(May 21, 2015) The International Tennis Federation announced that American broadcaster Mary Carillo will receive the ITF’s highest accolade, the Philippe Chatrier Award, at the 2015 ITF World Champions Dinner on Tuesday, June 2, in Paris at the Pavillon Cambon Capucines.
The Philippe Chatrier Award, named after the former ITF President, was introduced in 1996 and is awarded each year for outstanding contributions to the game of tennis. Billie Jean King, John McEnroe, Martina Navratilova, the All England Club, and 2014 Award winners Todd Woodbridge and Mark Woodforde are among the other former recipients.
Carillo began her life in tennis as a player, but has enjoyed greater success as a sports broadcaster of distinction. She is a pioneer not just for women in her profession, but for a new style of broadcasting.
Having trained at the Port Washington Tennis Academy under the legendary Harry Hopman, Carillo captured the 1977 Roland Garros mixed doubles title with childhood friend John McEnroe, then 18. This was to be the highlight of a career that saw her reach No. 33 in the world rankings.
In 1980, after three years on the tour, Carillo retired with knee injuries and began a new career as a tennis analyst for USA Network. Since then she has covered the sport for nearly every US broadcaster including PBS, MSG, ESPN, CBS Sports, HBO, Turner Sports, NBC and Tennis Channel, for whom she will be broadcasting in Paris.
Carillo has built a reputation as a distinctive voice in tennis and someone who is candid, straight-talking and opinionated but who also loves the sport. Her unique style has been embraced by broadcasters and over the years she has branched out into other sports, covering 12 summer and winter Olympics, including nine for NBC. She has also won a Sports Emmy and two prestigious Peabody Awards for documentaries about Billie Jean King and women in sport.
Carillo has continued to give back to tennis, including serving as chairwoman of the USTA Foundation from 2009 to 2014. She is honoured for her very special contribution to the sport that she continues to care passionately about.
ITF President Francesco Ricci Bitti said: “Despite her many achievements on a wider stage, Mary Carillo remains a fearless and passionate commentator on tennis and her unique voice has done much to champion our sport and the other causes that are close to her heart. Her contributions to tennis over more than three decades make her a worthy recipient of the ITF’s highest honour.”
Carillo said: “I was fortunate enough to know Philippe and have long admired and embraced his vision, spirit and love for our sport, so I am honoured beyond measure to receive this magnificent award from the ITF.”