Tennis

I Follow: Darren Cahill

ESPN's Darren Cahill (Scott Clarke / ESPN Images)
ESPN’s Darren Cahill (Scott Clarke / ESPN Images)

A member of the ESPN tennis team since 2007, Darren Cahill’s playing career included four ATP titles and peaked when he reached the 1988 US Open semifinal.

Not an early adopter of Twitter, Cahill, a native Australian, quickly became an avid user. His followers find his tweets a source of insight, humor, programming information, and they will certainly get all that and more during the next two weeks of ESPN’s exclusive coverage of Wimbledon, which kicked off earlier today.

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Twitter Handle: @darren_cahill
Followers: 32,618
Following: 336
(as of 6/24/13)

When and why did you first start using Twitter?
I started using Twitter about two years ago at the pushing and prodding of [fellow ESPN tennis analyst] Brad Gilbert (@bgtennisnation). He’d been doing it about 18 months and does it all the time. He’s a maniac. I had no idea what he was doing. I quickly discovered it’s a great way to connect and have constant interaction. I also use it for information. I follow lots of tennis journalists.

What’s the best thing about Twitter?
The most enjoyable thing about Twitter to me is following people who are passionate about tennis. Some of them have the courage to say things I’m not brave enough for fear of losing my job!

I also enjoy that it provides a chance to break out and expand on our commentary. Tennis is a great sport, in part because it’s a game for all ages, and Twitter provides constant interaction with them.

What do fans ask you?
All sorts of things about the sport and the players. And I get tons of questions about our schedule. So I use Twitter a lot to let people know when and where to find our coverage. With the way ESPN has stepped up in tennis and expanded with ESPN3 and WatchESPN, Twitter is a great way to get the word out.

What about fans who are less than enamored with your commentary?
That’s fair game. I’m an analyst, I deal in opinions and the great thing about opinions is everybody has one. We’re not perfect and they keep us on our toes. I get more satisfaction out of the back and forth and feeling like maybe you’ve taken a critic and turned them into a friend.

Does anyone famous follow you?
There are athletes in other sports who like tennis, including [NBA star] Dirk Nowitzki. And I’m good friends with Gavin Rossdale, the lead singer of Bush and husband to [singer] Gwen Stefani, so I guess he’s the most famous among my followers. Except of course for our fearless leader, [ESPN tennis host and commentator] Chris Fowler (@cbfowler). The day he followed me is the day I knew I had made it on Twitter!

Besides tennis, what gets your attention on Twitter?
I’m passionate about the Australian Rules Football (AFL). Especially my beloved Port Adelaide Football Club, @PAFC. So I follow many players and others associated with the team and the sport. I follow about 40 golfers plus some in music. But I have to mention one from tennis, if not exactly a real person. I love @PseudoFed, the parody of Roger Federer. Whoever it is does a wonderful job. It’s just the right amount of humor and seriousness.

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