Organizers add ‘rest day’ before US Open finals

Johannesburg: The U.S. Open has decided to move the women`s final to Sunday and the men`s final to Monday in 2013, providing in a day of rest ahead of each title match for the first time.

The U.S. Tennis Association (USTA), which runs the Grand Slam event played in New York, announced the changes on Friday but only for next year.

A decision about 2014 and beyond probably will come after the 2013 tournament, USTA spokesman Chris Widmaier said.

Rain forced the USTA to postpone the men`s final from its scheduled Sunday slot to Monday in each of the last five years.

Some top male players complained that the U.S. Open was the sport`s only major tournament that put their semifinals and final on consecutive days.

Friday`s moves end the tradition of what the U.S. Open has called ‘Super Saturday’ since 1984, with both men`s semi-finals and the women`s final all on that day`s schedule at Flushing Meadows, followed by the men`s final on Sunday.

“We listened to the players and understood we needed to accommodate their request for an extra day of rest between the semifinals and final. ... The USTA reached out to many of the top players, player agents as well as the respective tours,” Sport24 quoted Widmaier, as saying.

“So far, everything has been fairly positive. The day of rest is being embraced across the board," he added. "Because of the nature of the game, and to assure a final that can be played at the highest competitive level, you need an extra day of rest. We recognized that,” he added.