ESPN’s Coverage of the Australian Open

I have to give kudos to ESPN for its coverage of the Australian Open. Chris Fowler, Patrick McEnroe, Brad Gilbert, Pam Shriver, Darren Cahill, and Cliff Drysdale all do an excellent job.  Even Tom Rinaldi is there doing features.

Mary Carillo is a little annoying to me, but a lot of people like her. I’ve never liked Dick Enberg for tennis because he feels he has to constantly compare it to baseball or fooball — “like a pitcher changing speeds” or “like an outfielder looking up at the ball” — as if tennis is a completely foreign sport and people won’t understand it unless you make those comparisons.

But I’m nitpicking.  They do the tournament great justice by doing their homework and conducting good interviews.  It’s just too bad that the time difference precludes a lot of people from seeing the tennis.

We even got a shot of Chris McKendry in the crowd.  I guess they’re getting her used to the sport and letting her do a few interviews.  (By the way, years ago I watched McKendry on the local affiliate in Washington.  I couldn’t believe she was on because she spoke so slowly, as if she were a kindergarten teacher.  I didn’t think she knew sports either.  Boy, was I wrong.  She is great on ESPN.  Absolutely great).

So Kornheiser and Wilbon can continue to mock every sport other than football, basketball and baseball by asking each other, “Do you care about this? Will you watch it?”  “No.”  I can’t wait to see them ridicule next month’s Olympics.

Ironically, Terrell Owens and Steve Smith of the NFL are both at the tournament.  Owens is there to watch his friend Andy Roddick, and Smith of the Carolina Panthers was watching friend John Isner defeat Gael Monfils.

It’s funny, ESPN talks of great rivalries like Magic-Bird and Crosby-Ovechkin, but they never mention the great ones in tennis — Borg – McEnroe, Sampras – Agassi, or Federer – Nadal.

Anyway, great job, ESPN, on the coverage of the Australian.

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