Mary Carillo

Mary Carillo (born March 15, 1957[1]) is a U.S. sportscaster and former professional tennis player. She is a reporter for NBC Sports and NBC Olympics.

Mary Carillo
Country (sports) United States
ResidenceNaples, Florida
Manhattan, New York City
Born (1957-03-15) March 15, 1957 (age 63)[1]
Queens, New York, U.S.
Height6 ft 0 in (1.83 m) [2]
Turned pro1977[3]
Career record0–0
Highest rankingNo. 33 (January 1980)[4]
Grand Slam Singles results
French Open2R (1977)
Wimbledon3R (1979)
US Open1R (1977, 1979)
Career record0–0
Grand Slam Doubles results
US OpenQF (1977)
Mixed doubles
Career titles1
Grand Slam Mixed Doubles results
French OpenW (1977)
WimbledonQF (1977)



Carillo played on the women's professional tennis circuit from 1977 to 1980. She was ranked as high as World No. 33, in the Women's Tennis Association Rankings, from January through March 1980, then retired due to knee injuries.[5]

She won the 1977 French Open mixed-doubles title with partner and childhood friend John McEnroe. Carillo and McEnroe then made it to the quarterfinals of Wimbledon, and later that year Carillo was a women's doubles quarter finalist at the US Open.

WTA Tour finalsEdit

Doubles 1
Outcome No. Date Tournament Surface Partner Opponents Score
Runner-up 9. August 8, 1977 U.S. Open Clay Courts (Indianapolis, Indiana, U.S.) clay   Wendy Overton   Linky Boshoff
  Ilana Kloss
7–5, 5–7, 3–6
Mixed doubles 1
Grand Slam 1
WTA Championships 0
Tier I 0
Tier II 0
Tier III 0
Tier IV & V 0
Titles by Surface
Hard 0
Clay 1
Grass 0
Carpet 0
Outcome No. Date Tournament Surface Partner Opponents Score
Winner 1. June 5, 1977 French Open, France Clay   John McEnroe   Iván Molina
  Florenţa Mihai
7–6, 6–3


Tennis coverageEdit

Carillo began her television career working for USA Network from 1980 through 1987, PBS from 1981 through 1986 and MSG from 1981 through 1988. She then worked with ESPN from 1988 to 1997 and again from 2003 to 2010. She also worked on US Open coverage for CBS Sports from 1986 to 2014. In addition, Carillo worked as both a host and analyst on HBO's Wimbledon coverage from 1996 to 1999, and on Turner Sports' coverage of Wimbledon from 2000 to 2002. In May 2003, Carillo joined NBC Sports as an analyst on the network's French Open and Wimbledon coverage, having made her debut as an analyst on NBC for the 1996 Family Circle Cup tennis event. Also, she currently does commentary on The Tennis Channel.

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.[6] She is known for her deep voice, quick wit and pointed sense of humor. Like her long-time friend and fellow Douglaston, Queens, New York native John McEnroe, Carillo is known for her colorful turns of speech, and 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.[7][8] Carillo's unabashed and opinionated style of tennis commentary has drawn criticism from several top players, notably Andre Agassi, Serena and Venus Williams, and Maria Sharapova.[9] Nevertheless, she has been named Best Commentator by Tennis Magazine (1988–91), Best Commentator by World Tennis magazine (1986) and Broadcaster of the Year by the Women's Tennis Association (1981 and 1985).

Olympic coverageEdit

Carillo served as Olympic tennis analyst at both the Atlanta and Sydney Summer Olympics and as the skiing reporter for CBS's coverage at the Albertville, Lillehammer and Nagano Winter Olympics.[6]

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.

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. She delivered a lengthy, well-received commentary on badminton during this coverage.[10]

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

Carillo served as late-night show host, closing ceremony host, and "Friend of Bob" for the 2008 Beijing Games, her ninth Olympic assignment and her sixth with NBC. Her role focused on cultural commentary and "slice of life" pieces about China.[11] She repeated these duties – late-night host and human-interest reporter – for NBC in their coverage of the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, and the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. She was also one of the torch bearers during the torch's tour through Canada.

Other activitiesEdit

Since 1997, Carillo has been a correspondent on HBO's Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel, winning a Sports Emmy Award for her Real Sports feature on the Hoyt Family.

In 2009, 2013, and 2016, she co-hosted the 133rd, 137th and 140th Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show broadcast on USA Networks.

