Jim Williams: Tennis seasonis heating up

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Sports,Jim Williams

Life is good for Mary Carillo. She just extended her contract with the Tennis Channel and is getting ready for a season that will include covering the French Open, Wimbledon, Summer Olympics and U.S. Open. Not a bad list of assignments.

She will be in Miami starting Sunday for early-round coverage of the Sony Ericsson Open, a tournament considered by many as the fifth major.

What are the key storylines at the Sony Ericsson?

Carillo » "The women's side has the return of the Williams sisters, Serena and Venus. They both have won this event multiple times. You have Victoria Azarenka, who has been unstoppable this year. You can never count out Maria Sharapova, and then we have Kim Clijsters in the mix, so really this is a very wide-open field for the women. When you talk about the men, you have to talk about what Roger Federer is doing at 31. He has been almost unbeatable over the past five or six weeks. John Isner has been playing out of his mind and really looking great. We haven't even talked about Rafa Nadal, Andy Murray and Andy Roddick, so you have a world-class field with anyone capable of winning."

What makes this tournament so special?

Carillo » "Other than the U.S. Open, this tournament always attracts the best players in the world to America. It is a mixed [men and women] event that is played over 10 days, so it has the feel of a major. The venue is beautiful, and the place is packed. Plus, we have the stars from movies and television who live in Miami coming out to see the event."

Talk about your schedule over the next few months?

Carillo » "After Miami I will be headed to do a story for HBO 'Real Sports,' then to South Africa for a feature that will be seen on our Olympic coverage on NBC. Next it will be Paris for Tennis Channel for the French Open, more Olympic features, Wimbledon and then the Olympics for NBC. ... After that I feel like I will be able to collapse."

Examiner columnist Jim Williams is a seven-time Emmy Award-winning TV producer, director and writer. Check out his blog, Watch this!, on washingtonexaminer.com.

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Jim Williams

Sports Columnist
The Washington Examiner