Raefal Nadal and Andreas Seppi got themselves etched in history as they became the first tennis players to have played under closed roof at Arthur Ashe Stadium on Wednesday. To avoid any delay in matches due to rains, the US Tennis Association (USTA) has spent $150 million on the retractable roof at Arthur stadium.
The elated Spanish star Rafael Nadal said after the match: “It’s great to be the first player to play with the roof closed, on the competition, because I was the first player to hit in the center court with the roof closed.”
“With the roof open there is no wind at all, so it’s not a big change. And the roof is so high you don’t feel that you are closed. I didn’t feel the change. It’s great. It’s an unbelievable, unbelievable court,” he added.
Rafael Nadal registered his second win in the US Open tournament by defeating Andreas Seppi in straight sets 6-0 7-5 6-1. Now, he will face Russia’s Andrey Kuznetsov in the next round.
The play was also suspended for a while due to rain, after which the roof cover was put.
“Play was suspended at 10:38 pm and resumed at 10:46 pm — total suspension of play was 7 minutes and 22 seconds. The roof closed in 5 minutes and 35 seconds. The closing occurred prior to Nadal serving at 3-3 in the second set. He won the first set 6-0. Rafael Nadal has the distinction of hitting the first practice and match ball under a closed roof in Arthur Ashe Stadium,”said the US Tennis Association in a statement.
Meanwhile, Indian tennis stars Sania Mirza, Leander Paes and Rohan Bopanna won their respective matches in the US Open. Sania Mirza and and her Czech partner Barbora Strycova won their opening match in the US Open. Sania Mirza and Barbora Strycova defeated Americans Jada Myii Hart and Ena Shibahara by 6-2, 6-3 in the women’s doubles event.
Rohan Bopanna and his Danish partner Frederik Nielsen registered their win against Radek Stepanek and Nenad Zimonjic by 6-3, 6-7 (3), 6-3 in men’s doubles. The pair struggled to win their first match for 1 hour and 53 minutes. After losing the second set, they swept away the game by winning last set with 6-3.
Leander Paes and his mixed doubles partner Martina Hingis defeated Americans Sachia Vickery and Frances Tiafoe in straight sets 6-3, 6-2. Paes and Hingis wrapped their first match within 51 minutes.