Re: Wednesdays scores....round 2
bunk, this sounds like the article you were remembering:
Rain plays havoc with tournament
Tarps or roof not viable options at Rexall Centre, as yesterday's schedule scrubbed
By TOM TEBBUTT
Special to The Globe and Mail
Wednesday, July 28, 2004 - Page S1
TORONTO -- A long day of drizzle that washed out yesterday's play at the Tennis Masters Canada had waiting players getting a little goofy.
At one point in the players lounge, several of them, believed to be of Latin heritage, were engaged in a game. The end result, to quote a witness, was "three guys climbing around under the pool table in their underwear and everyone was laughing and videoing them."
Outside, spectators were more circumspect. Many wandered, checking out the new site, while others exchanged their tickets for either today's afternoon or evening sessions.
Tennis Canada's policy is not to reimburse but to allow ticket holders to exchange them for a subsequent session.
"It's definitely a significant loss," tournament director Stacey Allaster said of fallout from the cancellation. "We had one of the best schedules in our history."
Second seed Andy Roddick as well as Lleyton Hewitt, Marat Safin, Carlos Moya and David Nalbandian were on the program as the event tried to build on the buzz from Andre Agassi's dazzling 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 win over Tommy Haas on the Rexall Centre's opening night on Monday.
"We did $150,000 [in ticket sales] just last night [Monday]," Allaster said. "We sold 4,000 tickets. For today's afternoon session, we were expecting equivalent numbers."
In the only match to go on court yesterday, top seed Roger Federer led Hicham Arazi 6-3 last night before the misty rain led organizers to abandon play and eventually postpone all scheduled matches.
Rain is the scourge of tournaments, especially if they are on grass courts, as at Wimbledon, or hard courts, as at the Tennis Masters Canada and the U.S. Open.
It is usually associated with Wimbledon, but the worst run of recent rain-related havoc was at last year's U.S. Open, when only four matches were completed between Monday and Wednesday of the second week.
The U.S. Tennis Association received criticism about its method of drying the courts -- mostly blowers and people with towels and squeegees -- during the almost three complete days lost.
"Last year, one of the things that was interesting was that it wasn't all from the top," Schwartz said. "We have a very high water table [in Flushing Meadows] and it got even higher and that caused problems on all but [the 23,000-seat] Arthur Ashe Stadium. Our problems on [the 10,000-seat] Louis Armstrong Stadium and the [6,000-seat] Grandstand were underneath -- coming up."
This year, the USTA will introduce a Zamboni-like machine (about 40 per cent of its size, according to Schwartz) that will be used to suck up the water on the Ashe and Armstrong Stadiums during the U.S. Open, scheduled to begin on Aug. 30.
A similar machine is available at the Toronto and Montreal tournaments.
"We just used blowers, squeegees and towels today," said Tennis Canada's Mike Tutty, the site supervisor for the Rexall Centre's Stadium Court.
"The machine only works when the rain is heavy."
"It's most useful when there's a large volume of water, but then we'll still use blowers, squeegees and towels." To the question of why no tarpaulin, Tutty said there are problems associated with moisture under it.
The ultimate solution, a roof over the stadium, is not a viable option at the Rexall Centre and also may not be at the U.S. Open.
"We're investigating a roof," Schwartz said, "but I'm not very encouraged personally because the best numbers you can get for Ashe -- without even taking care of all the air-conditioning inside -- are about $60-million (all figures U.S.). By the time you're done with the air handling, you may be $80-million or $90-million."
Schwartz added that there is probably more chance of putting either a roof on Armstrong Stadium or one over both Armstrong and the Grandstand.