Rafael Nadal made history last night become the first player to win a match under the new $150 million Arthur Ashe roof at the US Open. Nadal was playing Italian Andreas Seppi when rain drops start falling at the US Open just past 10:30pm.
At 10:39pm and 3-3 in the second set, play was stopped and the roof closed in just 5-minutes, 35-seconds. Once play resumed at 10:46pm, Nadal struggled a little but eventually won the set and the match 60, 75, 61.
Afterward, Nadal, who was also the first to practice under the roof, tried unsuccessfully to hit the roof with a ball. He talked then talked about the experience.
Q. What was it like playing out there before and after the roof closed? Did you notice any change?
RAFAEL NADAL: No, is good. Is great to be the first player to play with the roof closed, on the competition, because I was the first player to hit in the center court with the roof closed.
Just happy. The difference is not many. No big difference. With the roof open there is no wind at all, so is not a big change. And the roof is so high you don’t feel that you are closed, no? That’s my feeling. Today I didn’t feel the change.
Is great. Is an unbelievable, unbelievable court. So nice.
Q. Would you say there is much more difference in Australia and Wimbledon when the roof is closed than here?
RAFAEL NADAL: I feel it’s little bit different because here the roof is higher. How much higher is the roof, less feeling of indoor court you have.
After his win over Seppi, Nadal will next meet Andrey Kuznetsova Friday on Ashe.
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