It’s sunny, for a change, at the U.S. Open. Except for the gigantic storm cloud that is the anger of players over the mess that rainy weather and postponements have made of the tournament.
The latest episode at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center?
Andy Roddick and David Ferrer, stepping onto the Armstrong Stadium court to resume their match, which was interrupted by rain Wednesday, discovered water remaining on court even though tournament officials had worked for an hour to dry the surface.
“What is that?” Roddick asked referee Brian Earley as he pointed to water. “I mean, what is that right there? ... Water. Why are we out here if that’s there? I’m really starting to get [ticked] off. ”
Roddick’s rant continued. “How hard is it to not see water? … I mean, did you give it 30 seconds to rest? What are we doing here? ... If you clean it with a towel every 30 seconds it’s going to look dry, Brian. Why are we out here right now? You’re killing us. I’m baffled right now. Absolutely baffled.”
The players walked off and the discussion continued with Roddick arguing that he’d play anywhere, even — gasp — Court 13, which seats all of 584 spectators and has no instant replay. Might as well have been in Montauk. “Court 13 is open? Let’s go play,” Roddick said to Ferrer. “At some point this has to take precedence over whether people can watch.”
Those who were able to do so saw Roddick win 6-3, 6-4, 3-6, 6-3. He’ll face Rafael Nadal next in a quarterfinal of the water-logged tourney. Nadal, like other players, was highly critical of how officials have coped with a stretch of rainy weather at a facility that has no covered courts. Nadal was angry with the decision by officials to begin play Wednesday, only to quickly suspend it. He trailed Gille Muller 0-3 at the time, but, after closing out a 7-6 (7-1), 6-1, 6-2 win today, he offered more measured comments.
“[Wednesday] was a tough day for everybody — for the players, for everybody. Thank you very much to everyone who came here today and the past few days,” he said. “Everybody ... everybody have mistakes.”