The U.S. Open Tennis Championships are currently underway in Flushing Meadows, New York. Olympic Gold Medallist Andy Murray has just advanced to the third round, but his match has revealed a big problem with the newly installed center court roof. He said that the rain hitting the roof made the venue extremely noisy.
“You could hear the line calls, but not so much when he was hitting the ball or even when you’re hitting the ball, really, which is tough because we’re not used to it. That’s what makes it challenging,” said Murray in an interview published by the New York Post.
Murray’s opponent, Marcel Granollers, also had some choice words about the distracting noise. “It was so annoying, and it was difficult to play because when you hit the ball, normally you feel that you are hitting. With the rain, when I hit, I didn’t feel nothing. It was also difficult to concentrate,” he shared. The second round match between Murray and Granollers was concluded in favor of Murray 6-4 6-1 6-4.
The rain on Thursday revealed the extreme noise issue, but even before the weather shifted, the roof already proved to be problematic. Simona Halep defeated Lucie Safarova under the roof in Arthur Ashe stadium earlier in the day. Even without the pounding rain, the ventilation system emitted a distracting noise.
The roof, which was built for US$150 million, apparently magnified even the slightest noise from the crowd. “In tennis, normally you are used to playing with silence. With the new court, even if the roof is open, there is noise out there,” said Spanish star Rafael Nadal.
CNN reports that the roof was at least able to keep center court action going. The outside courts in the U.S. Open were drenched and schedules were extremely affected by the weather conditions. Despite the problems caused by the new roof, it saves the TV audience from having to watch replays. At the same time, live spectators are able to continue enjoying the games regardless of weather conditions.