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View Full Version : Who's the best tennis commentator? Worst?


sandiegotennisboy
06-14-2004, 11:48 PM
Commentators are a huge part of the tv tennis experience. This is why I like and dislike some. Who's your fave?

Patrick Mcenroe: good for technical/tactical reviews. too many davis cup allusions and self promotion, its gagging. pretty good commentating except when he tries to suck up to people he wants in his team.

Mac: good with the technical like his bro. needs to realize this is 2004. you learn a lot of stuff you shouldn't do on the court listening to this guy.

mary carrillo/malivai washington: good in repeating the obvious.
i don't learn anything from them though.

bud collins: just maybe.....why tennis is not the COOLEST sport around. just weird and old and too much nostalgia. get him off my tv!

shriver/fernandez: sewing circle anyone? so-so analysis and a whole bunch of estrogen infested babbling. needs to know when to shut up. cool with the tier 2 events. stay away from the slams.

chris evert: somehow hingis and kournikova are brought up from all sorts of tangents. good analysis and technical reviews. needs to know when to shut up. has an opinion and sticks to it.

navratilova: smart and witty. good analysis. can be a bore.

Pushmaster
06-15-2004, 12:09 AM
Well, I guess I have nothing to add because your right on the money about everything. They're all big bores except for the McEnroe brothers. BTW, what ever happened to the Jenson brothers? I thought they were very good, and very funny.

sandiegotennisboy
06-15-2004, 12:30 AM
i saw one of them host a french open special in the tennis channel. i forget which one but he was still "bodacious, duuu-ude", lol.

Kobble
06-15-2004, 12:51 AM
Jimmy Arias- Smart, funny, and tells it like it is from a real player's perspective. I have never heard a stupid comment out of his mouth. Bring him back, he might just save ESPN.

pound cat
06-15-2004, 02:37 AM
Jimmy Arias is now a commentator on ESPN International (Europe, S. America) & we're sometimes lucky enough to get it in Canada. John Barrett is good, Luke Jensen has to be the biggest mouth idiot commentator of all time and his stay with ESPN was short-lived. I once heard Chanda Ruben do a set on ESPN, and she was great. Good future career for her. Maybe ESPN could hire a commentator who knows how to pronounce the players' name. Funny no ne nominated Cliffy. LOL

drakulie
06-15-2004, 03:57 AM
Best-Jonh Mcenroe
Worts-His brother.

love15
06-15-2004, 05:34 AM
Martina Hingis is simply the worst ever, she is so stupid !!!

Best Gianni Clerici but you can listen just in italian :D

L15

galain
06-15-2004, 05:47 AM
I actually thought Hingis did a pretty sound job for someone with not a lot of experience behind the mike.

I think we have a different crew of commentators for Australian coverage. I've always enjoyed John Barret's commentary and I like Fred Stolle as well.

I heard Jim Courier only the once, but I thought he was excellent.

Bad commentators? Hmm - Pat Cash is okay and has some interesting insights but he can't seem to stop reminding people that he won Wimbledon. That gets tiring.

The worst commentator I know is a guy who will be unknown to most of you. He's an Aussie sports journalist called Bruce MacAvaney - pops up everywhere from the Olympics to the weekend football. His commentary is embarassing. He either doesn't know enough to call the game, or doesn't care - he's a stats man through and through. When he's on the mike you hear a lot of

"That was Malisse's 33rd double fault in the second half of a third set on clay this year..." type of stuff.

or

"Andy Roddick has just served at 300 miles per hour breaking his previous record of of 299 miles per hour, BY ONE MILE PER HOUR. He set his previous record in Khazakstan 3 months ago when he defeated Davide Sanguinetti 7/6 in the fifth set with the tiebreak score going to 32 - 30. That was the longest match ever played in Khazakstan during the open era..." you get the idea.

Some people like it. I find it just like nails down a blackboard. Count yourselves lucky he's stuck down here in Oz.

