NEW YORK—Serena Williams had to wait to try to continue her bid for a calendar-year Grand Slam after her U.S. Open semi-final was postponed yesterday because of rain in the forecast.
The top-seeded Williams was supposed to face 43rd-ranked Roberta Vinci of Italy last night at Flushing Meadows.
But nearly four hours before that match would have started, the U.S. Tennis Association—citing a prediction of “rain throughout the evening”—pushed back both women’s semi-finals until today.
When the USTA announced the re-scheduling, there were doubles and juniors matches in progress.
Williams is trying to become the first tennis player since Steffi Graf in 1988 to earn all four Grand Slam titles in a single season.
She won the Australian Open in January, the French Open in June, and Wimbledon in July.
Now the 33-year-old American has won her first five matches at the U.S. Open—and needs two more victories to add that championship to her 2015 collection.
The other women’s semi-final moved to today is No. 2 Simona Halep of Romania against No. 26 Flavia Pennetta of Italy.
It will create a high-profile and packed schedule for today, when the men’s semi-finals already were slotted.
In those matches, No. 1 Novak Djokovic meets defending champ Marin Cilic while No. 2 Roger Federer plays his Swiss Olympic and Davis Cup teammate, No. 5 Stan Wawrinka.
Williams vs. Vinci was supposed to start last night at 7 p.m., followed by the other women’s semi-final.
Now the first women’s semi-final will slated to begin at 11 a.m. today, when the forecast was much more promising.
The other women’s match will follow.
The men’s semi-finals then will be played after that, beginning at 5 p.m. instead of the originally-scheduled 3 p.m.
The U.S. Open has a long history of scheduling problems due to weather, including five-straight men’s finals postponed from Sunday to Monday from 2008-12.
As part of a broader, $500-million-plus renovation plan for the tournament site, the U.S. Tennis Association has been constructing a retractable roof atop the main court (Arthur Ashe Stadium) that is planned to be ready for next year’s U.S. Open.
For now, a framework of more than 6,500 tons of steel sits atop that stadium.
But the work to install the retractable panels will resume after this year’s tournament ends.