"You Can't Be Serious!"

Cindy HopcusCorrespondent ISeptember 11, 2009

MONTE-CARLO, MONACO - APRIL 15:  Tennis pro Rafael Nadal poses for a portrait shoot on April 15, 2007 in Monte Carlo, Monaco.  (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Exclusive by Getty Images)

Rafa and Gonzo are both left chomping on their rackets tonight!

With today's weather technology we are alerted to up coming storms and can generally expect rain when the forecast percentages are high.

Well evidently that is not the case with the officials at the US Open.  Once again they have opted to keep their night match with major rain on its way.  They were very aware that the chances of the last men's quarter final being played and completed was in serious danger of being involved in numerous rain delays or held over to another day.  Rushing the start time to exactly 7:00 p.m. was not only ineffectual, it sent a message that their regard for the two players was less than priority one.

Out of respect for Rafael Nadal and Fernando Gonzalez, the ATP should have a voice in requiring the Grand Slam Tournaments to reschedule critical matches to accommodate such weather conditions.

With the impending rain forecast, the US Open Officials kept there two largest tennis arenas filled with doubles matches, boys matches and other matches that could have easily been placed on smaller courts to allow that both of the last men's quarter finals could have been played this afternoon and the winner's would have the right to a day off before the finals.

Once again two top male players will have to play back to back and possibly back days of top notch tennis, while the other 3 winner's will have one or two days of rest!

Why doesn't the ATP protect their players from such obvious and avoidable situations and insist on player's rights to fair scheduling.  All the men should play semi finals and quarter finals on the same day.  No players should be allowed extra rest because they were on first.

Since the US Open doesn't have a large enclosed arena.  Perhaps they should be more creative and flexible about the changes those known weather conditions will bring to their event.

As a fan, I feel cheated every time my favorite players are used as cash cows and not respected for what they bring to the game.

I suspect that Nadal and Gonzalez are less than pleased that hours into the second rain delay they are told to come back tomorrow and remain fresh because the lucky winner gets to play again the following day too!

The ATP has got to find a voice that will be heard. Defend the players right to play early when rain is eminent and ticket holders should be required to have an email address so that scheduling changes can be sent out as soon as the changes are made to give them every opportunity to make the new start times.

Fernando Verdasco was very vocal about the fact he was displeased with the fact that Nadal had less time to rest after the 5 hour semi final than Federer in the 2009 Australian Open.

Last year at the US Open, Andy Murray had to contend with a hurricane (also a known weather story). He had to play his semi final match on Sunday, and then follow it up the next day  in the final against a rested Federer.

As a fan of the game and it's talent, I propose that the tournaments that don't have covered arena's to play in, must consider the player’s issues with regards to rescheduling matches when known rain delays can be avoided. The players and their fans can watch a quality match that is both fair to the players and the ticket holders.

Televised matches here in the US are often tape delayed to bring in better viewer ratings, so they have no excuse that it causes issues with television schedules.

I suspect that I am not alone.  No Federer fan would like to see Roger stretched unfairly because of poor scheduling.  Nadal fans are tired of seeing their favorite asked to maintain his intensity over several days to finish one match only to be asked to play his best tennis the following day against an opponent who is well rested and clearly at a greater advantage for the extra time to rest.

The best way to describe my feelings toward the US Open Schedule makers is to quote a famous US tennis legend, "You Can't Be Serious!"