@wright
06-15-2004, 06:35 AM
Justin Gimelstob is calling matches for the Tennis Channel.

irishbanger
06-15-2004, 06:42 AM
I like Courier a lot. And PMac. Mal is kind of boring.

counterpunch
06-15-2004, 08:44 AM
Chris Evert was one of the worst. No matter what they were talking about, it always led to her saying women should get equal pay(which is stupid, they only play two out of three and the slams).
Shriver and Mary Joe just overanalyze everything. Shut up!

redpurusha
06-15-2004, 09:54 AM
From the one's I've heard...

Jim Courier - excellent,

John Mac - tells the truth no matter how painful (or embarrasing it is), c@cky and entertaining, never dull.

The others are not as memorable but I'm sure there doing a decent job.

A sidenote... Walt Frazier is the most boring and annoying commentator in basketball (MSG). An NBA Hall of Famer, uses overly academic SAT-type vocabulary not understood or used by most to make up for his subpar entertaining skills. Great player though, nice guy, just shouldn't be a commentator.

"Soandso's ubiquitous presence on the court was luckily not overshadowed by his only foible - contemptuousness."

Stinkdyr
06-15-2004, 10:19 AM
My fave is Mary Gorilla always saying that chix hit as hard as dudes....etc.

Lambro
06-15-2004, 12:43 PM
are the staffers at the USA network. When they carry a tennis match its like its being presented by some newscasters that started their career in "up with people"

Joe Oldschool
06-15-2004, 12:56 PM
Original question.

drakulie
06-15-2004, 02:05 PM
Stinkdyr, Mary Gorilla? That is hysterical. She does look and make commentary only an apes mother could appreciate.

Women, for the most part commentating on anything suck. I think we could all agree on that. I mean, if we have to listen to women commentating, could we at least get some good looking ones (That do not resemble animals that hang upside down from trees using their feet.)

On a side note, I would like to agree with all the posters above that stated Courier is awesome. Nice guy too. Met him at Nasdaq this year and he even let me hold and look at his racquets (PS Original 85/St. Vincents).

Mikael
06-15-2004, 03:03 PM
The commentators for Eurosport UK are brilliant, or at least they used to be. Don't know how it's like these days. I remember, it was always Simon Reed, Frew McMillan and some other guy. Very smart, very competent, interesting and they knew when to keep their mouths shut. Only problem was that they were always biased towards British players... Well I guess that's normal in fact.

VamosRafa
06-15-2004, 03:18 PM
Women, for the most part commentating on anything suck. I think we could all agree on that.

I'm not agreeing to that unenlightened comment.

My favorites: Mary Carillo, John McEnroe and Jim Courier

Favorite commentating team: Mary Carillo and John McEnroe

Other good female commentators: Martina Navratilova, Chris Evert and Tracy Austin

Least fave commentator: Luke "Dude" Jensen

kooyah
06-15-2004, 03:50 PM
No commentator has ever annoyed me more than Bud Collins.

VamosRafa
06-15-2004, 03:58 PM
No pants have ever annoyed me more than Bud Collins's pants. :wink:

bb47
06-15-2004, 04:11 PM
I prefer English commentators, they have 3 or 4 really good ones. Basically they are quite unbiased and I would say, analytical. They only tend to lose it when Tim is playing, but it's natural. I actulally like watching tennis on BBC because they have no commercial breakes and commentators have a chance to discuss the match between games, and keep their mouths shut during the game. This is really nice.

sandiegotennisboy
06-15-2004, 06:00 PM
thanks for the responses. Bury Bud Collins!!!

Thomas Tung
06-15-2004, 08:46 PM
Best : the Brits commentating on Tennis Channel; Justin Gimelstob gets runner-up prize.

Worst : Bud Collins, Pam Shriver.

Ok : Chris Evert, Martina Navratilova.

