Rafael Nadal realizes he has little or no input into the situation, but the Spanish second seed remains annoyed about the Monday finish planned for the men’s final this year - and in 2014 - at the U.S. Open.
The decision to stretch the major into a third week does not sit well with Nadal, who has won an ATP-leading nine titles in 2013. The men’s final has been played on a Monday evening for the past five years due to rain and the lack of a roof anywhere around the grounds.
That situation is due to change sometime around the turns of the decade, according to U.S. federation officials, who have unveiled a renovation plan for the ageing National Tennis Centre costing $550 million.
“The final is on Monday. It’s not anything new because the last couple of years the finals were on Monday. It’s more fair to have the final on Monday, have a day off between the semifinals and finals. But at the same time [it] is one more day for the tournament.
“It’s not normal to finish a tournament on Monday, it’s nicer to finish on Sunday. That’s my opinion.”
Officials went to the Monday completion - and there are no guarantees that weather will not intervene anyway for a sixth consecutive year - in order to finally give men a day off between the semis and finals. For decades, American television had dictated Saturday semifinals and a Sunday final, a killer schedule in the modern game.
“We were finishing the finals here on Sunday, playing Saturday and Sunday. Every player knows that was not fair. If a player had a match like I had, for example, in the final of the Australian Open against Djokovic [six hours], it’s better the next day to go home rather than go on court. It is something that’s not fair.”
The U.S. Open still insists, along with the French Open, on staging the first round of play over three days instead of the more organized two. That makes for an untidy schedule and chaos in the case of rain, such as has already happened this week.
Murray cuts out the constant noise
Andy Murray cannot help but contrast the calm ambience of Wimbledon to the chaos and noise of the U.S. Open. But as the current holder of both grand slam titles, the third seed at Flushing Meadows has learned to accept both in his stride.
With the occasional jet flying overhead and constant buzz and chatter on the ground - not to mention full-on yelling at some of the more rowdy and alcohol-fuelled night sessions - the Open is by far the most “animated” of the majors.
But Murray can’t be bothered to get worked up over a situation which he knows will never change.
“At this tournament, on all of the big courts it’s very different to Wimbledon. But it’s something that you need to enjoy about the tournament,” he said.
“It’s quite loud. There’s always noise during the points.”
Murray said the constant talking around the courts also comes with the New York territory. “Whereas at Wimbledon it’s pretty much silence. It’s a different atmosphere [here], and one that I enjoyed when I came here the first time, as a kid playing the juniors.
“You just have to get used to it each time you come back. All of the slams have very, very different atmospheres.”