History was made at the US Open grand slam tennis tournament yesterday (Wednesday) when a game was played under a roof for the first time.
Rain started to fall during Rafael Nadal’s second-round match with Andreas Seppi, prompting tournament referee Brian Earley to order the closing of the roof at New York’s Arthur Ashe Stadium. The roof closed without problems in five minutes and 35 seconds.
“We had a bold vision for transforming this entire facility and the roof was a huge part of that,” US Tennis Association executive director Gordon Smith said, according to USA Today. “It worked flawlessly.”
The new feature suffered a fault when it was officially opened last month, with three attempts needed before the roof finally closed. No such problems arose yesterday.
Arthur Ashe Stadium’s new look leaves the French Open as the only grand slam not to have a venue with a fitted roof. Wimbledon’s Centre Court and the Australian Open’s Rod Laver Arena both feature retractable roofs.