The Mary Carillo Thread - TennisForum.com
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post #1 of 23 (permalink) Old Oct 17th, 2004, 10:11 PM Thread Starter
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The Mary Carillo Thread

I searched high and low for a previous thread devoted to the quinessential tennis commentator of our time (as well as recent history), but only found brief snippets of her name mentioned in other people's thread. So this is an attempt to capture Mary the person, from her own history as a player to any and all particularly memorable quotes that have graced her lips in recent decades. Perhaps this link is a decent place to start:
http://www.tennis.com/netcetera/full...CategoryID=289
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post #2 of 23 (permalink) Old Oct 17th, 2004, 10:15 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:

"There are role models all around. Chris Evert, an unknown sixteen-year-old, got to the semifinals of the US Open. It was the first time I realized a girl could be great. It changed my entire perspective. I thought, 'Well, wait a minute, maybe I can be a professional athlete.' Chris Evert changed my whole life." - Mary Carillo
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post #3 of 23 (permalink) Old Oct 18th, 2004, 01:04 AM
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Mary Carillo? Love her! There is something enormously attractive about smart people who are not afraid to show it.

Does anyone have any memories of how she was as a player? I have this theory (no doubt wrong) that less-than-top-flight players make better commentators because they were constantly faced with superior competitors whose games they had to try and analyse. I can even pick holes in my own argument - Tracy Austin is superb when it comes to discussing technique in layman's terms - but as a general rule I believe it to be true.

So, how did Mary play? I know her career was cut-short by injuires, but did she max out her ability? Or could she have gone further?
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post #4 of 23 (permalink) Old Oct 18th, 2004, 04:15 AM
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good idea for a thread--she's been the best in the business for 20 years...she was still just in the 'egg and fertilization' stage in the 1981 broadcasts but by 1983, her style was patented. She is a notorious note-taker and lover of quotes; her black books from press conferences around the world are dog-earred. Recently spoke with her about them, hoping to get a hand on a string of gems, but she does not keep them!! If she had, she'd have a best-seller for sure...at least from the tennis community.

It is ironic, by her take, that she commentates with mcEnroe for so many years as his main partner after beginning her career winning the french open mixed doubles with him!! what a fateful precursor to becoming the world reknowned male-female team for broadcasting!!

As for her poor play improving her commentating, I doubt it...a lot of artists are the ones whose work is not the best but they are the best at talking about it and making it clear to others...its a different type of personality needed to complete the natural cycle. We need both types of artists to complete the picture. Without her tennis playing, she wouldn't have been the commentator she is, but i think her commentary skill likely comes from the fact that she's a born commentator as much as federer is a born player.

From a letter she wrote me way back in 1985, "I wasn't surprised to learn that you're from new york--a lot of folks out west think I'm a total maniac with a twisted sense of humor. This is absolutely correct, of course, and it's in large part because of my N.Y. roots." She sent me a pic of Chrissie, saying "I really like Chris a lot--she's a classy lady and I consider her a pretty good friend, too" and included a pix of herself with Martina Nav, of which she wrote, in typical Carillo style, "and here's another picture of me with some unknown."

1985...wow, that may make me one of her earliest supporters! God love her.

Last edited by daze11; Oct 18th, 2004 at 05:27 AM.
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post #5 of 23 (permalink) Old Oct 18th, 2004, 05:15 AM
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Daze wrote:
Quote:
From a letter she wrote me way back in 1985, "I wasn't surprised to learn that you're from new york--a lot of folks out west think I'm a total maniac with a twisted sense of humor. This is absolutely correct, of course, and it's in large part because of my N.Y. roots." She sent me a pic of Chrissie, saying "I really like Chris a lot--she's a classy lady and I consider her a pretty good friend, too" and included a pix of herself with Martina Nav, of which she wrote, in typical Carillo style, "and here's another picture of me with some unknown."
That post captures why there truly is 'something about Mary'." A total maniac with a twisted sense of humor-"

I'm envious Daze
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post #6 of 23 (permalink) Old Oct 18th, 2004, 05:17 AM
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As for her playing style-it was serve and volley. She had good results in 1977 on the Lionel Cup circuit; which had some good competition that year with Billie Jean King and Renee Richards.

It would be cool to get Mary's take on Renee. She's always spoken highly of Billie Jean King.

Lets not forget the lady is a grand slam champ-with Johnny Mack no less..
They were the 1977 French mixed champs.

Last edited by Rollo; Oct 18th, 2004 at 05:23 AM.
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post #7 of 23 (permalink) Old Oct 18th, 2004, 05:20 AM
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This came up when I googled her


http://www.allamericanspeakers.com/s...ry_Carillo.php




Carillo played on the women's professional tennis circuit from 1977 to 1980. She was ranked as high as No. 33 from January through March 1980, when she retired. She won the French Open mixed doubles title with partner John McEnroe in 1977 and was a doubles runner-up at the U.S. Clay Courts and a doubles quarterfinalist at the U.S. Open that year.

