View Full Version : Carillo Does it Again.....

Cybelle Darkholme
Jun 7th, 2002, 03:55 PM

The behavior of athletes today leaves a lot to be desired, but in the midst of all the self-righteous condemnation by some members of the media, lost is the fact that some of us, practitioners and guardians of the public's trust, have been allowed to get away with murder.

Take for example CBS Sports' tennis analyst, Mary Carillo. She has been allowed to make a career out of being outrageously unfair when it comes to giving credit where credit is due. This point was amply borne out during last Saturday night's historic meeting of two sisters, Serena and Venus Williams, in the women's singles final of the United States Open Tennis Championships in Flushing, Queens.

Carillo, sharing the booth with anchor Dick Enberg and color commentator John McEnroe, had a rare opportunity to lend a special touch to a unique happening in the world of sports but succumbing to an innate prejudice, made a remark which clouded an historic moment.

It all happened in the second and final set of the championship match (Venus had taken the first set 6-2).

Venus won the first five points of the second set and took a 2-0 lead in games. Serena fought back by holding serve and breaking her sister's to level at 2-2. Serving to go up 3-2, Venus lost her serve and the set stood at 3-3. It was then that the ultra suspicious Carillo made her damaging remark. Thinking conspiracy all the way, Carillo said: "This is why people have been suspicious of the matches between these two. Venus' play has really dropped considerably in the last couple of games."

This reckless remark was immediately torpedoed when Venus broke her sister's serve in the next game to take a 4-3 lead and run out a 6-4 winner.

The key to Venus' triumph was her first serve which, unlike at any other time during the tournament, was on the money. It was thunderous and razor-like in precision. It was an experience like none other that Serena had faced in the tournament and it affected her entire game. Venus' serve put pressure on Serena and had her pressing throughout in an effort to seize on the few opportunities presented. The situation also demanded a flawless display of serving on the part of Serena for her to stay in the match and that was where the issue of "pressing" manifested itself the most. On many occasions, Serena showed flashes of brilliance and indications that she was at the top of her game, but struggling mightily psychologically, and being outmaneuvered and outthought by a serenely confident and magnificently attuned champion.

Throughout the tournament we were privileged to see the rapid development of a legend in Venus Williams and anyone who could not see that and could only focus on the outrageously negative, must be a prime candidate for rehab.

Carillo's calling into question the integrity of the Williams sisters was so hideously unfair, that one wondered how on earth the normally "quick on the trigger" McEnroe, her longtime foil, didn't take her to task. The voices of McEnroe and Carillo were, however, noticeably absent from the broadcast for a few minutes as play-by-play man Dick Enberg took charge, and one could surmise that "Johnny Mac" was letting her have it off mike.

Apparently, the mainstream media gave her a pass on the indiscretion. James Brown, anchor on the FOX network's NFL Pre-Game Show the following day (Sunday), seemed incensed enough by the remark to close the show by saying that the match between the two sisters was fought doggedly and that "there was no FIX there."

It stands to reason that the huge crowd of over 23,000 fans, her mother's obvious hope that it would be a long and entertaining struggle, and prime time television were temptation enough for Venus Williams to take the match into a third and final set. The fact that the defending champion dashed all those wishes with the merciless swing of an executioner's axe, speaks volumes about her mindset and her opponent's going into their encounter.

But any objective follower of the sport of tennis would tell you that Carillo obviously has had a problem giving the Williams sisters their due for quite some time now. This was obvious at last year's U.S. Open (click here for Carillo's remarks about Venus at 2000 U.S. Open).

Carillo has repeatedly raised questions about the decision of Venus Williams to pull out of her semi-final match against sister Serena in the Indian Wells tournament earlier this year. The inference being that she didn't buy into Venus' excuse of being ill. Carillo seemed convinced it was a clear case of the sisters not wanting to face each other.

