US Open officials admitted partial defeat on a day of demoralizing rain, with women's semi-finals cancelled and the conclusion of the interrupted men's quarter-finals between Rafael Nadal and Fernando Gonzalez in danger from the weather.
Kim Clijsters and second-seeded holder Serena Williams were both told late afternoon that their match would not go on.
The same grim news was handed to Danish ninth seed Caroline Wozniacki and Belgian outsider Yanina Wickmayer.
Officials were hoping against the odds that they could somehow conclude the Nadal-Gonzalez match, which stood 7-6 (7-4), 6-6 (3-2) in the Spaniard's favour after being interrupted for a second time just before midnight Thursday.
The weather drama almost insured that the event could go into a late finish next Monday for the second consecutive year.
If that is the case, it will put even more pressure on the cash-flush US federation to spend the millions required to put a roof on one or more of their massive stadiums at the National Tennis Centre.
With Roland Garros planning a new stadium with a moveable roof for 2014, the New York venue remains the only one of the four majors left out.
Wimbledon's moveable roof over Centre court debuted this summer while the Australian Open has boasted two covered showcase arenas for years.
Late news from the Nadal camp was not encouraging, with American broadcasters reporting that the world number three re-aggravated an abdominal muscle pull he's been carrying for a month, during his first set on Thursday night against Gonzalez.
On the men's side, Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic went safely through into the semis two days ago, while Argentine Juan Del Potro beat Croatian Marin Cilic on Thursday to book his place in the final four against either Nadal or Gonzalez.
The weather problems are made even worse by the scheduling habits of the Open, which insists on putting two men's semi-finals and the women's final on Saturday to rake in millions in television dollars.