Thu Sep 08 06:17pm EDT
The USTA announced late Thursday that inclement weather will force the U.S. Open men's and women's finals to be pushed back one day. The women's final will be played Sunday at 4 p.m. ET. The men will play at the same time Monday.
Given the backlog of matches created by the two-day rainstorm that hit New York this week, one men's finalist would have had to play four matches in four days if the USTA had stayed with the original schedule. The new slate of matches will give an extra day of rest to both sides of the draw.
The revised schedule:
Friday (12 p.m. start) -- Men's quarterfinals (two remaining matches)
Saturday afternoon (12 p.m. start) -- Men's semifinals
Saturday evening (7 p.m. start) -- Women's semifinals
Sunday (4 p.m.) -- Women's final
Monday (4 p.m.) -- Men's final
Moving the men's final was unquestionably the right move by the USTA. Television interests are paramount, but not enough to force whichever man comes out of the bottom of the draw -- either Rafael Nadal, Andy Murray, Andy Roddick or John Isner -- to play four best-of-five matches in four consecutive days.
Less clear is why the women's final had to be moved from Saturday night. Women play best-of-three sets throughout the year and can play as many as six consecutive days at some tournaments. Serena Williams did just that last month in Toronto.
If anything, the women may have gotten a raw deal. All of their matches were finished by 6 p.m. on Thursday. Now they'll have to wait more than 48 hours until Saturday night to play their semifinal and then turn around to play the final on Sunday afternoon. Why not move the women's semis to Saturday afternoon and make the men play on Saturday night before they take their day of rest on Sunday?
The USTA, dealt a rough hand from Mother Nature, made the best of a rainy situation.