Rain wipes out play at Montreal Cup

Montreal: The Montreal Cup was headed towards a rare Monday finish after persistent rain Saturday allowed only 10 minutes of the semi-final between Denmark’s Caroline Wozniacki and Russian Svetlana Kuznetsova to be played.

After six hours of delays, tournament officials finally threw in the soggy towel and rescheduled the semi-finals for early Sunday followed by the final at 1500 EST (8 p.m. British time).

However, with the forecast predicting even heavier rain on Sunday, tournament director Eugene Lapierre admitted to the possibility of a Monday finish.

“Radar is not so good, it says 100 percent chance of rain but it doesn’t mean it is going to rain the whole day,” Lapierre said. “I’ve rarely seen days when we could play only two games, I would be very surprised to see that again.

“If we cancel tomorrow it will be the same program on Monday.”

If a Monday final is necessary it will be the first this year for a WTA event but the second time in five years that the Montreal Cup has spilt over into a second week because of rain. Serbia’s Ana Ivanovic beat Swiss Martin Hingis in a Monday final in 2006.

A steady drizzle delayed the start of play nearly four hours Saturday and by the time Wozniacki and Kuznetsova finally appeared on centre court it was to a mostly empty stadium.

The few determined fans that waited were rewarded with just 10 minutes of tennis, Wozniacki racing to a 2-0 lead before rain returned, sending the players scurrying for cover.

Following another two-hour delay, tournament officials in one last desperate bid to salvage the day decided to play both semi-finals at the same time, with Vera Zvonareva and Victoria Azarenka moved to an outside court.

But just as the players completed their warm-up the rain again began to fall, Kuznetsova and Wozniacki entertained the fans with a game of net soccer before leaving centre court.

Bureau Report

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