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Rain delays start of play at Flushing Meadows

Persistent drizzle continued to delay the start of play and intensify the scheduling headaches for organisers on day nine of the US Open on Tuesday.

india Updated: Sep 02, 2003 23:57 IST
Reuters
Reuters
PTI

Persistent drizzle continued to delay the start of play and intensify the scheduling headaches for organisers on day nine of the US Open on Tuesday.

Women's top seed Kim Clijsters, of Belgium, was originally due to open proceedings at the hardcourt grand slam at 1100 (1500 GMT) local time in a quarter-final tie against French fifth seed Amelie Mauresmo.

But with a gloomy outlook and the referee's office facing a backlog of unplayed matches, officials said their match would now be moved to a start time of no earlier than 1700 (2100 GMT) local time on a court to be determined.

That is intended to give the men's matches as much chance as possible of being played.

While only two women's singles matches were completed on Monday because of rain, all the scheduled fourth round men's matches were postponed to Tuesday, therefore leaving the men's draw behind schedule.

Top seed Andre Agassi is now set to open proceedings on Arthur Ashe court against American compatriot Taylor Dent when the rain relents, followed by Swiss second seed Roger Federer's showdown with Argentine David Nalbandian.

They are two of eight fourth round matches waiting to get underway in the men's draw.

While organisers hope to clear the backlog, the delays -- coupled with a poor forecast for much of the week -- raised the spectre of the men's final being put back to Monday, September 8.

The last time the final was played on a Monday was in 1987, when Ivan Lendl beat Mats Wilander.

Jennifer Capriati and Justine Henin-Hardenne beat the delays on Monday to progress to the quarter-finals, joining Clijsters, Mauresmo, third seed Lindsay Davenport and Paola Suarez in the women's last eight.

The other two berths will be filled by the winners of the two unfinished fourth round matches, which were suspended on Monday night.

Russian Anastasia Myskina, the seventh seed, was leading Frenchwoman Mary Pierce 4-2 and Japan's Ai Sugiyama and Italian Francesca Schiavone were locked at 6-6 in the first set when rain forced them off court for the last time on Monday.

First Published: Sep 02, 2003 22:47 IST