Rain suspends play on second day; no matches completed

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

NEW YORK -- Amelie Mauresmo wiped raindrops from her face and Lleyton Hewitt nearly skidded into a split as bad weather played havoc with the U.S. Open on a stop-and-go Tuesday.

All 64 matches on the schedule were pushed back to today, as was a remembrance of Hurricane Katrina on the one-year anniversary. The forecast called for morning showers.

Only nine matches started, and that was after a 3 1/2-hour rain delay. None of them came close to completion.

The top-seeded Mauresmo won her opening set against unheralded Kristina Barrois 6-1, but was trailing 2-5 in the second when play was halted for a second time. About five hours later, organizers gave up on them resuming Tuesday.

Mauresmo was hoping to add a third Grand Slam title this year, having won the Australian Open and Wimbledon. Barrois was making her U.S. Open debut.

Only a few thousand fans were in Ashe when that match began. Those sitting in the upper deck were allowed to move down to the lower, pricey seats. That didn't stop them from booing, however, when play was stopped.

Hewitt, the 2001 U.S. Open champion, and Albert Montanes were tied at 5-5 in the first set when it was suspended. That came right after Hewitt's right foot slid on the slippery baseline and he almost went into a split.

Other players who managed to get on court included 2004 French Open champion Anastasia Myskina, up-and-coming French teen Gael Monfils and Americans Meghann Shaughnessy and Jamea Jackson.

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