A Very Wet Open
At this rate, they won't have to worry about extending the U.S. Open to Monday.
Try next Wednesday.
Two days of almost completely wiped out action has put the 2011 tournament seriously in scheduling arrears. That has produced a boffo sked for Day 11 today, but if the weather continues to dampen the proceedings at every turn, this is going to be a very difficult event to finish.
With all the major tennis countries involved in Davis Cup competition next week, including Canada at Israel, there is a need for many players to depart New York as soon as possible to get to various far-flung destinations. A fourth straight year with the tournament extended to Monday looms as likely, and all the logistical issues that involves has the cry for a roof over the major courts at Flushing Meadows at full roar.
Yesterday, players like Andy Murray, Rafael Nadal and Andy Roddick met with tournament organizers to voice their displeasure with the way in which players were summoned to the courts for just a few games, and then forced off by continuing rain. Nadal said the tournament isn't "protecting the players" but insisting they try to compete on slippery courts.
The U.S. Open remains the only Grand Slam that lacks either existing retractable roofs or announced plans to install them. Wimbledon and the Australian Open already have covered stadia, while the French Open will have one by 2015.
Jeff Tarango, a member of the USTA board of directors, says plans are already in place for roofs on the Arthur Ashe and Louis Armstrong Stadiums but just haven't been announced yet. "It's called the 'strategic vision' and the plans will be showcased and unleashed very shortly," he told BBC Radio Five Live. "We had a quote for rebuilding that just got doubled on us. We have a very good strategic plan for getting the roof. It's a really tough decision but it is in place and all the money is being secured, saved up and taken care of.
"Because of the building codes in New York and because of the existing structure we would have to demolish both courts to do them both in one year. That's why we're calling it a vision, because it's going to be a two or three-year instalment process. The plan is to demolish Armstrong and we'll see what we go with after that."
All the big names are playing today in significant matches, including Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer (Jo-Wilfried Tsonga again!), Murray, Caroline Wozniacki and Serena Williams. Depending on further delays, that will put the tournament straight up against the opening night of the NFL season tonight, less than ideal.
Saints-Packers or Federer-Tsonga? The ratings will be interesting.