Yet another frustrating, weather dominated fiasco this time at the USO and all because of a lack of roof.
It seems incredible to me that in the 21st century, with tennis being pushed as mass entertainment, that the biggest events in the calendar are subject to the vagaries of climate.
Witness yesterday at the USO, 23,000 ticket holders expecting to see both men's semi finals on the main court and the ladies finals.
After the Fed /Djoko match is underway, the organizers with a "weather eye" on the approaching storm, decided to play the second semi on the Armstrong stadium - which has less than half the capacity (10,000)
So we had a mass exodus of the higher tiers, who had cottoned on that it was free for all next door in the empty one. Despite that and the decision to switch the second match there the rain stopped the Murray /Nadal match in its tracks into the third set.
End of play for the day.
Same in Beijing, a multi million (billion?) complex and no roof to prevent the scheduling nightmare and weather problems.
The Aussies cracked it 20 years ago with not one but 2 retractable roofed main courts. Wimbledon will have one in place for 2009.
It doesnt matter for some sports which can safely be played in the rain, but tennis is not one of them. One of the highlights this year was seeing mops and buckets at some tournaments as they dont even run to courts covers.
Its all a great pity, mainly because we dont get to see the best tennis, with disruptions and the sometimes unfair advantages to one player or another.
Time to get with it perhaps ?
Edit: I hadnt seen this article when posting OP - thanks to BOb for drawing my attention to it - be interesting to see if it happens :