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Hair-raising reasons for a roof over Ashe

9/8/2012

What was supposed to be Super Saturday at the U.S. Open turned into Subpar Saturday due to 30 mph wind gusts and pending rain. The women’s final and second men's semifinal were postponed until Sunday, and Andy Murray and Tomas Berdych had to deal with "Wizard of Oz" wind conditions during their semifinal. Some fans missed their favorite players while others were told the value of their tickets would be put toward a 2013 match.

The men's final will be played on Monday for the fifth consecutive year.

All these problems could have been avoided if Arthur Ashe Stadium had a roof. After all, a roof would seem practical for a tournament held in hurricane season. It seems lost money, unhappy fans and postponed matches aren’t enough to convince USTA officials to build a roof over the stadium. If that’s not enough, here are some other reasons to consider covering the house that Ashe built.

Ad dollars: Arthur Ashe Stadium already is littered with sponsor logos on the net and around the lower bowl. So what’s the problem with one more logo? The retractable roof could have a Weather Channel logo and solar panels by Duracell. Can you imagine the awesome aerial blimp shots?

Rising temperatures: This is the people’s open, right? So why must the regular Joes burn from sun exposure in the cheap seats atop Arthur Ashe Stadium? I sat up there for the men’s doubles final, and it was hotter than a Louis Vuitton purse being sold on a New York City street corner. If there were a roof, the sun wouldn’t be an issue.

Jet engine junk: Arthur Ashe Stadium is a drop shot from LaGuardia Airport, giving fans great views all day of ascending planes. In 1990, NYC Mayor David Dinkins made a rule that planes would use special takeoff procedures to avoid noise at the U.S. Open. However, it seems inclement weather and strong winds have blown those procedures out the window. Players have held their serves due to jet engine noise, and when watching matches at home, it sounds like you’re on a runway. All that’s missing are peanuts and rude flight attendants.

Then there’s the issue of blue ice, frozen sewage material that sometimes falls from planes. No one wants that type of precipitation at a tennis match.

Throwback tennis fanatics: Fans stuck in the ’90s who want to get jiggy with it and raise the roof are totally lost with nothing to raise. Also, the chant “the roof, the roof, the roof is on fire,” is totally useless at a roofless Open.

Tennis turmoil: Remember when a fan at the Palace at Auburn Hills threw a drink at Metta World Peace, formerly Ron Artest and of the Indiana Pacers, and the Malice at the Palace began? Well, imagine that happening in tennis. Due to whistling winds, objects have been flying from the stands and onto the court during matches. Who’s to say a drink or one of those large goofy tennis balls won’t fly from the stands and strike a player? We’ve seen players jump into the stands at other majors, with good intentions. If they get heated and start swinging more than rackets, it could be a problem.

Roger Federer’s hair: Only the forces of nature have the power to mess up his coif and make this man look unattractive, but who wants to see that?