U.S. Open 2013 change puts men's final on Monday

NEW YORK Sat Dec 15, 2012 3:33am IST

Britain's Andy Murray reacts just before match point during his men's singles semi-final tennis match against Switzerland's Roger Federer at the ATP World Tour Finals at the O2 Arena in London November 11, 2012. REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett/Files

Britain's Andy Murray reacts just before match point during his men's singles semi-final tennis match against Switzerland's Roger Federer at the ATP World Tour Finals at the O2 Arena in London November 11, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Suzanne Plunkett/Files

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The U.S. Open tennis tournament has extended its schedule to a Monday men's finish next year after a fifth year of weather delays disrupted the event in September, the U.S. Tennis Association said on Friday.

The new program will feature a Sunday women's final followed by the men's title match on Monday, and provide a day's rest between the semi-finals and finals for both the men and women, bringing the U.S. Open in line with the other grand slams.

The change, which affects just the 2013 event pending a decision on the years going forward, will abolish the Open's controversial Super Saturday, that for nearly 30 years had the men's semi-finals and women's final scheduled on the same day.

The USTA, which had been harshly criticized by players over the scheduling, also announced an addition of $4 million to the prize money pool for the year's final grand slam, bringing the total to $29.5 million.

"Both the prize money increase and the addition of a day of rest are great for the players," Serena Williams, who won the 2012 women's crown for her fourth Open title, said in a statement. "These moves make the tournament stronger than it's ever been for all players."

Men's champion Andy Murray, who claimed his maiden grand slam title at the National Tennis Center, also applauded the change.

"I'm pleased that the USTA has modified the U.S. Open schedule to include a day of rest between the semi-finals and final," said the Scotsman, who became the fifth men's champion in a row to claim his title with a Monday finish.

"Together with the prize money increase, it's good that they've taken on board the players' concerns."

Rain delays wreaked havoc with the completion of the 2012 championships, triggering an annual debate and complaints from players and spectators over why the showcase courts are not covered.

Wimbledon and the Australian Open both have retractable roofs over their centre courts and the French Open has announced plans to do the same at Roland Garros.

The new program will spread the U.S. Open's finish over four days.

The men's singles semi-finals will continue to be played in a single day session on Saturday, with the men's singles final to take place on Monday.

The women's semi-finals will be played on Friday as usual, with their championship match on Sunday.

(Reporting by Larry Fine, editing by Mark Meadows and Gene Cherry)

Reuters Showcase

India Crush UAE

India Crush UAE

India cruise to easy win over UAE in Perth.  Read 

Budget 2015

Budget 2015

Full coverage of 2015/16 budget.  Full Coverage 

Sahara Saga

Sahara Saga

Some staff say Sahara has not paid salaries for months   Full Article 

Movie Review

Movie Review

"Dum Laga Ke Haisha" is rooted in reality, writes Shilpa Jamkhandikar.  Full Article | Related Story 

Nimoy Dies

Nimoy Dies

Leonard Nimoy, Star Trek's 'Mr. Spock,' dies at 83.  Full Article 

Gown Returned

Gown Returned

Lupita Nyong'o's $150,000 Oscar gown returned by thief via TMZ.  Full Article 

World Cup 2015

World Cup 2015

Full coverage of cricket world cup in Australia and New Zealand.  Full Coverage 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage