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Hello! I'm sorry I haven't updated in a while; I just completed the defense of my graduate thesis and I was only able to watch two NASDAQ-100 Open men's quarterfinals in an airplane ticketing lounge. (For those who've been living under a rock, Roger Federer defended his title against Ivan Ljubicic, and Svetlana Kuznetsova defeated Maria Sharapova.)

Davis Cup weekend is coming up again. I won't be getting World Group matches on television, so my only recourse will waiting for news articles on match results to appear. Alternatively, I could do what many tennis-addicted people around the world do when denied of tennis on TV: turn to the Internet.

In the past, tennis fans who couldn't get matches on TV turned to LiveScore.com, which provided scores for punters (AKA those who bet). If you think watching a good live match on television is nerve-wracking, "watching" a match through live-scoring is even more frustrating since you only have the score to go by. Follow a match on live-scoring long enough, and your imagination can start to play games with you. A long break between points can be taken to mean: a) the score board has stopped working; b) someone's stalling; or c) the player you're rooting for is hurt! Oh, no!

International Series and Tier 1 tournaments have increasingly adopted javascript-enabled live-scoring on their official websites. Some of these score boards -- particularly those for the Slam tournaments -- have play-by-play descriptions of how each point was won, and thus give a better impression of how each player is performing.

Nevertheless, what's missing on live-scoring is the human element. You don't get to see the players sweat, toss their racquets, lose their footing, scream in delight or yelp in anguish. (Those who object to Maria Sharapova's grunting may find comfort in the silence of live-scoring.) You don't see how players who are masters at strategy work a point to hit a winner or force their opponent into an error.

This is where streaming audio and video come in. RadioTennis.com offers live audio play-by-play of tennis, not just at the pro level but also at the collegiate (NCAA) level. Sign-up is free and they send notification through email when the website is scheduled to cover an event.

For those who prefer television, some enterprising websites have set up services where you can watch cable channels for free over the Internet. Watching over TVAnts.com involves having to download their program installer and using Windows Media Player 9 to watch streamed broadcasts from a variety of cable channels. Spanish-language TVMix.net offers "toda la televisión mundial a la click" and hosts feeds for many other sports aside from tennis.

The disadvantage of such streaming services is that these are bandwidth hogs and are not for the dial-up warriors such as myself. Also, some users have reported being unable to access the streams at all during high-profile and high-traffic matches.

Still, having these options available means never having to wait too long to find out who won. If it's a Roger Federer match, though (and he's not playing Rafael Nadal), you don't even have to watch live-scoring to know who's going to win. :eek:
 
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