Rain cancels play as US Open spills into Monday

September 12th, 2009 - 2:50 pm ICT by IANS  

Serena Williams New York, Sep 12 (DPA) US Open officials Friday admitted defeat on a full day of demoralizing rain, with play cancelled and the event now set to end on Monday for the second consecutive year.
The women’s semifinals between Kim Clijsters and second-seeded and holder Serena Williams and between Danish ninth seed Caroline Wozniacki and Belgian outsider Yanina Wickmayer were both called off late afternoon.

The ill-starred men’s quarterfinal between Rafael Nadal and Fernando Gonzalez also fell victim shortly after it became evident that no weather relief was in sight.

Saturday programme now features the conclusion of the Nadal-Gonzalez match, plus the women’s semis.

Nadal lead the Chilean 7-6 (7-4), 6-6 (3-2) when the contest was called off at around midnight on Thursday when the rain began after 10 dry days. Argentine Juan Del Potro beat Croatian Marin Cilic Thursday to book his place in the final four against either Nadal or Gonzalez.

The men’s semi-final between Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic will now be played on Sunday - four days after both men won through - along with the women’s final. The men’s final will now be contested Monday.

The bad luck will put even more pressure on the cash-flush US federation to spend the millions required to put a roof on one or more of their massive stadiums at the National Tennis Centre.

With Roland Garros planning a new stadium with a moveable roof for 2014, the New York venue remains the only one of the four majors left out.

Wimbledon’s moveable roof over Centre court debuted this summer, while the Australian Open has boasted two covered showcase arenas for years.

Late news from the Nadal camp was not encouraging, with US broadcasters reporting that the world number three re-aggravated an abdominal muscle pull he’s been carrying for a month, during his first set Thursday night against Gonzalez.

The weather problems are made even worse by the scheduling habits of the Open, which insists on putting two men’s semifinals and the women’s final Saturday to rake in millions in television dollars.

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