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A tennis match at the US Open was suspended on Thursday when heavy rainfall soaked the Arthur Ashe Stadium, prompting officials to seal the retractable roof over the arena.
The American Alison Riske and Estonia’s Anett Kontaveit had been locked in a lengthy struggle, with the seeds Kontaveit edging ahead.
Riske, ranked 44 in the world, was then greeted by the news that the men’s match between Stan Wawrinka and Victor Estrella Burgos was stopped due to rain, meaning their Group-1, group-2 match would be the one interrupted.
Despite fears over the safety of the players, the decision was then made to use the Ashe roof.
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“Something of course you can tell the players they can’t compete in this weather,” Riske told the BBC. “We were thankful that they played today.
“Even if it is postponing the match we’re just happy that something didn’t happen to the roofs. But we’re definitely looking forward to playing.”
Wawrinka said the suspension was not ideal. “We are really sad, because the conditions are not normal for tennis. Sometimes you want to play tennis in bad conditions.”
The matches were all the more frustrating for the organisers and the two players’ associations because it was the only main-draw match going ahead on the second day of the tournament.
A crowd of 18,178 was expected at the fourth major of the year – the first to play behind a roof after Grand Slam organisers opted to install one at the revamped US Open in Flushing Meadows earlier this year.
In the men’s match between Wawrinka and Estrella Burgos, the American Daryl Selby was beaten 6-1, 6-3, 6-3 by France’s Adrian Mannarino in just over an hour.
The doors of the Ashe Stadium also covered the doubles first-round match between Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut and Ivan Dodig and Marcelo Melo.