Former U.S. Davis Cup captain Tom Gorman, appearing on WFAN AM all-sports radio here in New York was asked if he had a problem with Venus Williams pulling out of the Indian Wells tournament at the last minute because of illness. He stunned the questioner with his reply. Gorman in no uncertain terms told Christopher Russo that Venus had the right not to play if she felt she was not physically well to do so. He said the only problem he would have had was if she played and didn't give of her best. Gorman, like the late Arthur Ashe, obviously subscribed to the credo of the Australians that once you put on those sneakers and take up that racket, you're fit.

NHB Chapman. All Rights Reserved. 9-12-01.

Brian Stewart
Jun 7th, 2002, 04:20 PM
Mary's skills as a tennis journalist have slipped considerably over the past few years. She has been negative towards the women's tour in general. She seemed okay with the women as long as the WTA was playing second fiddle to the ATP. But once their popularity surpassed that of the men, she has become more hostile toward them. Her objectivity and reasoning skills have diminished. Her digs at the Williams sisters may be a part of that greater whole, or some sort of individual grudge.

Were she doing her job as a journalist, she would have noticed (as I pointed out in my "conspiracy" thread) that Venus has lapses in concentration in the middle of the second set. And were the "match-fixing" allegations presented as a case in a court of law, any judge in possession of his mental faculties would throw it out immediately.

Jun 7th, 2002, 05:57 PM
Intresting I thought that only fans noticed what Mary did ,i wasn't
aware that anyone wrote an article on it........however the worse thing is that Mary along with Zina and Martina N called the Venus lindsay sf at wimbledon ....Venus was a set and 4-1 up and had a lapse and lindsay came back won that set in the tie break ....Mary's comment was that often happens to Venus ..........strange that a player that just beat lindsay and martina can't do to venus what lindsay did ..

if you ever watch a tape of the sf matches you'll find Mary spent the whole of both matches telling us how to beat a williams sister .....again strange if the nos 4 and 10 seed are facing the no1 and 2 seed you'd think the commentator would spend a least a minute telling us what the lower seeds needed to do to upset the higher seeds

Jun 7th, 2002, 06:06 PM
The way to beat a Williams Sister? Play them a round of GOLF :)

Dawn Marie
Jun 7th, 2002, 06:55 PM
Well said Brian Stewart.:)

Jun 7th, 2002, 07:03 PM
She imputed the very same thing at the Nasdaq this year when Venus lost to Serena. I feel sorry for her.

Bright Red
Jun 7th, 2002, 08:18 PM
What the article says about Carillo doesn't surprise me. What does surprise me is that the writer really seems surprised that MacEnroe didn't pushback. That would be defending the Sisters--something that MacEnroe would never do. If anything, I'm surprised that MacEnroe didn't agree with her.

Jun 8th, 2002, 12:28 AM
I think I'll send a few emails to the networks in regards to this type of reporting. Merely bitching on this board about it won't do.

Jun 8th, 2002, 04:40 AM
Carillo is absolutely right in questioning these matches!
It is obvious that there is a drop in the level of play.
Certainly the difficulty of a sister/sister final
is understandable. These gals are great tennis
players and the prospect of more finals is a certainty.
Both must learn to compete in those situations.
The public will be less patient in the future.

Williams Rulez
Jun 8th, 2002, 04:41 AM
Hmmm... if only e-mails would work... :(

Jun 8th, 2002, 05:19 AM
Mary is as entitled to her opinion as i am to mine. personally i love her sharp commentary, even if i sometimes disagree with her. go Mary!!!!!!! :D :D

Jun 8th, 2002, 11:36 PM
I've always liked Mary, but yeah, her swipes against the Williams Sisters are very strange.

I'm beginning to wonder if Mary's lower profile is keeping her from getting a real feel of the WTA Tour nowadays. Remember when she was on ESPN all the time? She was everywhere and knew everything. Now I barely see her, except for the U.S. Open. Did she even go to Roland Garros this year?

Mary needs to go back to ESPN, even if it's part-time, so she can be in sync with the rest of the tennis world. It seems to me like she's not paying as much attention now as she did in the past.