US Open withstands weather woes
Date published :
09 Sep 2012 - 17:47:25
Hours after a severe weather system that spawned two tornadoes ripped through New York and halted the US Open, Sunday morning spectators were treated to sun, a mild climate and only gentle breezes.
No damage had been reported at the Billie Jean King Tennis Center from the Saturday night storm that played havoc with Open schedule, halting the semi-final between defending champion Novak Djokovic and David Ferrer.
Spanish fourth seed Ferrer, seeking his first Grand Slam title, led 5-2 when US Open officials halted play and evacuated the grounds because of weather reports saying the major storm was headed toward Arthur Ashe Stadium.
One tornado struck in the southern tip of Queens, the same area of New York where the tennis center is located, and another hit in Brooklyn. Heavy wind and rain were also reported with the system that blew through the area overnight.
Olympic champion Andy Murray, the British third seed, advanced to the final on Saturday with a 5-7, 6-2, 6-1, 7-6 (9/7) triumph over Czech sixth seed Tomas Berdych played in some of the windiest conditions either man had ever seen.
"It's probably the toughest I have played in," Murray said. "It was four hours and it was brutal.
"I don't know if they stop in other sports for a lot of wind. When there's a tornado around, then that's pretty serious. I think that's the right time to stop."
Officials had already postponed the women's final between 14-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams, the US fourth seed, and World No. 1 Victoria Azarenka of Belarus from Saturday night to Saturday afternoon due to the storms.
Pushing back the Djokovic-Ferrer finish to Sunday meant that the US Open men's final would be played on Monday for the fifth year in a row because of rain delays.
"We're getting very tired of having Monday finals," tournament director David Brewer said.
The women's final will also be a day later than originally planned, that for the fourth time in five years.
Berdych would have wished for calmer conditions instead of having to go onto the court in gusting winds that blew serve tosses astray and even Murray's chair and bags onto the court at one point.
"Our sport deserved to have some rule or if the conditions are like that that, you don't play," Berdych said. "It's something which should be at least to think about.
"This is not about show. This is just about somehow to try to deal with the conditions and then trying to put ball over the net. Sometimes was even impossible."