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.

She was born March 15, 1957 in Queens, N.Y., and lives in Naples, Fla. with her husband, Bill Bowden, and their two children.
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post #8 of 23 (permalink) Old Oct 18th, 2004, 05:22 AM
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I think a bum knee ended her career.
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post #9 of 23 (permalink) Old Oct 18th, 2004, 07:42 PM Thread Starter
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...or two shredded knees as the other link mentions

One thing I've always dug about Carillo has been her incessent modesty about herself as a player, always slighting her career/professional abilities. "I was never the over-dog," she proclaimed on a broadcast years ago - Gotta love her

Last edited by Santorofan; Oct 18th, 2004 at 07:48 PM.
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post #10 of 23 (permalink) Old Oct 18th, 2004, 09:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adammco
Does anyone have any memories of how she was as a player? I have this theory (no doubt wrong) that less-than-top-flight players make better commentators because they were constantly faced with superior competitors whose games they had to try and analyse. I can even pick holes in my own argument - Tracy Austin is superb when it comes to discussing technique in layman's terms - but as a general rule I believe it to be true.
Your theory may have something in it, because I think that Jo Durie and Sam Smith of Eurosport are brilliant commentators and neither is an all-time great - Jo was very good back in the days as I understand, but never trully one of th greatest, while Sam was a solid player who managed to break through top 100 at one point in her career.
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post #11 of 23 (permalink) Old Oct 18th, 2004, 11:22 PM Thread Starter
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Several more quotes:

"I wasn't a great player. I was aggressively mediocre...I never worked weekends when I played tennis."

On being called the best female tennis analyst/expert: "I don't want to be graded on a curve."

.....needless to say, all puns with Carillo are intended
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post #12 of 23 (permalink) Old Oct 19th, 2004, 10:53 AM
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All I can say is that if you're going to watch a tape of the Edberg/Chang 1992 USO semi lock up any pills, guns etc and throw away the key. You could very well find yourself reaching for them.

This is the only time I have heard Ms Carillo commentating and I sincerely hope the last.
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post #13 of 23 (permalink) Old Oct 20th, 2004, 06:51 AM Thread Starter
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ChrisW; Glad to see you survived your harrowing experience listening to Carillo! Perhaps you caught her on an off-night? Seriously though, few people are universally loved, even the best in their trades, though I supect she may be an aquired taste for some*

*BTW, just curious, who do you personally prefer?? What about their broadcast style do you particularly like?
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post #14 of 23 (permalink) Old Oct 24th, 2004, 09:58 PM
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The ones that say the least, Santorofan! I hate the inane comments like "that shot was out" when you can see it perfectly well for yourself and the score has just been called and when they habitually repeat the score. I would sometimes like to turn the commentary down completely but then you can miss some of the atmosphere. To be honest I don't watch a lot of live tennis outside the Slams. I have three videos which I watch over and over and over - Court/Jones Wimby 69, Austin/Cawley Wimby 80 and Edberg/Chang US 92 plus an odd time the final set of Graf/Sabatini Wimby 91. At Wimbledon in fact I watch National TV (the one advantage to the British Broadcasting Service is no advertisements) with the sound muted while the radio is on at Five Live (our national sports radio station) which devotes itself to Wimbledon for the entire fortnight. It could be a generational thing but I remember Dan Maskell with great fondness, very quietly spoken but knowledgable and not intrusive. I hate it when some commentators feel obliged to talk up a player such as some of the Brits, John Lloyd, Andrew Castle etc do with Henman.

Of the current crop I quite like John McEnroe because he has some amusing anecdotes, will at least speak his mind and really knows what he is talking about. I actually liked Pam Shriver who used to come to commenatate regularly for the BBC until this year, whether her new family will put paid to this I don't know and although I never really took to her as a player I have nothing but admiration for Tracy Austin, more particularly her pre and post match analysis. She really has an amazing insight and feel for the game and seems to pick up quickly on small pointers at how games are heading.
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post #15 of 23 (permalink) Old Oct 25th, 2004, 02:37 AM Thread Starter
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ChrisW: In large part it seems like a matter of personal taste - odd that you mention Austin as a commentator though, as she has gotten more flak here in the states than probably all others combined - IMO, much of it unfairly.
During the 1970's boom years, local radio affiliates in Florida where I grew up often carried play by play radio commentary of Virginia Slims events whenever they came to our region...I also recall listening to the live Wimby radio finals (as the televised matches were always taped in those days), so if you think they talked too much on tv, imagine an announcer describing every single shot that was being hit
I too have occasionally gotten annoyed though at the excessive verbosity of certain commentators, however rather recently I was given a video of the 1980 Evert-Austin match with no commentary whatsoever (though with sound) and thinking how great it'd be to hear some btwn point analysis!
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