The forecasted rains hit Rome Tennis Masters on Sunday postponing the men’s final about 24 hours to Monday noon local time.
Luckily, neither player has a tournament this week and they won’t be playing in Paris realistically until a week from Monday.
As for the delay, as long as they can finish the match Monday I don’t think the postponement will have any impact on what happens in Paris.
If the rain continues, though, it will be interesting to see when and if the final will be played. With the No. 2 seeding at stake it’s paramount to get the match in, but how long can they and the players wait, especially when both guys are the two slowest players in the sport? So they’ll need quite a rain-free window to get the match completed.
Before the weather hit, Maria Sharapova defended her Rome title beating Li Na in a wet women’s final. Li Na led a set and 4-0 in the second before completely collapsing. Na was able to recover a break deficit in the third to get back to level – holding a matchpoint even – but as the rain drops intensified the match was halted for two hours just before the third set set breaker.
Finally, after both players agreed to finish the match in wet conditions, Sharapova got the win 4-6, 6-4, 7-6(5).
“I don’t mind rain – actually I like it,” Sharapova said. “One time it helped me a lot, when I won Wimbledon. In the semifinals it started raining when I was down and out against Lindsay Davenport. I was pretty much booking my ticket back home. But when we came back I managed to turn it around.
“Today the court was wet and slippery when we came back, but the umpire told us it was our decision, and both of us wanted to keep going.”
Sharapova, who also won in Stuttgart two weeks ago, is missing just the French Open to complete her career Slam. With the way she’s been playing this year she’s among the Top 3 favorites.
Li Na, who won the French Open last year, was in good spirits after the tough loss.
“Obviously it’s tough to rest for two hours and then play again, but I still have many positive things from this match,” Li Na said. “Playing a tough match like that showed me I’m strong, and physically I felt great. I can take a lot of positive things away from this week and I think I’m ready for the French Open.
“We both had our chances today, but in the end she was just better.”
Tennis Channel will (hopefully) have live coverage of the men’s final starting at 6am ET.
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