US Open 2021: Play suspended because of rain on covered court as storms lash New York

 US Open 2021: Play suspended because of rain on covered court as storms lash New York
US Open 2021
Venue: Flushing Meadows, New York Date: 30 August-12 September
Coverage: Daily radio commentaries on BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra/BBC Sport website and app, with selected live text commentaries and match reports on the website and app

Play suspended because of rain. These are not words you would expect to hear on a court with a roof.

Yet so powerful was the storm affecting the north-eastern US on Wednesday that water found its way inside, and poured on to Louis Armstrong Stadium, where fans at the US Open put up umbrellas.

The second-round match between Argentine 11th seed Diego Schwartzman and South African Kevin Anderson was interrupted twice before being suspended in the first game of the second set.

“You guys call me when you’re ready to play tennis,” Anderson said before leaving the court.

Air-blowers had been brought on court and umpires and ball kids tried to dry the surface with towels but despite their best efforts huge gusts of wind continued to blow the rain through the sides of the roof and on to the court.

There were contrasting scenes at the same time on Arthur Ashe Stadium, where Stefanos Tsitsipas and Adrian Mannarino continued to stay dry and play their match under the roof.

The encounter between Schwartzman and Anderson eventually continued on Ashe after that match, with Schwartzman wrapping up a dominant 7-6 6-3 6-4 victory.

The other match scheduled for Louis Armstrong Stadium – Angelique Kerber against Anhelina Kalinina – was postponed until Thursday.

The New York area is under a tornado and flooding warning and Wednesday’s play at Flushing Meadows had been interrupted on the outdoor courts but few would have expected an indoor match to have been affected in this way.

There was a half-hour delay when the first set was poised at 5-5 and it was then stopped again at 4-4 in the tie-break after both players complained about the slippery surface.

They came back and Schwartzman took the set but play was then called off in the first game of the second set when Anderson was leading 30-15 on his serve.

Local media is reporting that at least nine people have died as a result of the extreme weather, which has been caused by the remnants of Tropical Storm Ida.

The governors of New York and New Jersey declared a state of emergency, and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio called it a “historic weather event”.

Almost all New York City subway lines have been closed, and non-emergency vehicles banned from roads. Many flights and trains out of New York and New Jersey have been suspended.

Fans on court
Fans took shelter under umbrellas on court
Fans with umbrellas
Fans left the courts under umbrellas at the US Open following heavy rainfall
The umpire checks the surface
The umpire checked the surface at the end of the first set following complaints from the players
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