The Enberg encore at the U.S. Open may have been a wash, but it was the thoughfulness that counted

Before signing off on Sunday's U.S. Open tennis telecast for CBS, Dick Enberg (center) has analyst Mary Carillo (left) in stitches, while John McEnroe (right) continues to do his analysis.

Before signing off on Sunday’s U.S. Open tennis telecast for CBS, Dick Enberg (center) has analyst Mary Carillo (left) in stitches, while John McEnroe (right) continues to do his analysis.

The tennis gods were hardly kind to Dick Enberg.
After luring him back to Arthur Ashe Stadium to do just one more match at the U.S. Open tennis tournament for CBS, lightning and rain postponed the Roger Federer-Marcel Granollers third-round faceoff on Sunday afternoon.Just 19 minutes on the air with familiar partners John McEnroe and Mary Carillo, Enberg was left to fill the two-hour window with a Federer retrospective of his past U.S. Open victories.
As CBS’ 47-year-run ends at the tournament this weekend – ESPN takes over everything starting next year – the network’s look back at its Open legacy is well deserved, and for CBS Sports chief Sean McManus and producer Bob Mansbach asking Enberg to take a break from his play-by-play assignment for the San Diego Padres and make a curtain call in Flushing Meadows, N.Y., was brilliant.
“You are to announcers what Roger Federer is to our sport – no, seriously,” McEnroe said on the air prior to the abbreviated match Sunday.
“I was treated royally,” Enberg said after arriving back in San Diego this week. “I’m still blushing about McEnroe calling me the ‘Federer of TV tennis.’ I’m not certain, but I don’t think he was imbibing.”
Enberg’s presence will be felt again in CBS’ final three sign-off days as it takes the men’s semifinals (Saturday, 9 a.m.), women’s final (Sunday, 1:30 p.m.) and men’s final (Monday, 2 p.m.). A vignette he wrote and narrated about the network’s coverage over the years will likely air between the men’s semifinals on Saturday.
“For the essay I did, a reflection on the history of CBS at the U.S. Open, they asked me to keep the writing to three minutes,” Enberg said. “That’s 47 years, in three minutes. Bud Collins could write an entire encyclopedia while I hiccup three minutes. I still managed to get the name of every champion in the piece.”
Enberg has rejoined the Padres this week and will make his last trip of the season to Dodger Stadium with the team for the Monday-Wednesday series against the Dodgers.

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