Date: 2021-09-02 03:45:00
Even a roof couldn’t stop wild weather at the US Open as flash flooding and tornado warning left the schedule in tatters.
In one of the US Open’s most bizarre match stoppages, blowing wind and rain under the corners of the Louis Armstrong Stadium roof halted a men’s second-round matchup on Wednesday.
It was a day of incredible rain with only Louis Armstrong Stadium and Arthur Ashe Stadium were still in use.
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Earlier during Sloane Stephens’ 6-4 6-2 win over Coco Gauff on Arthur Ashe, the rain was pelting down so hard the commentators kept mentioning the reason behind the deafening noise.
But during South African Kevin Anderson’s match against Argentina’s 11th-seeded Diego Schwartzman, on Louis Armstrong, the wild weather invaded the court when showers stopped them three points into the second set.
Torrential rains, the remnants of deadly Hurricane Ida, were blown under the corners of the retractable roof at the facility, opened in 2018 to provide a second court to keeping playing despite downpours.
“You can’t play in this, (it’s) crazy,” said Jason Goodall in commentary for ESPN.
“I’m surprised they’ve even played that point there,” he added following the next point.
“You can see very clearly it’s coming in through the ventilation on both sides it’s just whether it’s falling enough on court to stop play. If one of the players in this situation thinks it’s unsafe then you’ve got to be fair to both.
“The rain and wind have made things unplayable. Everybody’s got umbrellas up in the crowd because it’s going sideways then dropping onto the court. It’s turned into a bit of a shambles.”
The storm eventually swamped Armstrong stadium, the court looking closer to hosting a 100-meter freestyle than a tennis match.
The match was eventually moved to Ashe with Schwartzman winning in straight sets, following Stefanos Tsitsipas’ four set win over Frenchman Adrian Mannarino
A women’s match scheduled later at Armstrong, German sixth seed Angelique Kerber against Ukraine’s Anhelina Kalinina, was postponed to Thursday.
But Twitter was stunned that the matches were still continuing amid the emergency situation unfolding as the time approached midnight.
Wind-blown rain forced a drying machine onto the court and a host of towel-wielding workers to try and soak up moisture from the rain-slickened court.
The first stoppage came at 5-5 in the first set, when the machine helped get the court back in condition.
The second stoppage came at 4-4 in a first-set tie-breaker and consisted mostly of wiping down the lines so play could continue.
When it resumed, Schwartzman won the first three points to win the set. Anderson led 30-15 serving in the first game of the second set when the decision was made to suspend the match.
The area was under a tornado warning and flash flood watch from the US National Weather Service during the deluge.