Rafael Nadal glided into the third round of the US Open on Wednesday as smoothly as the new roof over Arthur Ashe stadium slid shut for the first time during a match.
Two-time champion Nadal, seeded fourth, defeated Italy’s Andreas Seppi 6-0, 7-5, 6-1 to book a meeting with Russian Andrey Kuznetsov for a place in the round of 16.
Retractable roof called into action
The $150 million retractable roof on top of the Arthur Ashe Stadium court at the US Open was called into action for the first time as rain hit the tournament on Wednesday.
The giant structure took only a few moments to close, allowing Rafael Nadal and Andreas Seppi to resume their second round match beneath it.
“Play was suspended at 0238 GMT and play resumed at 0246 GMT — total suspension of play was 7 minutes and 22 seconds,” said a statement by the US Tennis Association (USTA).
“The roof closed in 5 minutes and 35 seconds. The closing occurred prior to Nadal serving at 3-3 in the second set. Nadal won the first set 6-0.
“Rafael Nadal has the distinction of hitting the first practice and match ball under a closed roof in Arthur Ashe Stadium.”