By Jane Voigt
Daniel Island, S.C., April 7, 2018 — For the first time in its 18 years of presenting this tournament on Daniel Island, S.C., both women’s semifinal matches were cancelled this afternoon forcing them to be played, along with the final, tomorrow.
Before the Volvo Car Open officially announced the cancellation, which was around 5 p.m., one doubles semifinal had been completed and the first semifinal in women’s singles had started. However at 4-games all in the opening set between fifth-seeded Julia Goerges and eighth-seeded Anastasija Sevastova, the rains game and fans skedaddled for cover.
“Luckily for me I was standing under a roof,” Leslie Billman, owner of tennisclix.com, said. “The only hardship was getting my camera gear to the media center.”
The storm, which crept up the east coast, was predicted to cause trouble for the tournament. Its website posted a notice yesterday: “The tournament is currently monitoring the weather forecast for Saturday, April 7. Due to impending storms during mid-afternoon the semifinal matches may be subject to change.”
But even with National Weather Service radar at the click of a button, the wait was the hardest part for an official notice of cancellation. Would the remainder of the matches — 2 single semifinals, a doubles semifinal and the fun-packed Invesco Legends Charleston event starring Andy Roddick, Mark Philippoussis, Michael Chang and Tommy Haas — come off?
The fab-four of the fading tennis league were axed a bit past three and re-scheduled for 8 a.m. Sunday.
“Anybody going to cover the Legends tomorrow morning?” the media coordinator asked the press. Only response — laughter.
Delays, though, are not that uncommon. Tennis is an outdoor sport, as we know.
In 2017 at the Miami Open. Christina McHale was leading the then reigning French Open champion Garbine Muguruza 6-2, 3-2, when rain cancelled the match for the day. The next day, Muguruza reversed her engines winning 0-6, 7-6(6), 6-4.
Michael Joyce, former coach for Maria Sharapova and current coach of Victoria Azarenka, has had to remind his players they are still in a match. “As much as you may want the match anxiety to be over, you have to manage it, knowing that when the match will resume is completely out of your control,” Joyce said, in an interview with Tennis Life.
During his playing years Joyce was all too familiar with the pitfalls of rain messing up a match.
“In 1966 I was playing Wimbledon,” Joyce began. “First round I get Andrea Baudenzi. We started on Monday; he beat me in five sets ending on Thursday or something. It was crazy. There had to be like a dozen stoppages.”
Tomorrow’s schedule for women’s tennis starts at 10:30 a.m. with Kiki Bertens (No.12) and Madison Keys (No.7). Then Julia Goerges (No.5) and Anastasia Sevastova (No.8) will complete their semifinal. That will be followed by the women’s doubles final and, finally, the women’s singles final. Tennis Channel will present the matches.