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The Early Lead
Posted at 02:36 PM ET, 09/09/2011

U.S. Open 2011: Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Andy Roddick, Andy Murray speak out about conditions


Murray takes issue with a call. (EDUARDO MUNOZ / REUTERS)
The worker revolt at the U.S. Open continues, although it’s growing fainter with the end of the tournament nearing.

From a lofty perch, Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Andy Murray and Andy Roddick are arguing for better working conditions and registering their displeasure with the way in which officials handled matches because of rain.

“The U.S. Open is probably more important than the players,” Nadal said Wednesday, “but the players are a big part of this show. …The problem, in my opinion, is not the organization of the U.S. Open.

“The problem is we [players] don't have enough power in these kind of tournaments. That's what have to change very soon.”

Because there are no covered courts at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in New York, the men’s final was pushed to Monday. Djokovic, who can improve his record this season to 64-2 by winning the Open, is not happy because Serbia plays a Davis Cup semifinal against Argentina a few days later in Belgrade. He pointed out the obvious:

“If you don't have a roof, okay. ... [but] why you don't have covers on the court, you know?” Djokovic, who plays Roger Federer in a semifinal, said.

Roddick took it further after his tirade Thursday, saying he might consider becoming the commissioner of tennis — if there were such a thing.

“It's something that interests me just because it's a glaring hole,” Roddick said. “I think we are the only sport without a players' union of major sports. So it's something that, yeah, if I was approached, yeah, I think I would.”

At this point, though, it’s all about the tennis. Today, it’s John Isner vs. Murray in one quarterfinal; Roddick vs. Nadal in another. Djokovic advanced with a 7-6 (7-2), 6-7 (3-7), 6-0, 3-0 win over Janko Tipsarevic, who retired from the match; Federer advanced with a 6-4, 6-3, 6-3 win over Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.

Tomorrow, Serena Williams and Caroline Wozniacki play in one semifinal, Angelique Kerber and Samantha Stosur in the other. The women’s final is at 4 p.m. Sunday.

By  |  02:36 PM ET, 09/09/2011

 
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