Deuce
06-15-2004, 11:16 PM
John Barrett and the BBC boys are head and shoulders above all others - simply because they speak the least. They understand that it is not all about THEM - something the American commentators - and Drysdale - seem not to realize, as they never shut up, wanting desperately to 'steal the show', and even to outdo each other at every opportunity.

devila
06-16-2004, 01:20 AM
Pathetic :
Mary Gorilla has her head stuck up Sampras, Federer and Brad Gilbert's rear ends. aaaakkk ooh aakkk

Intellectual Pat McKissbuttsinarow tries every tactic to keep Roddick in DC team.

Muy Mal Washington can't remember simple names and obsesses over Federer.

Cliff Drysdale lives in fantasy land.

Pam Shriver's jingoistic to the max.

Brad Gilbert can't speak normal English, apologizes and gives excuses all the time.
Best: no one

f98-jah
06-16-2004, 01:59 AM
I agree with Mikael.
Simon Reed, Frew McMillan and David Mercer are in a class of their own.

Pushmaster
06-16-2004, 02:52 AM
I agree that Jim Courier is excellent.
Pam Shriver, and Mal Washington most boring.
Most annoying, Mary Gorilla

Steffirox
06-16-2004, 04:39 AM
Johny Mac

GS
06-16-2004, 09:19 AM
Courier is indeed the best---he should call all the Slams. But with who? Johnny Mac and Stolle are the only guys I can stand. Drysdale shoulda been pulled off the air years ago when he said, "Michelob---because so much is riding on your tires." Jimmy Arias sounds like a weasel. I guess only I can stand Bud Collins, mostly because he's a historian. Carillo started out good, now she's a bore with an ego. Shriver and Fernandez are terrible, especially with their monotone delivery. Navratilova is okay---let her call the women's Slams.

jeebeesus
06-16-2004, 06:10 PM
Vijay Amritraj`s pretty awesome too. Plenty inside stuff n he knows what he`s talking. But his co presenter ? Some Nirupama, she really really really sucks. (That`s her fave expression btw , REALLY REALLY REALLY) Can`t seem to let go of reminding all that she`s played in the WTA before or still. Never heard of her at all in the tour anyway.

bsandy
06-16-2004, 06:46 PM
Worst . . . RolandGarros.com . . . Radio Roland Garros had two guys that were soooooo bad !

. . . Bud

Drizzt
06-16-2004, 08:06 PM
Favorite-Dick Enburg

Least favorite-Don't really have one but if I had to pick one it would have to be Mary Carrilo

Drizzt
06-16-2004, 08:15 PM
Marry Carillo*

sandiegotennisboy
06-16-2004, 11:56 PM
You guys are so brilliant with the responses!!! They made my day. Mary Gorrilla....that is so hilarious. I agree, the brits have the formula for good commentating. I saw somewhere that Martina Hingis was commentating too but I guess she does a bad job? Wish I had the euro channel. Anyway, I wish the slam organizers would let viewers choose who should commentate sometimes. Like Mac is a mainstay for the us open but maybe boot tracy and the dorky guy that knows nothing about the sport and stick navratilova in there sometimes.

Some folks I'd love to see take the job in the future are:
Steffi or Andre.

PistolPete
06-17-2004, 07:47 AM
A sidenote... Walt Frazier is the most boring and annoying commentator in basketball (MSG). An NBA Hall of Famer, uses overly academic SAT-type vocabulary not understood or used by most to make up for his subpar entertaining skills. Great player though, nice guy, just shouldn't be a commentator.

"Soandso's ubiquitous presence on the court was luckily not overshadowed by his only foible - contemptuousness."

How can you not like Walt "Clyde" Frazier? Yes he does use big words when he shouldn't but it's entertaining to listen to. "Stephon Marbury makes his shaking and baking look seredipitous to the basket." Yes it makes no sense, but I love it.

In related news, Marv Albert is out as the voice of the Knicks after 40 years. Marv and MSG have decided to part ways.

