U.S. Open: Tennis, duct tape and Court 13, but no rain
There was sun Thursday morning at the U.S. Open and tennis was played. But that doesn't mean there wasn't more water drama.
Andy Roddick, seeded 21st, and fifth-seeded David Ferrer, trying to finish a fourth-round match, began to play in Louis Armstrong Stadium. But after about 20 minutes, officials were congregated around a wet spot behind a baseline. Water was bubbling from underneath the court, so Roddick and Ferrer went back to the locker room for over an hour. During that time workers and even tournament referee Brian Earley walked around trying to stomp out bubbling water spots, towel-drying the court, even using duct tape in spots to flatten the court.
When Roddick and Ferrer were called back on to the court, it took about a second for Roddick to spot another wet spot. Roddick and Ferrer left again and after a discussion underneath the stadium where Roddick kept saying, "Just find us a court; I don't care if anyone can see us," this men's fourth-round match featuring the last U.S. man to win the Open (Roddick in 2003) was moved to Court 13 where there is no television, no review available and 584 bleacher seats.
Meanwhile, on courts where tennis was happening, defending champion Rafael Nadal was ahead of unseeded Gilles Muller 7-6 (1), 6-1, 0-2; and fourth-seeded Andy Murray was well ahead of wild card entrant Donald Young 6-2, 6-3, 4-3 while 28th-seeded John Isner was up 7-6 (2), 2-5 against 12th-seeded Gilles Simon.
It is crucial to get these four men's fourth-round matches completed Thursday if the tournament is to have a chance to end as scheduled on Sunday. Rain is still in the forecast for Thursday afternoon.
And props to ESPN2, which got some cameras out to the court just in time to see Roddick hit an ace. Roddick is up 4-2, 15-0 in the first set.
-- Diane Pucin, reporting from New York
Photo: Andy Roddick. Credit: Jason Szenes / European Press Agency.