With action from morning through night, the U.S. Open is truly a unique tennis event. Many of the big tournaments, including Wimbledon and the French Open, have to deal with a curfew, but the U.S. Open can pack tons of matches into any given day due to the presence of lights, so tennis fans will have no shortage of matches to track throughout the tournament.
It simply isn't possible for most fans to be in front of their television for each and every match, but luckily much of the U.S. Open action will available via live stream. Even the busiest tennis fans can have the U.S. Open at their fingertips any place at essentially any time over the next couple weeks.
Keep reading for a complete guide to where and when to watch the U.S. Open live stream, as well as which players you should pay particularly close attention to throughout the tournament.
Where: USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows, Queens, N.Y.
When: Monday, Aug. 26 through Monday, Sept. 9
Watch: CBS, ESPN, ESPN2, Tennis Channel, CBS Sports Network
Live Stream: WatchESPN
Players to Watch
Prior to last year's U.S. Open, Andy Murray viewed largely as the guy who didn't have a major championship to his credit. In terms of overall talent level, Murray was on the same level as the likes of Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer; however, he didn't have the resume to back it up. That changed last year, however, as Murray won gold at the London Olympics and followed that up with his first Grand Slam championship at the U.S. Open. Murray has since added a Wimbledon title, and he's certainly hungry for more.
Murray is playing the best tennis of his career right now, and, even though the competition in Queens is going to be fierce, he is clearly among the upper-echelon of contenders. Djokovic is considered to be the best hard court player in the world by most, but Murray has 22 career hard-court titles in his own right, so he shouldn't be overlooked. According to Tennis View Magazine, Murray felt relief more than joy when he won last year's U.S. Open, so he'll surely be seeking another title know that the weight of the world has been lifted off his shoulders.
Andy Murray on winning the #USOpen: "There was so much relief last year that I wasn't necessarily enjoying it as much as I should have."— Tennis View Magazine (@tennisviewmag) August 24, 2013
Murray is the No. 3 overall seed in this year's U.S. Open, and he seems to have an extremely easy road to the semifinals. Tomas Berdych, Stanislas Wawrinka and Kevin Anderson are the biggest challengers in his quarter, but he should be able to handle all of them. From that point forward, however, Murray may very well have to beat Djokovic and Nadal to win the title. That feat isn't unheard of, but it will take every ounce of will Murray has to accomplish it.
Like Murray, Serena Williams is also a defending U.S. Open champion. Serena's outlook is much different than Murray's, however. While Murray is unquestionably one of the best men's players in the world, he isn't considered a failure when he falls short of a title due to the fact that he has to contend with some of the best players of all time. Williams, on the other hand, is viewed as the best female player in the world by a significant margin, so fans can't help but gasp when she loses a match, or even when she drops a set for that matter.
Serena has been nearly unstoppable this season, but she has had a couple missteps in Grand Slams. Williams did manage to win the French Open, however, an injury contributed to her loss to Sloane Stephens in the Australian Open, and she was shocked by Sabine Lisicki at Wimbledon. Williams has been essentially unbeatable other than that, although Victoria Azarenka did grind out a hard-fought victory over the American star in the Cincinnati Open final last week, as reported by Sky Sports.
Victoria Azarenka won an epic battle with top seed Serena Williams to claim the WTA Cincinnati Open 2-6 6-2 7-6 http://t.co/bdI1Nb3dtI— Sky Sports (@SkySports) August 19, 2013
Even though she is coming off that loss, Williams is still the overwhelming favorite to defend her U.S. Open title. The draw has opened up to a certain degree with Maria Sharapova out of the tournament due to a shoulder injury, so it seems likely that Serena and Azarenka are on a collision course for the final. Williams has looked like a sure thing in every major thus far though, and she has only come away with one title. She needs to remain focused and healthy to ensure that another letdown doesn't occur.
Who is the most compelling player in the 2013 U.S. Open?
Roger Federer may very well be the greatest tennis player of all time, but at the age of 32, his reign at the top of the sport appears to be coming to an abrupt end. Federer has not been the dominant player he once was since 2010, but he managed to silence many of his critics by winning last year's Wimbledon title. The Swiss star has been unable to build on that however, as 2013 has been extremely rough for him. He is sporting a very un-Federer-like 32-11 record and has just one title, so his U.S. Open prospects don't look particularly promising.
Federer's Grand Slam issues have been particularly troubling as he hasn't really come close to breaking through. Fed did reach the Australian Open semis before bowing out to Murray, but he was blasted by Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the French Open quarters and shocked by Sergiy Stakhovsky in the second round at Wimbledon. Federer has also lost to the likes of Federico Delbonis and Daniel Brands since then, which has led to his worst Grand Slam seeding in 10 years, according to SuperSport.
Federer's poor seeding will certainly make things tougher on him as he'll likely have to face Nadal in the quarterfinals if he makes it that far, but it would be crazy to count him out. Many pundits were resigned to Federer never winning another Grand Slam last year, but he proved them wrong by winning Wimbledon. Federer may be playing his worst tennis in a very long time right now, but you never know when the magic might return.
Follow @MikeChiari on Twitter