Mary Carillo is a commentator for the Hallmark Channel special Paw Star Game premiering July 12, 2015. "At best, baby cats have the barest, most rudimentary grasp of the rules and regulations of American football and baseball," says Carillo. "And, that's really okay with me. Frankly, watching kittens play any sport is going to be endearing and adorable."[12] Carillo is also a commentator for Hallmark's Kitten Bowl.[13]


Carillo has written three books, all related to tennis:

  • Tennis My Way (1984), for which she is second author to Martina Navratilova[14]
  • Rick Elstein's Tennis Kinetics: With Martina Navratilova (1985), for which she is uncredited
  • Tennis Confidential II: More of Today's Greatest Players, Matches, and Controversies (2008), for which she is second author to Paul Fein


Carillo appeared as herself in the romantic-comedy film Wimbledon (2004).

Board membershipEdit

  • She is a former member of the Women's Tennis Association's Board of Directors.
  • In 2010, she was named President of USTA Serves - Foundation for Academics, Character and Excellence[15]

Awards and honorsEdit

Personal lifeEdit

Carillo splits her time between Naples, Florida, and New York City's Greenwich Village. She was married for 15 years to tennis instructor Bill Bowden.[24] They have two children, Anthony (b. August 8, 1987) and Rachel (b. October 5, 1991), and divorced in 1998. Her brother is the author Charlie Carillo. She is a distant cousin of sports-radio host Mike Francesa.


  1. ^ a b Database (n.d.). "Mary Carillo". Women's Tennis Association. Archived from the original on 11 October 2012. Retrieved 31 July 2012.
  2. ^ Bostic, Stephanie, ed. (1979). USTA Player Records 1978. United States Tennis Association (USTA). p. 178.
  3. ^ "ESPN Official Bio". ESPN. Archived from the original on 21 February 2010. Retrieved 3 September 2009.
  4. ^ Staff (n.d.). "Mary Carillo –" (requires Adobe Flash; click on Carillo's picture for prose). Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel. HBO. Retrieved 31 July 2012.
  5. ^ "Mary Carillo Television Sportscaster, Journalist". She Made It. Archived from the original on 27 February 2007. Retrieved 9 February 2016.
  6. ^ a b "NBC Pressbox:Bios:Mary Carillo". NBC. Retrieved 12 June 2020.
  7. ^ "The Biggest Babe". Inside Tennis. 17 August 2010. Retrieved 12 June 2020.
  8. ^ "Exponents of Big Babe Tennis set to meet for Wimbledon women's title". Sports Illustrated. 1 July 2011. Retrieved 11 June 2020.
  9. ^ Maffei, John (23 June 2006). ""These Voices Don't Mince Words"". North County Times. Retrieved 17 September 2013.
  10. ^ "Relive Mary Carillo's epic backyard badminton rant, the greatest Olympic broadcast ever". USA Today. August 2016. Retrieved 12 June 2020.
  11. ^ [dead link]"Medium Well: Your NBC Olympics Lineup – A Blog on Sports Media, News and Networks". The Baltimore Sun. Archived from the original on 3 August 2008. Retrieved 3 September 2009.
  12. ^ Gabrielle Pantera. "Hallmark Channel Paw Star Game, Kittens Play Exhibition Baseball". Retrieved 12 July 2015.
  13. ^ Gabrielle Pantera. "Hallmark Channel Kitten Bowl 2, Football Deflategate Beyond the Patriots". Retrieved 12 July 2015.
  14. ^ "Tennis My Way". Google Books. Retrieved 12 June 2020.
  15. ^ "Carillo named President of USTA Serves". USTA. 8 April 2010. Retrieved 12 June 2020.
  16. ^ a b "Kitten Summer Games:Host:Mary Carillo". Hallmark Channel. Retrieved 12 June 2020.
  17. ^ "National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame:Mary Carillo". National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame. Retrieved 12 June 2020.
  18. ^ "Dare to Compete: The Struggle of Women in Sports". Peabody Award. 1999. Retrieved 12 June 2020.
  19. ^ "HBO:Staff:Mary Carillo". HBO. Retrieved 12 June 2020.
  20. ^ Ackerman, McCarton (21 May 2015). "Former Chairwoman Carillo to be honored by ITF". USTA. Retrieved 12 June 2020.
  21. ^ Goolsby, Denise (14 March 2016). "Mary Carillo Honored for storied sportscasting career". The Desert Sun. Retrieved 12 June 2020.
  22. ^ "Mary Carillo honored with Gene Scott Award". International Tennis Federation. 14 September 2017. Retrieved 12 June 2020.
  23. ^ "Inductees:Mary Carillo". Retrieved 12 June 2020.
  24. ^ Reed, Susan (14 September 1992). "Telling it Straight". People. Retrieved 12 June 2020.

External linksEdit