The players are boiling, but the tournament isn’t budging.
After countless complaints about the steamy 90-degree temperatures and suffocating humidity from players and fans alike, the US Open has adopted a minor change in its policy regarding roofed stadiums — but won’t entirely close the roofs on Arthur Ashe and Louis Armstrong Stadium.
“Following the conclusion of the Jelena Ostapenko-Coco Gauff match on Tuesday, September 5, the tournament opted to partially close the roof over Arthur Ashe Stadium. Additionally, following the conclusion of the first set in the Linette/Pera-Brady/Stefani match, the roof in Louis Armstrong Stadium was partially closed,” USTA spokesman Chris Widmaier said in a statement to The Post.
“The decision in both instances was made to provide relief from the sun and heat for the fans. By partially closing the roofs, both courts became shaded which improved conditions for the players,” Widmaier continued. “This decision is made by the Tournament Referee, but he got input from tournament management and the medical team.
“At that point in the tournament all singles matches were, and would continue to be, scheduled in Arthur Ashe Stadium. Also, that point on Tuesday, marked the first time the Extreme Heat Policy went into effect.”
The heat policy also includes a stipulation that allows for a longer break between sets when the temperature crosses 86.2 degrees Fahrenheit.
Temperatures are set to stay in the 80s and 90s until the tournament’s conclusion Sunday, along with intense humidity.
Widmaier said that the partial roof closing would be a staple for at least the rest of this year’s Open.
“Additionally, the Tournament Referee made the decision to keep this course of action for the remainder of the tournament. Therefore, the roofs in Ashe and Armstrong also were partially closed during Wednesday’s completion,” Widmaier wrote in the statement. “The Extreme Weather Policy was in effect from the beginning of play on Wednesday.
“The decision has nothing to do with cost. The U.S. Open is an outdoor tournament, but we did want to provide relief for fans where we could. That was the driver of the decision, but by partially closing the roofs, shade is cast on the court, and does improve playing conditions.”
After Daniil Medvedev beat Andrey Rublev in a three-set match during the quarterfinal, he had a warning about the tournament’s climbing temperatures.
“You cannot imagine,” Medvedev said. “One player (is) gonna die, and they’re gonna see.
“The only thing that is a little bit, let’s call it dangerous, is that the question is: How far could we go?”