Mary Carillo

Mary Carillo
Country (sports)  United States
Residence Naples, Florida
New York City, New York
Born (1957-03-15) March 15, 1957[1]
Queens, New York, U.S.
Height 5 ft 8 in (1.73 m) [2]
Turned pro 1977[3]
Retired 1980
Plays Left-handed
Highest ranking No. 33 (January 1980)[4]
Grand Slam Singles results
French Open 2R (1977)
Wimbledon 3R (1979)
US Open 1R (1977, 1979)
Grand Slam Doubles results
US Open QF (1977)
Mixed doubles
Career titles 1
Grand Slam Mixed Doubles results
French Open W (1977)
Wimbledon QF (1977)

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



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 finals

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 United States Wendy Overton South Africa Linky Boshoff
South Africa 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 United States John McEnroe Colombia Iván Molina
Romania Florenţa Mihai
7–6, 6–3


Tennis coverage

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 started with ESPN in 1988 and continued with them for nine years, returning in 2003. Her work on the U.S. Open for CBS Sports began in 1986, and continues to the present. 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.

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] 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.[8] 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 coverage

Carillo served as tennis analyst in both Atlanta (1996) and Sydney (2000) and as the skiing reporter for CBS’s coverage in Albertville (1992), Lillehammer (1994) and Nagano (1998).

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.[9]

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.[10] 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 activities

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.”[11] Carillo is also a commentator for Hallmark's Kitten Bowl.[12]


Carillo has written three books, all related to tennis:


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

Board membership

She is a former member of the Women's Tennis Association's Board of Directors.

Awards and honors

Personal life

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


  1. 1 2 Database (n.d.). "Mary Carillo". Women's Tennis Association. Retrieved July 31, 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 September 3, 2009.
  4. Staff (n.d.). "Mary Carillo –" (requires Adobe Flash; click on Carillo's picture for prose). Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel. HBO. Retrieved July 31, 2012.
  5. "Mary Carillo Television Sportscaster, Journalist". She Made It. Retrieved February 9, 2016.
  6. "NBC Olympics:Bios:Mary Carillo". Retrieved September 3, 2009.
  7. .
  8. Maffei, John. (June 23, 2006). "These Voices Don't Mince Words". North County Times (newspaper since incorporated into the U-T San Diego). Retrieved September 17, 2013.
  10. "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 September 3, 2009.
  11. Gabrielle Pantera. "Hallmark Channel Paw Star Game, Kittens Play Exhibition Baseball". Retrieved 2015-07-12.
  12. Gabrielle Pantera. "Hallmark Channel Kitten Bowl 2, Football Deflategate Beyond the Patriots". Retrieved 2015-07-12.

External links

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