Rain delays men's U.S. Open final for second straight day

Mon Sep 13, 2010 7:29pm EDT
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By Julian Linden

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A thunderstorm forced the suspension of Monday's U.S. Open men's singles final between Rafa Nadal and Novak Djokovic.

The match was delayed by a day for the third year in a row after foul weather washed out any chance of play on Sunday and was halted midway through the second set on Monday.

Nadal, bidding to win the U.S. Open for the first time and complete his collection of grand slam titles, won the opening set 6-4 in 50 minutes and was locked at 4-4 with Djokovic in the second when rain forced players, officials and spectators to dash for cover.

U.S. Tennis Association officials said they expected the storm to pass after an hour but local weather forecasters said there was a chance of more rain in the evening, which would jeopardize the chances of completing the match on Monday.

The delay spoiled what was looming as a classic match between the world's top two ranked players.

The pair set the tone for the match with an extraordinary opening point, which featured some ferocious groundstrokes, a sublime drop shot from Nadal and a brilliant crosscourt winner from Djokovic.

Unfortunately for the Serbian, who won the toss and elected to serve first, it was the only point he won in the opening game as Nadal, dressed menacingly in all-black, reeled off the next four points to grab an early break.

Djokovic, showing no signs of weariness after his gruelling five-set semi-final win over Roger Federer on Saturday, broke Nadal's serve in the fourth game to level the opening set a 2-2.   Continued...

<p>Fans walk through Arthur Ashe Stadium during a rain delay in the men's final between Rafael Nadal of Spain and Novak Djokovic of Serbia at the U.S. Open tennis tournament in New York, September 13, 2010. REUTERS/Jessica Rinaldi</p>