NEW YORK (AP) – Roger Federer stood on the court at Arthur Ashe
Stadium, hitting tennis balls to scattered fans in the stands
equipped with umbrellas, hats and parkas.
The Wimbledon champion would point to a section and smack a ball
to the appointed spot, displaying the same accuracy as when he
plays for real.
Unfortunately for ticket-holders, though, that was about the
extent of the action during the day session at the U.S. Open on a
rainy Monday. Only two matches even got under way before being
Jennifer Capriati took a 6-2, 3-2 lead in her fourth-round
encounter against No. 11 Elena Dementieva in 49 minutes of play
spread over a little more than five hours. No. 29 Francesca
Schiavone won the first game against No. 15 Ai Sugiyama before they
were taken off the court after only six minutes.
The start of play Monday was delayed more than 2 1/2 hours, then
Capriati and Dementieva got 13 minutes in – enough time for
Capriati to go up 4-0 – before taking a 4 1/2-hour break.
Then they played another 36 minutes until sprinkles prompted the
chair umpire to stop action, drawing boos from the few thousand
fans in the stadium.