Rain wreaks havoc at US Open

Rain continues to be a major problem at the final major of the tennis season.

Rain continues to be a major problem at the final major of the tennis season.

Of the 64 scheduled first-round matches on Tuesday at the US Open, only nine got under way, and all were suspended for the day by 9pm EDT.

There were hopes of being able to play the regularly scheduled nightcap between fifth-seeded American James Blake and Argentine Juan Monaco, but the match was the last to be postponed shortly before 10pm EDT.

Also among the frustrated throng was women’s top seed Amelie Mauresmo of France. She was scheduled for the first match of the day at Arthur Ashe Stadium, but instead of starting her encounter against German qualifier Kristina Barrois at 11:00am, she did not begin until 2:30pm – three and a half hours later.

The Australian Open and Wimbledon champion held a 6-1 2-5 lead when play was suspended at 3:45pm, and she never got back on court.

In total, 55 matches were postponed, which included the first match of the night session between women’s third seed Maria Sharapova and Dutch player Michaella Krajicek, and a marquee encounter between men’s second seed Rafael Nadal of Spain and 1998 finalist Mark Philippoussis of Australia, a wild card.

Four men's matches began but did not finish: 15th seed Lleyton Hewitt, the 2001 champion, was tied with Spaniard Albert Montanes, 5-5; Number 22 Fernando Verdasco held a 2-1 edge over Frenchman Fabrice Santoro; Number 27 Gael Monfils of France held a 6-2 lead over American qualifier Michael Russell; and American Kevin Kim was tied with Czech Jan Hernych, 1-1.

Besides Mauresmo-Barrois, four women’s matches got under way but were suspended for the day: Number 11 Anastasia Myskina of Russia was ahead of Victoria Azarenka of Belarus, 1-0; Number 24 Na Li of China held a 4-3 edge over Spaniard Maria Sanchez Lorenzo; American Meghann Shaughnessy opened a 3-0 lead over Italian Roberta Vinci; and American Jamea Jackson jumped to a 4-1 lead over Bulgarian Tsvetana Pironkova.

It was the second straight day that play had been affected by rain. On Monday morning, play was suspended for approximately 90 minutes, but the rain disappeared and all scheduled matches were completed.

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