US Open: Delays at Flushing Meadows as deadly storm affects tournament

By Sports Desk September 02, 2021

The US Open was mounting a clean-up and safety check operation on Thursday after being affected by a deadly storm that struck New York City. 

There would be no play before 12:00 local time (16:00 GMT), an hour later than matches usually get under way, and spectators were told they would not be allowed into the grounds until 11:00 at the earliest. 

Severe weather hit New York and New Jersey on Wednesday, with the tail-end of Hurricane Ida striking the area and causing at least nine deaths. 

Eight of those deaths recorded in New York resulted from basements flooding, the New York Post reported, with the flash flooding causing chaos in large parts of the city. At one point, 3.15 inches of rain fell in an hour, a record for the Big Apple. 

Tournament organisers were carrying out inspections to determine whether safety of visitors to the Flushing Meadows grounds could be assured. 

The US Open said in a statement: "We appreciate your patience as we evaluate the readiness of our site. The safety of our fans, players and staff is of the utmost importance. 

"We will be issuing an update to the schedule including gate opening and match start times. The current plan will not open gates before 11:00 am." 

The storms were so unusually powerful on Wednesday that the late-night match between Kevin Anderson and Diego Schwartzman on the covered Louis Armstrong Stadium was affected by rain, with water gusting in through openings despite the protection. 

It was moved to Arthur Ashe Stadium to be completed, with its original court left drenched. 

Transport in New York early on Thursday was proving problematic, with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, responsible for the local bus and subway system, announcing an "extremely limited" service and urging customers to "stay home if you can". 

Ash Barty and Novak Djokovic, along with Olympic champions Alexander Zverev and Belinda Bencic, are among those due in action on Thursday. 

Related items

  • Australian Open: Berrettini makes Italian tennis history to set up Monfils clash Australian Open: Berrettini makes Italian tennis history to set up Monfils clash

    Matteo Berrettini made Italian tennis history on Sunday as he blasted his way past Pablo Carreno Busta and into the Australian Open quarter-finals.

    The seventh seed won 7-5 7-6 (7-4) 6-4 in a gruelling contest to set up a last-eight clash with Gael Monfils, who earlier beat Miomir Kecmanovic.

    Berrettini is the first men's player from his country to reach the quarter-final stage of all four grand slams in the singles draw, and only the 10th active player to achieve the feat.

    The 25-year-old only reached this stage of a major for the first time in 2019 and has since gone as far as the final in Wimbledon last year, where he lost to Novak Djokovic.

    Having withdrawn from his round-of-16 match with Stefanos Tsitsipas in Melbourne in 2021 due to an abdominal injury, Berrettini was delighted to have progressed.

    "It was really tough last year. I really wanted to play, but I couldn't with the tear in the ab," he said.

    "But I believe there is a reason for everything that happens and I've been wishing to come back as soon as possible and the way I won today shows how much I care about this tournament."

    Berrettini had luck on his side in the first set as two netcords on Carreno Busta's serve allowed him to break for a 6-5 lead.

    Once ahead in the match, his serve and baseline power became too much for the Spaniard: Berrettini rained down 28 aces, winning 87 per cent of points behind his first serve, and hit 57 winners.

    "I was really precise with my serving and he wasn't reading my serve, which is why I hit a lot of aces," he said.

    Next up is a meeting with Monfils, who has now reached 10 slam quarter-finals in his career and a first in Australia in six years.

    These two met at the same stage of the 2019 US Open, Berrettini prevailing in five sets after losing the first two. The winner could face Rafael Nadal in the semi-finals.

    "It's been a long journey for me and I'm quite happy, but it's not finished," said Monfils. "I will try to play this quarter-final not like the last time. I will try to be better.

    "It's an achievement but we're not quite finished yet."

  • Australian Open: 'I'm good at being me' – Barty will continue to play her own game in bid for Melbourne glory Australian Open: 'I'm good at being me' – Barty will continue to play her own game in bid for Melbourne glory

    World number one Ash Barty promised to carry on playing her own game after booking her spot in the last eight of the Australian Open.

    Barty, the top seed, defeated Amanda Anisimova 6-4 6-3 on Sunday to progress to the quarter-finals in Melbourne for a fourth successive time.

    Anisimova defeated last year's champion Naomi Osaka in the last round, but she proved no match for Barty, who sealed the win in 74 minutes.

