NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The new roof at Arthur Ashe Stadium was the centerpiece of a $500 million renovation at the tennis complex, and it came in handy Thursday night as matches were still played in the midst of a downpour.
But as CBS2’s Steve Overmyer reported, some players seemed to be having roof regret Friday. While it may keep the rain out, some players are concerned that it keeps the noise in.
“Is it the stadium that’s making it so loud? That’s what the umpire told me,” Serena Williams said at a news conference.
The rain pounds on the new roof, and even when it is open, it makes crowd chatter so loud that the umpire is forced to address it.
“We use our ears when we play,” said tennis star Andy Murray. “It’s not just the eyes. You know, it helps us pick up the speed of the ball, the spin that’s on the ball, how hard someone’s hitting it.”
The USTA said it is monitoring the situation and may add materials to dampen the sound. But until then, they say to embrace it.
“We knew that there would be an elevated noise level with the roof, but when you weigh it against the benefits to our fans to be able to have the roof,” said Stacey Allaster of the USTA.
And every stadium has its own idiosyncrasies – some have unique surfaces, some have high wind. There is a possibility that Arthur Ashe may end up being known as a loud stadium.
“New York is already known for being the loud tournament, and I think Ashe is definitely going to be be known as the loudest court in the world and it’s the biggest in the world, and I think it’s perfect,” former No. 1 world-ranking tennis player Caroline Wozniacki said.
When asked if she had advice for players who have issues with the noise, Wozniacki said: “Keep having issues. I’m enjoying it, so the more of an edge I can get, I’ll take it.”
Even with the rain, the matches are back on schedule. The USTA plans on a full schedule of matches this weekend even with Tropical Storm Hermine approaching.