Djokovic: It’s time to cover the courts


Originally published on: 06/09/12 00:00

The US Open is the only Grand Slam tournament without a retractable roof or any plans to install one – and has also steadfastly refused to use court covers.

Djokovic was one of those players affected by the rain that caused major interruptions for two days in a row this week. Only two games were possible before the Serb’s fourth-round match against Stanislas Wawrinka was called off for the day on Tuesday evening. There was a further delay on Wednesday before the match resumed, Djokovic eventually going through after Wawrinka retired when trailing 6-4, 6-1, 3-1.

The tournament does not cover courts during rain delays because it says that drying them when the rain stops can be done quickly. Djokovic, however, disagrees and was unhappy about the amount of time it took to complete his match.

“We had to wait the whole day yesterday,” he said after seeing off Wawrinka.  “We spent 10 hours in this club and then eventually got to the court and played two games with several interruptions because of the rain. It's never easy, but it's not the first time we are experiencing that.  The rain is a factor here in New York.  For the last four years we have had Monday finals and it keeps on happening.

“It is something you cannot affect, obviously.  I still believe that the most logical solution if you still don't get a roof here is to get covers on the court. I don't understand why a single hard-court event does not have covers and didn't think of covering the court.

“It obviously saves at least 30 minutes of time if they have inflatable covers like they do at Wimbledon. The courts are practically dry after the rain stops.  It saves 30 minutes and gives more time to players and to play the tournament.”


Tim Farthing, Tennishead Editorial Director & Owner, has been a huge tennis fan his whole life. He's a tennis journalist and entrepreneur as well as playing tennis to a national standard. He also helps manage his local club and volunteers for his local tennis organisation. He's a specialist in content about the administration of professional tennis and tennis coaching for all levels.