    Barty did see her run of holding serve ended, however, after 63 games without being broken, though it was a minor blip in another convincing win. 

    Indeed, the 25-year-old has now won all four of her Australian Open ties without dropping a set.

    Asked what was key to her dominant form, Barty said: "I think the most important thing is I just try to be me, continue to be me, that's all I can do.

    "That's what I’m good at, that's who I and who I want to be."

    Her comments were well received by the crowd at Rod Laver Arena, and Barty is delighted to be playing in front of spectators once again.

    "The last two years have been extraordinarily tough for a lot of people around the world," she said.

    "To have the crowd here, it brings a lot more to the tennis. It makes it a lot more enjoyable for me to play at home."

    Barty struck seven aces and registered a first-serve percentage of 78, while also hitting 23 winners and making exactly half the amount of unforced errors as Anisimova (17 to 34).

    "Amanda is an incredible athlete and incredible competitor. It's nice to see her back playing her best tennis," Barty continued.

    "I enjoyed sharing the court with her and testing myself against her. It was nice to be able to hold firm tonight."

    Asked in a post-match news conference about dropping serve for the first time in eight matches, Barty replied: "It didn't bother me too much.

    "Honestly, I'm not counting how many games I hold in a row or not. The fact I was able to reset, break straight back, was really important, just to be able to reset myself, go again and continue to do the right things."

    Next up for Barty, a two-time major winner who is yet to taste victory in her home grand slam, is another American in the form of Jessica Pegula, who upset fifth seed Maria Sakkari 7-6 (7-0) 6-3.

    "It's going to be a challenge for me to try and push her off that baseline and make her uncomfortable and feel like she has to create," Barty told reporters.

    "But I know that she's also going to be doing the exact same thing to me and trying to make me uncomfortable.

    "That's the chess game that we play. You go out there and have fun with it, see who can execute better on the day, and that's about all there is to it."

  • Australian Open: Shapovalov honoured to be facing Nadal as Zverev admits 'everything' went wrong Australian Open: Shapovalov honoured to be facing Nadal as Zverev admits 'everything' went wrong

    Denis Shapovalov said it is a privilege to be facing Rafael Nadal in the Australian Open quarter-finals after his win over Alexander Zverev, who conceded "everything" went wrong.

    Zverev had been looking sharp in Melbourne over the last week, with the world number three not dropping a single set en route to the last 16.

    Yet the Olympic gold medallist was on the end of a straight-sets loss on Sunday as he went down 6-3 7-6 (7-5) 6-3 to Shapovalov.

    Zverev made 32 unforced errors, five fewer than Shapovalov, and managed to convert only two of five break points, with the German winning 46/67 first-serve points.

    Asked what went wrong, Zverev bluntly told reporters: "Everything.

    "It's no one else's fault. It's not the coach's fault, it's not my team's fault, it's no one else's fault. It's purely me.

    "As world number three, I have to take responsibility for the things I do and don't do.

    "I give credit to Denis. It's incredible that he's in the quarters, I think he deserves it. He's done a lot of work, improved his game.

    "But I've got to look at myself. Today was just, in my opinion, awful from my side."

    Shapovalov had lost to Zverev in the ATP Cup earlier this month, but after Sunday's win the duo's head-to-head record stands at 4-3 in the latter's favour.

    The 22-year-old Canadian will now face Nadal, with the 20-time grand slam winner having progressed to his 14th Australian Open final by defeating Adrian Mannarino.

    Nadal holds a 3-1 head-to-head record against Shapovalov, though this will be the first time the pair have met in a major.

    "It's always an honour to go up against a guy like Rafa," said Shapovalov after reaching his first Australian Open quarter-final.

    "It's always going to be a battle against him. It's going to be a tough one and I'm definitely going to enjoy it."

    Reflecting on just his second career win over a player in the top five, Shapovalov said: "I think off the ground I was playing really well, really feeling my shots off both wings.

    "I played pretty smart, it felt like things were going my way early on. I lost a little bit of momentum midway in the second set but fought well to come back and just kind of rolled with it after."

    It was also the first time in the tournament that Shapovalov had not had to go to at least four sets.

    "It's probably the one I least expected to finish in three. I'm very happy with my performance, definitely happy with where my game is at," he added.

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.