Rain-hit US Open poised for Monday men's finish

Rain-hit US Open poised for Monday men's finish

Rain-hit US Open poised for Monday men's finish

Spectators sit in Arthur Ashe Stadium waiting for play to commence despite the heavy rain at the U.S. Open tennis tournament in New York. AP

Six-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal and Chilean 11th seed Fernando Gonzalez yesterday waited hours through a steady downpour before the completion of their suspended quarter-final from Thursday night was pushed to today afternoon.

That postponed the semi-finals to Sunday and the final to Monday.

World number one Roger Federer defeated Andy Murray for his fifth US Open title in a row last year in the first Monday men's final since 1987, when Ivan Lendl defeated Mats Wilander for the crown.

Third-seeded Spaniard Nadal was aided by the delays, having aggravated an abdominal muscle strain Thursday night while seizing a 7-6 (7/4), 6-6 (3/2) advantage before play was halted.
Federer, the Swiss 15-time Slam champion, and Serbian fourth seed Novak Djokovic are set for one men's semi-final while Argentine sixth seed Juan Martin Del Potro awaits the Nadal-Gonzalez winner in the other.

Nadal, who hopes to complete a career Grand Slam with a US Open title, was also hit by rain last year when his US Open semi-final against Britain's Murray was halted in the third set and finished on Sunday.
News was nearly as bleak on the women's side, with defending champion Serena Williams to meet Belgium's Kim Clijsters and Denmark's Caroline Wozniacki to face Belgium's Yanina Wickmayer today after their semi-finals were postponed.

The men's doubles final and a women's doubles semi-final were also moved for today. While breaks in the drizzle yesterday allowed for some attempts to dry the courts, conditions were never near being playable.

"It's such a light mist the radar can't even pick it up, but it's still unplayable," US Tennis Association spokesman Chris Widmaier said.
A US flag flew at half-staff over Arthur Ashe Stadium in memory of those who died in the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

Federer could match Bill Tilden's 83-year-old record of six consecutive US Open titles with another crown, continuing a tradition of historic US Open Monday finals.

Don Budge completed the first calendar-year Grand Slam in 1938 after a hurricane halted play for a record six days. Rod Laver finished off the second men's Slam with a Monday win in 1962 and his second Slam in 1969 on a Monday.