American hero Andy Roddick and fifth seed David Ferrer were sent out to Court 13 at Flushing Meadows to complete their fourth-round US Open match after bizarre scenes on Louis Armstrong Stadium today.
After two days of almost continuous rain, the players were finally able to resume their clash on time this morning with Roddick leading 3-1.
The skies were clear but they had only completed two games when it became clear there was a problem. Because of the extremely high water table, water had begun to seep through a small crack in the court behind the baseline.
The frustrated players, who had been scheduled to play the match on Tuesday, were taken off as staff worked on fixing the problem.
Towels, tape and a vacuuming device were all tried, with the surreal sight of tournament referee Brian Earley pushing a towel around with his foot.
After more than an hour’s delay, the players were called back on court but Roddick was clearly unimpressed, telling Earley he was “baffled” why they were out there when water was still coming through.
Off they went again, with the TV cameras capturing the exchanges that then ensued, with Roddick, who was well aware the winner must play again tomorrow, making his feelings clear as he implored: “Let’s go play.”
Court 13, an outside court with no provision for line-call challenges, was the only option at that time.
Roddick had not played a match outside Arthur Ashe Stadium since winning the tournament in 2003 but he did not hesitate, leading the way with a horde of spectators in hot pursuit.