Djokovic tells roofless US Open to cover up
Date published :
05 Sep 2012 - 23:17:11
Defending champion Novak Djokovic has told US Open chiefs, who have consistently refused to build a roof over Flushing Meadows' stadiums, to cover the courts to reduce rain-induced scheduling chaos.
Djokovic reached the quarter-finals on Wednesday -- his 14th in succession at a major -- when Swiss 18th seed Stanislas Wawrinka retired unwell from their fourth-round match, with the Serb world numbeer two leading 6-4, 6-1, 3-1.
But Djokovic was flabbergasted by the ongoing problems in New York which have seen the men's final played on a Monday for the last four years.
His match against Wawrinka had been halted on Tuesday when he was 2-0 ahead in the first set and he now will also have to play his quarter-final on Thursday as the tourmament battles to keep on schedule.
"We spent 10 hours in this club on Tuesday and eventually got to the court and played two games with several interruptions because of the rain. It's not the first time we are experiencing that," said a clearly frustrated Djokovic.
"The rain is a factor here in New York. For last four years we had Monday finals and it keeps on happening.
"I still believe that it is the most logical solution, if you still don't get a roof here, to get covers on the court. It saves at least 30 minutes of time if they inflate like they do at Wimbledon and they just get the water down.
"The courts are practically dry after the rain stops. It saves 30 minutes and gives more time to players and to play and to tournament."
Djokovic insisted that he has brought up the suggestion with beseieged organisers but claims he has yet to receive a satisfactory response.
He added that when torrential rain affected the Toronto ATP Masters event, he was told that the absence of covers was due to fears that humidity would build beneath them and possibly damage the surface.
The Australian Open and Wimbledon both have retractable-roof stadiums while the French Open will follow suit by 2016.
But when the US Tennis Association (USTA) officials announced a $500 million renovation plan in June, there were no plans to construct a roof on the 23,700-seat Arthur Ashe Stadium, claiming it was too expensive.
Djokovic now faces 2009 champion Juan Martin Del Potro, the Argentine seventh seed who sent 2003 winner Andy Roddick in to retirement on Wednesday, for a place in the semi-finals.