A former reporter for Sports Illustrated, Merlisa Lawrence Corbett began her career as a journalist while a student at the University of South Florida. While most of her friends spent the weekends partying, Merlisa covered sports for the St. Petersburg Times and Lakeland Ledger. She covered high school and college sports for the Tampa Tribune and Staten Island (NY) Advance. She left the Advance to become the youngest member of the Pittsburgh Press sports staff, where she covered college football and basketball. She was also an assistant sports editor at America Online.

She wrote the foreword for Arthur R. Ashe, Jr.'s A Hard Road to Glory: Track and Field.

An avid tennis fan, Merlisa plays tennis three to four times a week in USTA leagues. She is a member of the American Society of Journalists and Authors. She splits her time between Central Florida and the Washington D.C. area.

Follow her on Twitter: https://twitter.com/merlisa

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  • Daniel Torres posted 78 days ago

    Daniel Torres

    Maria Sharapova article is one of the worst I've ever read. Sharapova took a banned substance, which has just been banned 2 months ago, and took full responsiblity for it. Reasonable explanation...

    But, then your article goes into how "Russian athletes flunking drug test is nothing new."
    except, then you go on to say how she's lived in the US since she was a child. So, which is it? Is she another Russian athlete failing a drug test, or is she an American of Russian descent failing a drug test, with a reasonable explanation.

    Nice racism by the way. Is that so far from saying "Many black people are criminals"?

    Next, you go on to say: "Before her announcement, her legacy was already complicated. She has career 35 career titles and is second on the all-time prize money list. She's been one of the most consistent winners on the WTA Tour over the past 15 years."

    What is complicated about that? Just curious.

    Then, you go on to say how her image is forever tarnished and that she'll forever be labeled a cheat. Really?? Well, let's say it was cheating. If so, it's only been cheating for the last 2 months, right? So, how many tournaments has she played in that time? Were any of her 35 career titles in that 2 months? So, it's curious to think why her whole career is tarnished...But hey, that's just my opinion...

    Don't normally comment, but this article was especially terrible. Sad the direction journalism has gone...

    Btw, when I came to this page to comment, I guess I was not surprised to see you being bashed for ridiculous positive praise of Serena Williams is previous articles. Not hard to figure out why the discrepancy...but, maybe that's just racism too, right?

  • Stuart Perry posted 159 days ago

    Stuart Perry

    What a sad reflection of our times. Serena is so full of her 'self importance' that she can say 'If I could, I would take this ******* ball and shove it down your ******* throat,' At her post-match press conference, she was asked if she wished to apologies to the lines woman.
    'An apology for?' she asked. 'From me? How many people yell at lines people? Players, athletes get frustrated". This shows absolutely no respect or consideration for other people. This is the type of behavior that gets rewarded as 'Sports Person of the Year', and is accepted as a role model to our children? How disgusting that you could not be objective, and had to pull the race card.

  • Ricky Dickburn posted 264 days ago

    Ricky Dickburn

    Coward...to whoever will not let us comment on your article about Serena Williams supposedly being a victim of mass-racism & sexism. She's one of the best female athletes of this generation, but that doesn't mean she automatically deserves the same endorsement deals as someone else. Do you think Martina Navratilova would get the same kind of opportunities that Sharapova is now getting if she were playing today? No way! Both are white Eastern European women, so there's certainly not a racial or gender difference in play. The difference is that Sharapova has sex appeal and Navratilova does not/did not.

    Williams would get a hell of a lot more in endorsements if she was different in two ways: If she was perceived as more attractive by the opposite sex, or not appearing "manly" as was mentioned in your article, and secondly, if she didn't have such an abrasive personality. I think her demeanor is really off-putting for a lot of people. It's no one's fault that they prefer to see and hear from attractive and nice people - it's human biology.

    Is it fair? No. But few things in life are. The bottom line is that advertisers see only one color, and that's green. If society tells them they like an inferior athlete more than the best athlete, then that's who they will side with. Doesn't matter to them that it's based on sex appeal and likability rather than success at their sport.

    Who would you cast in a movie - the extremely talented actor who looks like shrek, or the young and inexperienced actor that may not be that great on screen, but all the teenage girls adore him. The latter will make more money at the box office obviously.

    Your writing makes it sound like she's a pioneer for black women in sports. Although it makes for a nice read for some people, this is ridiculous. She isn't even close to the likes of Arthur Ashe. Basically all you've said is "A lot of people have called Serena ugly because of her physique and dark complexion, so it must be racism." Just terrible.

  • Jack Morris posted 283 days ago

    Jack Morris

    I just read your article on Serena stacking up against the top males and I'm not sure if you're comparing them by their accolades or their actual game but if you are basing it off skill Serena would not win a game against any of those players you named let a lone beat them.

  • J Beer posted 316 days ago

    J Beer

    @RM Herold, maybe the senior editors van explain then? I have read 1000 plus BR tennis articles and this is a first timer. Weak!

  • RM Herold posted 318 days ago

    RM Herold

    For all those who are wondering, writers don't control whether an article has comments or not. That is decided by Senior Editors after the article is turned in.

  • RM Herold posted 318 days ago

    RM Herold

    Great job with the Arthur Ashe piece.

  • Jason Beer posted 321 days ago

    Jason Beer

    What the heck is wrong with the fact that Monfils and Kyrgios are athletically gifted and that this is pointed out? Pete Sampras also jumped as high as MJ in his best days. Tommy Berdych is an example of 'white men can't fly'. Why would this be offending? And by the way: Kyrgios does lack discipline. Racist huh?

  • Elton Carolus posted 323 days ago

    Elton Carolus

    @Jason Beer
    Yep, she totally expects a backlash. I hear nothing but good things from commentators regarding Monfils. What I do hear is that he needs to stop playing hot shots and focus on serious tennis. Which is bloody right.

  • Jason Beer posted 324 days ago

    Jason Beer

    me too, but even my question 'why no comments' was nicely deleted by Merlisa, I reposted it.