Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
For the fourth year in a row, weather has forced a Monday men’s final at the U.S. Open.
Because rain knocked out play Tuesday and Wednesday, officials changed the schedule and moved the women’s final to Sunday at 4 p.m. from Saturday in primetime and the men’s final to Monday at 4 p.m. instead of Sunday at that hour.
“We revised the schedule for the remainder of the 2011 US Open in an effort to be fair to the players and our ticketholders,” Open tournament director Jim Curley said in a statement. “This is the result of a collaborative effort with the players, CBS Sports and tournament officials to address the issues that arose from the inclement weather earlier this week.”
The remaining two men’s quarterfinals — John Isner-Andy Murray and Rafael Nadal-Andy Roddick — will begin at noon on Friday.
The men’s semifinals will remain as scheduled on Saturday afternoon.
The women’s semis, normally played during the Friday day session, have been moved to Saturday night in primetime.
The men’s finalists will now get Sunday off.
For the players in Nadal’s half of the bracket, this is a major break.
The player who comes out of that half would have had to play four matches in four days, Thursday-Sunday, to win the tournament under the old schedule.
“Our part of the draw will be in a very difficult situation for the player who will be in the final,” Nadal, the defending champ, said before the schedule change. “The semifinals maybe, too, because two days in a row playing tough matches is difficult. The matches, quarterfinals, semifinals, four rounds of Grand Slam normally are tough matches. If you don’t have rest, you have a big chance not be enough fit to play well the next match.”
ESPN’s John McEnroe had suggested the other day on TV that the players should get together and demand a Monday final.
“It is absolutely, insane, insane to even think that these players could even play close to their capabilities if they had to play four matches in a row,” he said. “They should sit back and say ‘We’re not going to do it.’
“We’re going to have a Monday final. There shouldn’t be a Saturday/Sunday semi and final. We’ve been saying that for 30+years.
“The money is an issue, it’s always been an issue. We’ve got to rise to the occasion of the players. These guys should sit down and say, ‘This is not right, we’ve got to change this and they should change it now.’ You can’t play four days in a row and expect to play anywhere near your best.”
Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.