennis career

Carillo played on the women's professional tennis circuit from 1977 to 1980. She was ranked as high as number 33,WTA Rankings, from January through March 1980, when she retired due to knee injuries. She won the French Openmarker mixed doubles title with partner and childhood friend John McEnroe in 1977. Carillo and McEnroe then made it to the quarterfinals of Wimbledonmarker, and later that year Carillo was a doubles quarterfinalist at the U.S.marker Openmarker.

Post-tennis career

Olympic coverage

Mary Carillo served as Late Night Show host, Closing Ceremony host and a "Friend of Bob" for the 2008 Beijing Games. Beijing was to be Carillo’s ninth Olympic assignment and sixth with NBC. Her role focused on cultural commentary/"slice of life" pieces about China.

At the 2006 Winter Games in Torinomarker, Carillo hosted "Olympic Ice," a daily figure skating show on USA Network. She co-hosted the critically acclaimed daily figure skating television program with co-hosts Scott Hamilton, Dick Button, and Jamie Salé & David Pelletier.

At the 2004 Athens Games, Carillo earned critical praise in her debut as a full-time Olympic host on Bravo’s coverage in addition to anchoring USA Network’s live, Grand Slam-style coverage of the tennis gold medal finals. During NBC’s coverage of the 2002 Salt Lake Winter Olympics she covered bobsled, luge and skeleton competitions. Her comment that men’s doubles luge is "like a bar bet gone bad" was recognized as "line of the year" in many sports television columns. In addition, Carillo’s work co-hosting the 2002 Closing Ceremony alongside Dan Hicks earned her critical acclaim.

Carillo served as tennis analyst in both Sydney (2000) and Atlanta and as the skiing reporter, also as a NCAA women's basketball and gymnastics for CBS’ coverage in Nagano , Lillehammer and Albertville .

Tennis coverage

In May 2003, Carillo joined NBC Sports as an analyst on the network’s French Openmarker and Wimbledonmarker coverage, teaming with analyst John McEnroe and play-by-play commentator Ted Robinson. She made her NBC broadcast debut as an analyst for the 1996 Family Circle Magazine Cup tennis event. Carillo’s candid and insightful commentary has earned her accolades throughout the industry, including the distinction of being called "the sport’s top analyst" by Sports Illustrated.

Carillo has worked as a tennis analyst for ESPN since 2003, having worked for the network for nine years starting in 1988, and for CBS Sports on the US Openmarker, a role she has filled since 1986. She also has been a correspondent on HBO’s "Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel" since 1997. Carillo worked as both a host and analyst on Turner Sports’ coverage of Wimbledon from 2000-02 and on HBO’s Wimbledon coverage from 1996-99. Prior to ESPN, she worked for USA Network (1980-87), PBS (1981-86) and Madison Square Garden Network (1981-88).

She won a Sports Emmy Award for her feature on the Hoyt Family. A former member of the Women's Tennis Association Board of Directors, Carillo was named Best Commentator by Tennis Magazine (1988–91), Best Commentator by World Tennis magazine (1986) and Broadcaster of the Year by the WTA (1981 and 1985). She has written two books: Tennis My Way with Martina Navratilova and Rick Elstein's Tennis Kinetics

Dog show coverage

In 2009, Mary co-hosted the 133rd Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show broadcast on USA Networks.

Controversial style

She is known for her deep voice, quick wit, and pointed sense of humor.

Like McEnroe, Carillo is known for her colorful turns of speech. She is credited with coining the phrase Big Babe Tennis to describe the era in women's tennis dominated by large, powerful players such as Lindsay Davenport, Serena Williams, and Venus Williams. [163653] Carillo's unabashed and ad hominem style of tennis commentary has drawn criticism from several top players, notably Andre Agassi, Serena and Venus Williams, and Maria Sharapova.

Personal life

Carillo splits her time between Naples, Floridamarker, and New York's Greenwich Villagemarker. She was married for 15 years to tennis instructor Bill Bowden. They divorced in 1998 and have two children, Anthony and Rachel. Mary's brother, Charlie Carillo, is the author of "My Ride with Gus" and "Raising Jake". He worked at the "New York Post" for a number of years, and is currently an independent television producer, splitting his time between London and New York City.


Carillo appeared in the 2004 film "Wimbledon" as herself.


  • Carillo received a Peabody Award, one of television’s highest honors, for co-writing with Frank Deford the HBO documentary "Dare to Compete: The Struggle of Women in Sport."
  • Twice named Broadcaster of the Year by Women's Tennis Association (1981, 1985)
  • Named "Best Commentator" by World Tennis Magazine (1986), Toronto Star (1986), and TENNIS Magazine (1988–91)
  • Won a Sports Emmy Award for her feature on the Hoyt Family.

See also


  1. John Maffei, These voices don't mince words. North County Times, June 22, 2006.

External links

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