Rain alters U.S. Open schedule, final on Monday

NEW YORK: Rain has delayed the men''s and women''s final of the U.S. Open for another day for the second year in a row, with the women playing for the title on Sunday night and the men finishing Monday, if weather doesn''t cause further delay.

Not a ball was hit at the National Tennis Center Friday as rain soaked the courts all day and the expected window of opportunity was slammed shut with women''s semifinals pushed to Saturday.

US Open officials called off the continuation of the men''s quarterfinal between Rafael Nadal and Fernando Gonzalez that had started in Ashe Stadium Thursday night but was suspended by niggling sprinkles. Nadal leads by a set and was up 3-2 in the second set tiebreaker. Completion of that match Friday was crucial to keeping the Open on schedule for the traditional men''s semifinals on Saturday afternoon and the men''s final Sunday afternoon.

Now there is a new schedule, but rain is still in the forecast for Saturday afternoon. The Nadal match will be first on Ashe Stadium at noon, followed by the men''s doubles final, matching Lukas Dlouhy- Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi-Mark Knowles.

The doubles final will be followed by the first women''s semifinal between Caroline Wozniacki and Yanina Wickmayer. The Serena Williams-Kim Clijsters semifinal is scheduled to move into the prime time spot at 8 Saturday night.

If rain has significant impact, several matches could be contested simultaneously on Ashe, Louis Armstrong and the Grandstand, which was an alternative late in the afternoon Friday.