US Open: Rain wipes out all matches on Wednesday

New York: Rain wiped out women`s quarterfinal matches at the US Open on Wednesday night, completing a washout on the day after six men`s matches had already been cancelled.

Four men`s last-16 contests and two quarterfinals were cancelled on a rainy day in Flushing Meadows, but organizers had hoped to salvage the day by playing all four women`s quarters simultaneously on Wednesday night.

Serena Williams made it as far as Arthur Ashe Stadium to warm-up for her match with Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova before misty rain again intervened and play was called off at 2015 local time.

"While it is only misting currently at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, the forecast predicts worsening conditions," the US Tennis Association said in a statement.

"Due to this forecast the USTA is cancelling the Wednesday, September 7 night session."

Officials were no doubt extra cautious after Rafael Nadal, Andy Murray and Andy Roddick complained to tournament referee Brian Earley after they were sent out to play shortly after noon in misty rain on courts they said were too slippery.

Williams and Pavlyuchenkova warmed up on the meticulously dried Ashe court, but tournament referee Brian Earley came out to check on conditions when the drizzle resumed and after keeping them sitting court-side for several minutes brought them inside.

World number one Caroline Wozniacki and second-seeded Vera Zvonareva never made it that far.

Wozniacki had been slated to take on Germany`s Andrea Petkovic on the Armstrong Stadium, Zvonareva was to face ninth-seeded Australian Samantha Stosur on the Grandstand and Italian Flavia Pennetta was to take on German Angelique Kerber on Court 17.

Two of the women`s quarterfinals had already been postponed from Tuesday, when rain also prevented any play.

Although the backlog will make for a tough finish, Williams was happy that at least they weren`t kept hanging around waiting for a possible break in the weather.

"It was definitely misty out there," Williams said. "Knowing my luck I would break my neck out there."

But Williams had a word of encouragement for Earley and his fellow officials before she departed the venue.

"I`m not back there (in the office)," she said when asked if she thought they made the right decisions. "I think the job is harder than everyone thinks."

So far the weather has been the only thing to slow Williams` march toward a fourth US Open title.

Despite a lowly 28th seeding, Williams has stamped herself the overwhelming favourite to lift the trophy, reaching the last eight without dropping a set to evoke memories of her unlikely triumph in the 2007 Australian Open.

Unseeded and ranked 81 in the world after an injury-plagued 2006, Williams charged to the title in Melbourne, humiliating then-world number one Maria Sharapova in the final 6-1, 6-2.

The scenario for Williams here is much the same, as an 11-month injury layoff saw her ranking plunge out of the top 100 in July.

She signalled she was back with victories in two US Open tune-ups, making her the woman to beat in a field in which Wozniacki and Zvonareva are still seeking their first major victories.

Bureau Report

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