Tuesday, March 21, 2023

US Open gets wet and wild with indoor delay caused by Ida’s remnants

Louis Armstrong Stadium was no match for Hurricane Ida on Wednesday night. The arena at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center couldn’t hold back a downpour from the tropical weather system as it tore through the New York-New Jersey metropolitan area.

Heavy rain and wind blew through the natural openings between the stadium’s roof and stands, causing an indoor weather delay. One match that was scheduled for the stadium’s court was postponed while another was suspended and moved to the center’s main facility, Arthur Ashe Stadium.

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In the delayed match, men’s No. 11 seed Diego Schwartzman defeated Kevin Anderson, who finished second at the 2017 U.S. Open, in straight sets (7-6, 6-3, 6-4).

“I was ready to play and I wanted to finish today, not finish tomorrow. You never know what can happen,” Schwartzman said, per The Associated Press. “I was trying to push . . . to play tonight.”

The match ended about 1 a.m. ET Thursday at its alternate location, with rain still falling outside.

“First of all, thanks to everyone for staying tonight,” Schwartzman said in his on-court interview after the match, per USOpen.org. “Crazy weather.”

“Crazy” was an understatement. The National Weather Service reported that Ida’s remnants dumped close to 7 inches of rain over nearby LaGuardia Airport over a 24-hour period Wednesday.

Ida is expected to be out of the area by midday Thursday, according to the Weather Service, but massive flooding of city streets and subway stations (service was suspended Wednesday) will leave some travel difficult and dangerous. New York City, New York state and New Jersey were all under states of emergency as of early Thursday.

The USTA announced that Thursday’s play would begin no earlier than noon ET, an hour later than normal. One of the matches will be the contest that was postponed Wednesday: a women’s second-rounder between No. 16 seed Angelique Kerber and Anhelina Kalinina.


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