Cypo
06-18-2004, 01:12 AM
The commentators for Eurosport UK are brilliant, or at least they used to be. Don't know how it's like these days. I remember, it was always Simon Reed, Frew McMillan and some other guy. Very smart, very competent, interesting and they knew when to keep their mouths shut. Only problem was that they were always biased towards British players... Well I guess that's normal in fact.

Couldn't agree more. I think it was Simon Reed you did the Zurich tournament last year and I was really impressed. He talked about tactic and strategies, knew what the player had done in similar situations in previous matches and actually watched (was quiet during) points.

Unfortunately you can negate every sentence above for a description of the Eurosport WTA commentators, and then add that 30 % of their conversations are about themselves. But what really gets me is when they announce what the players are thinking !

Rickson
06-18-2004, 08:50 AM
Dick Enberg has to be the worst with his "oh my".

diadorakuerten
06-21-2004, 04:03 PM
Worse : Any women that tries to comment men's matches.

Best: Johnny Mac and if you're lucky enough to speak French like I do, Yannick Noah (probably the best ever).

A duo with Noah and McEnroe (John not his ******** brother) would be awesome. Noah does speak fairly good English. And he can sing!

pound cat
06-24-2004, 04:18 AM
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The worst commentary is what I'm hearing now from Mal & Dick on the Roddick match. You'd think Roddick was playing some high ranked opponent or something. If i was doing the commentary I would be shocked at the closeness of the match, singing the praises of Wang the guy from nowhere, and very worried about Roddick. LOL

dschwa00
07-26-2013, 03:09 AM
Best: Johnny Mac, Jim Courier, Cliff Drysdale and Darren Cahill.
Worst (There are many!): Number 1 worst of all-time is a tie. It's a toss-up who is more incompetent and annoying; Chris Evert or Tracy Austin. Jimmy Arias and Malivai Washington are extremely close!!! If you have not heard them....Listen for "one thousand one, one thousand two" and you will certainly agree.... Leif Shiras went to Princeton so I can't put him with that group because he is supposed to have brain....but, he is a god-awful commentator.... I'm sure I can think of more (Kris McKendry but she hosts the ESPN Slam coverage and, I guess she knows she doesn't know anything but on the annoying factor she's up there in the "mute" category!!!!)

Chico
07-26-2013, 03:15 AM
Worst - Mary Carillo.

tennisaddict
08-30-2013, 06:28 PM
Pam Shriver's first question to Murray in the post match interview was who would want his sweaty wrist bands that he threw after the match.

Murray was totally blank and said something like 'It was a good match'..

Pam Shriver - she is going from bad to worse to intolerable.

TennisDawg
08-30-2013, 06:42 PM
I generally give commentators a pass that were actually in the arena at one time.

But, there's a few exceptions and that's Carrillo and Shriver.
These two are obnoxious, mean and nasty. How many times did we have to hear Carrillo referring to Agassi as "the little bald guy" Shriver is at her worst when the Williams sisters are playing with her innuendos and read between the line comments. It's really hard to take when they start criticizing the players when they themselves were mediocore players. At least Mary Jo is tactful when she criticizes.
The Best commentators are John McEnroe and Darren Cahill. I also think Chris Evert is a decent commentator. Brad Gilbert is knowledgeable and entertaining.
I'm not crazy over Courier nor Narvratilova.

FEDEXP
08-30-2013, 07:24 PM
Pam Shriver has nothing of value to add, ever. John Mcenroe talks incessantly about his glory days; I prefer Patrick. Mary Jo Fernndez is attractive but has a steel rod stuck there; humorless. Carillo has been dissed, appropriately since time began. Brad Gilbert is utterly obnoxious and a relentless booster for the Americans though he certainly provides some insight. I really like the Brit and colleague on Tennis Channel (isn't the other announcer South African?). Very understated, no gossip and no jingoism. I like Brian Cahill as well.