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Beyond the Baseline

Revised U.S. Open schedule sparks questions

The USTA is having such a fun time this week that it just doesn't want this tournament to be over. After an afternoon of spotless weather (unless you count rain coming up from the ground "weather"), the USTA revealed a revised schedule of play for the remainder of the tournament. The big news? The two dreaded U.S. Open words: Monday Final.

The USTA announced that the following changes would be made because heavy rain washed out two days of play this week:

• The women's semifinals, originally scheduled for Friday, will now be played on Saturday night.

• The women's final, originally scheduled for Saturday night, is rescheduled for Sunday at 4 p.m.

• The men's final, originally scheduled for Sunday afternoon, is rescheduled for Monday at 4 p.m.

"We revised the schedule for the remainder of the 2011 U.S. Open in an effort to be fair to the players and our ticket holders," tournament director Jim Curley said in a statement. "This is the result of a collaborative effort with the players, CBS Sports and tournament officials to address the issues that arose from the inclement weather earlier this week."

This will now be the fourth consecutive year the men's final will be pushed to Monday because of weather issues. The changes mean that the players remaining in the bottom half of the draw (Rafael Nadal, Andy Murray, Andy Roddick and John Isner) won't have to play four straight days on the road to the finals. They'll have Sunday off to rest. They're still at a disadvantage, as they have to play their quarterfinals on Friday while the top half (anchored by Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer) rests, but at least the man who makes it out of the bottom half will have a day off before the final.

But what about the women? To quote Roddick, this is "absolutely baffling." The women's semifinals will be played Saturday night starting at 7 p.m., and then the winners will have to turn around to play a 4 p.m. final the next day. Really, that seems a bit much. Why not have the men play their semifinals Saturday night/late afternoon, and the women play theirs in the day? That would at least give them a 24-hour break between matches.

I know, I know. TV, TV, TV. But sometimes I just can't squelch my inner idealist.

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