US Open Mostly Unscathed By Irene; Play Underway In Flushing
NEW YORK (WFAN/AP) — Irene may have claimed Saturday’s Kids’ Day, but it certainly won’t ruin the first day of the 2011 U.S. Open.
The tournament began on Monday with tweaks to the day’s original schedule, including a two-hour delay for the start of play at Arthur Ashe Stadium.
The U.S. Tennis Association said Sunday that the site of the year’s last Grand Slam tournament had “minimal damage” from Tropical Storm Irene.
The gates at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center opened to the public at 10 a.m. Monday, and matches started as planned at 11 a.m. on nine of the tournament’s 13 courts, including Louis Armstrong Stadium.
At Arthur Ashe Stadium, the U.S. Open’s main arena, play is to begin at 1 p.m., instead of 11 a.m. The match that originally was supposed to be the first one played there – reigning Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic against Alexandra Dulgheru of Romania – was switched to Louis Armstrong Stadium, leaving Ashe with two day-session matches, instead of three.
Play at Court 17 is scheduled to start at 1 p.m., too. Matches at the Grandstand and Court 11 are to begin at noon.
Irene made landfall in New York as a tropical storm with 65 mph winds, not the 100 mph hurricane that had churned up the East Coast.
The U.S. Open is scheduled to end with the men’s final on Sept. 11, the 10th anniversary of the 2011 terrorist attacks. Each of the past three years, rain disrupted the end of the tournament, pushing the men’s final to Monday and sparking discussion about whether the USTA should put a roof over a court.
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