It's US Open time in New York, which means tennis fever has officially hit the city that never sleeps. As the final major tournament in professional tennis, the US Open always draws a healthy audience, nationally and abroad.
Maybe you've been waiting for the US Open tennis tournament since Wimbledon ended in July. Or maybe your roommate is obsessed with Roger Federer and won't let you watch anything else. Either way, it's hard to miss the excitement bubbling up around the tournament.
We've collected some easy, free and totally legal ways to watch and follow the US Open with these six social media tips.
Read what the top contenders are saying about the tournament. Andy Murray tweets daily, nonchalantly dropping phrases like, "Just picked up the US Open Series trophy." Venus Williams is another avid tweeter and, if nothing else, it's entertaining to keep up with her wardrobe choices (she recently started a clothing line).
Andy Roddick, Bob Bryan, Kim Clijsters, and John Isner all have thriving Twitter feeds as well. You can find a full list of players broken into retired pros, men's tour and women's tour at Twitter Athletes.
Roger Federer is more of a Facebook guy. His Page has regular updates and videos, plus some great fan outreach. There's a reason more than four million people "Like" his page: He often responds to fan-submitted questions, for example, "I can dunk a tennis ball, but not a basketball…I am going to stick to tennis," as well as his dream championship matchups.
Rafael Nadal also prefers his Facebook Page. You might need to understand Spanish in order to read it, but you can join the 3.5 million people who "Like" it in any language. Following this >English-speaking fan on Twitter is a better way for non-Spanish speakers to keep up. Nadal fans can also check out his YouTubemoments (many of them with translation) on his dipity timeline.
YouTube has also been a big hit for tracking players. Both Murray and Federer have shown a little flair on YouTube recently. Federer starred in a video where he aims a tennis ball at a bottle sitting on top of a nervous man's head. Whether fake or not, it's pretty fun to watch.
If your boss is OK with it, you can watch the tournament all day long on the Internet. The official US Open site has video feeds with commentary at many of the courts. You can switch easily between courts or watch more than one court at a time. Without closing the video screen, you can also add an online fan chat and view updated stats.
ESPN3 also added selected matches to its live streaming schedule but you need to have an affiliated Internet provider in order to access the video.
If you don't have time to watch, but still want to follow, there a number of good Twitter sources that will keep you up to speed: