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New roof over Ashe Stadium to keep top U.S. Open matches dry

August 29, 2016 - UNITED STATES

Finally, the players in the main stadium for the 2016 United States Open Tennis championship in New York won't have matches interrupted by rain. Men's No. 1 Novak Djokovic will be looking for his second consecutive U.S. Open win and Flavia Pennetta won't: the Italian retired in 2015 after her first and only Grand Slam victory.

Players and spectators have complained for years about interrupted play and compacted schedules because of inclement weather. The management found the funds eventually for a retractable roof over the Arthur Ashe Stadium that takes 5-7 minutes to open and close, and for a fabric canopy to ensure uneven shadows do not affect the players.

The tournament gives Serena Williams, the seven-times U.S. Open champion the opportunity to make up for her disappointment at the 2015 championship. In the semi-final, just two wins shy of the first Grand Slam in more than a quarter-century, in one of the most dramatic upsets in tennis history, the world No. 1 women's champion lost 6-2, 4-6, 4-6 to 43rd-ranked Roberta Vinci of Italy. Steffi Graf achieved the Grand Slam in 1988, winning all four majors - the U.S., Australian and French Opens, plus Wimbledon - in a calendar year.

US Open Tournament

Serena's Slam bid ends in stunner (FoxSports/AP 11 Sep 2015)

Serena Williams biography

Steel set for new Arthur Ashe Stadium roof (Tennis.com/AP 10 Jun 2015)

Date written/update: 2016-04-06