Mary Carillo will be commentating on ESPN!!
Aussie Open shift would mean more competition
by Jim Sarni
Posted January 10 2003
The Australian Open amid the sports madness of March.
It could happen as the ITF discusses changes to the tennis calendar in an effort to consolidate the Grand Slam season into seven months.
But for now, the Aussie Open kicks off the season. ESPN and ESPN2 are back with more hours than ever. And so is Mary Carillo.
ESPN, which begins a new, four-year deal Sunday night, will air 771/2 hours on its two channels, 12 percent more than last year. There is a record 43 live hours.
Better than the increased hours is the return of Carillo, the sport's best analyst, who made her name on ESPN when she started broadcasting in 1988.
Carillo, who also does tennis for CBS, left ESPN to do Wimbledon for HBO and then TNT. But now that ESPN has the French Open back (last year) and is expected to add Wimbledon this year, it's the place to be.
Carillo joins a loaded ESPN announcing lineup that includes Cliff Drysdale, Patrick McEnroe, Pam Shriver, Mary Joe Fernandez and Mal Washington. Chris Fowler, the host of College GameDay, will be an on-site host for the first time.
The Australian Open has always been a good January fit for ESPN with the women's and men's finals well-suited for Super Bowl weekend. It would get a lot more television competition in March.
An Aussie move, which has the support of Andre Agassi and Martina Navratilova, would affect the American tournaments, notably the Nasdaq-100 Open in Key Biscayne, which currently occupies the last two weeks of March, following Scottsdale and Indian Wells on the calendar.
In a revised calendar, Key Biscayne could become the first tournament of the season with the players moving west then across the Pacific.