| Serena Williams walks her dog ‘Jackie’ on a practice court at the National Tennis Center in New York Tuesday. (AP/PTI)
New York: Lindsay Davenport was willing to play on a remote court at the National Tennis Centre if it meant she wouldn’t have to wait around all night Monday for her rain-delayed match against Silvia Farina Elia.
She didn’t have to wait and she drew centre court for her 6-3, 6-1 victory. “They just came to me at 5 o’clock and said, ‘if it stops raining, you’re the first ones out there, if it’s before 6 o’clock.’ ” she said.
“It was kind of a weird hour. We were close to the 6 o’clock time frame, so I didn’t know if we were playing or not. It was more confusion than anything else.”
Play enough tennis and learning how to kill time is no big deal. Jennifer Capriati handled it easily Monday, waiting out a daylong rain to play Amy Frazier and then beating her 6-1, 6-3 in 53 minutes.
“As a tennis player, you get used to it just from being around so long,” she said. “You’ve just got to get used to it. Just try to eat at the right times, just try to find some place to rest, get some treatment, just kind of do stuff to keep you busy but not too busy where you get tired.”
Just the ticket
Two days of rain at the US Open kept ticket-holders from seeing the tennis they thought they’d see. So organisers modified their policy.
Anyone who brings a stub from Monday’s day session will get at least a grounds pass for day sessions Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday that allows them access to all but three main courts. And if there is room available on those courts, they can watch matches there.
That applies to spectators who attended Monday’s day session, which lasted just 90 minutes because of the rain. Normally, those spectators would have no claim to a refund or future ticket.
“This is just an added option to the current policy,” Arlen Kantarian, the USTA’s chief executive for pro tennis, said of the stub policy. He shouldn’t have to worry any more about scrambling to deal with tickets.
“The weather looks clear as a bell through Sunday,” the tournament’s final day, Kantarian said
China’s biggest event
The final event on the ATP season calendar is the Tennis Masters Cup, which brings together the year’s eight top players and determines the No. 1.
This year the event, set for November 12-17, is scheduled for Shanghai. “It will be the biggest professional sports event ever in China,” said Mark Miles, chief executive officer of the ATP.
Will visitors be allowed to travel beyond Shanghai' Jiang Sixian, vice mayor of the host city, smiled at the question. “You can go anywhere if you can afford it, he said.”
A record crowd of 23,145 attended Saturday night’s all-women’s show at the US Open, the first time in this Grand slam’s history that the programme has not included a men’s match.
The session featured Capriati defeating fellow American Meghann Shaughnessy, former No.1 player Martina Hingis ousting Amanda Coetzer and a doubles match with Hingis and Anna Kournikova of Russia eliminating Laura Granville and Jennifer Hopkins. The previous night-session record was 23,136 set on September 3, 2000.