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TV Tennis Commentators In America • Roland Garros 2018 • McEnroe • Carillo • Annacone • Arias • Gimelstob

A staff member waters the court during a break as Rafael Nadal of Spain plays Guido Pella of Argentina during their men’s second round match during the French Open tennis tournament at Roland Garros in Paris, France, 31 May 2018. EPA-EFE/YOAN VALAT

 

 

By Nancy Gill Mc Shea

 

Roland Garros It’s like “All in the Family” for me at the French Open. Five familiar stars with New York and New Jersey roots in their youth share their individual brand of match analysis with us during the French tournament, both on Tennis Channel and on NBC – John McEnroe, Mary Carillo, Paul Annacone, Jimmy Arias and Justin Gimelstob. What’s cool is that they know the drill since they have all achieved high world rankings on the ATP or WTA pro tours and have competed at the French Open. We’re not best friends, but I have felt privileged to interview and write about them throughout the years in USTA Eastern news stories and their Hall of Fame profiles. I have enjoyed the insights they have shared with me about their journeys which lends a personal touch to their TV analysis.

 

JIMMY ARIAS of Buffalo, N.Y., won the 1981 French mixed doubles title with Andrea Jaeger and waged legendary five-set battles on the red clay of South America as a member of the U.S. Davis Cup team. Jimmy’s longtime coach Nick Bollettieri essentially echoes consensus for them all. “Jimmy is an expert at evaluating the physical and mental implications of a player’s actions on the court. He remembers details of every match he has ever played, which gives him an edge in recalling players’ stats when he’s analyzing a match…He has a quick mouth and a gift of gab that engages the television audience and allows him to still joke around.”

 

MARY CARILLO of Douglaston, N.Y., won the 1977 French mixed doubles title with her childhood friend John McEnroe. When a knee injury sidelined Mary’s court presence, she leaped fearlessly from the pro ranks to the broadcasting booth, breaking through the gender barriers to become one of the most visible tennis analysts through the sheer force of her personality, quick mind and knowledge of tennis. One Newsday reporter wrote: “Mary reaches through the television set, grabs you, makes sure you’re paying attention, which occasionally prompts fans to wage silent debates with her.”

 

JOHN McENROE of Douglaston needs no introduction. With 17 Grand Slam event titles (doubles and singles) in his trophy collection, U.S. Davis Cup victories — as captain and player — and one heartbreaking loss in the 1984 French singles final, John has no equal in analyzing court maneuvers.

 

PAUL ANNACONE of East Hampton, N.Y., was the full time coach of both Pete Sampras and Roger Federer, the 2009 French singles champ. Enough said!

 

JUSTIN GIMELSTOB of Livingston, N.J., won the 1998 French mixed doubles title with Venus Williams and defeated Brazil’s Gustavo Kuerten at Wimbledon right after Kuerten won the first of his three French singles titles in 1997. Justin conducts friendly one-on-one interviews. One favorite was his recent chat with the talented Gael Monfils.

 

Editors Note:

Nancy Gill McShea has spent 40 years writing over 2,500 tennis articles about the game’s stars — pros, collegians, juniors, league players, officials, volunteers, etc. — and 87 of USTA Eastern’s Hall of Fame profiles. To showcase those stars, Nancy has connected with the sport’s legends throughout the country and received five press service awards — as the Public Relations Director/Writer/Editor for the USTA Eastern Section; the Managing Editor/Writer for Eastern Roundup and Passing Shot magazines; a Copy Editor/Columnist for Tennis Week magazine; a Sectional Reporter for Tennis USA and USTA; a Columnist for Newsday; and a Staff Writer for College and Junior Tennis magazine. In 2011, She co-authored the book, Tennis in New York, with Dale Caldwell.

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