US Open 2021: All You Need to Know About the Rules of Retractable Roof

Published 09/01/2021, 2:13 PM EDT
NEW YORK, NY – SEPTEMBER 01: A general view of Arthur Ashe Stadium with the roof closed during the second round Men’s Singles match between Andy Murray of Great Britain and Marcel Granollers of Spain on Day Four of the 2016 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 1, 2016 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)


After eight months of a spectacular tennis season, it is time now to witness the last Grand Slam of the year. The US Open 2021 began on August 30, 2021 and is currently going on. The matches begin at 11:00 am local time and can go up to 12:00 midnight depending upon the external conditions and length of the games.

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Thankfully, a frequent and irritating hindrance won’t halt the flow of enthralling tennis from the US Open. There’s no need to worry about rain anymore as the US Open management installed a retractable roof in 2016. Matches can now continue unimpeded, regardless of outer atmospheric conditions. As a result, time gets saved and there is no delay in matches because of rain.

Fireworks explode over Arthur Ashe Stadium during the opening ceremony. Day One of the 2014 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on August 25, 2014 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Michael Heiman/Getty Images)

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Everything to know about the retractable roof rules at the US Open 2021

There are a set of rules that decide when the roof remains open and when it can be closed.

A team of meteorologists submits its report to tournament referee two hours before the start of play. If the conditions are not ideal, like it is about to rain, the US Open 2021 organizers are ready to close the roof at any moment. As is the norm, the final decision to close the roof lies in the hands of the tournament referee.

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A general view of Arthur Ashe Stadium during the Women’s Singles third round match between Naomi Osaka of Japan and Cori Gauff of the United States on day six of the 2019 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on August 31, 2019 in Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images)

The roof takes about seven minutes to close and the shutters take around 30 seconds to come down. Once the roof has been closed, all fans are required to wear their masks. This is mandatory even during the night matches when the referee may decide to close the roof.

Once the roof is closed, there are vents present inside the arena which circulate air to maintain the same temperature and pressure as outside. Also, when the matches are over, the roof remains closed till the start of the next day’s play to avoid any potential weather risks.

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Thus, there are a large set of rules that one must follow before opening or closing of the retractable roof. There is no doubt that its installation has made the play much more convenient for the players.

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Anshul Singh

1279 articles

Anshul Singh is a tennis author at EssentiallySports, currently pursuing Journalism Honors from Delhi University. Having significant experience with content, Anshul has authored over 500 tennis articles. He has previously worked as a writer and an editor for DU Express, penning riveting articles on sports, politics, and culture.

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