US Open officials scurry for cover under non-existent roof

September 8th, 2008 - 1:34 pm ICT by IANS  

New York, Sep 8 (DPA) Sunny skies Sunday after a Saturday deluge of rain were heating up the debate on installing a roof on the main showcourt at the US Open.The hard-luck event has resisted the idea for years after opening the Ashe stadium 11 years ago.

But with a men’s final now set for Monday night after an inability to complete the second men’s semi-final between Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray due to the weather, hard questions are being asked.

Officials admit they have plans on the shelf for what could be a $100 million mega-project.

But with traditional Wimbledon somehow able to install a moveable roof on the iconic Centre court, the brashest of the four majors may be embarrassed by its partners into taking the financial plunge itself.

“At this point it is a question of when and not if,” said Open chief executive Arlen Kantarian, refusing to be drawn on specifics as to cost of timetable.

“We believe this tournament has reached the point where we are looking seriously at putting a roof on the Arthur Ashe Stadium.”

The New York event has lagged behind its partners, with two covered showcourts the norm at the Australian Open.

Kantarian did admit that nothing could be done before the 2009 edition at Flushing Meadows. “We’ve had just nine cancelled sessions in the last 20 years of this tournament, but this is something we need to do.”

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