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Rain delays women's, men's semifinals to create 'Fantastic Friday' at US Open

By Doug G. Ware
Rain delays women's, men's semifinals to create 'Fantastic Friday' at US Open
Play was postponed at the United States Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows, N.Y., Thursday due to rain in the New York City metro area. The women's semifinals were moved to Friday. The men's semifinals will follow, tournament officials said. Photo: Lev Radin / Shutterstock

FLUSHING MEADOWS, N.Y., Sept. 10 (UPI) -- The 2015 United States Open Tennis Championships will be the first without the traditional "Super Saturday" -- the final weekend of the tournament that in the past staged the women's singles final and both men's semifinals in the same day.

But this year, we do get "Fantastic Friday" -- as inadvertent as it may be.

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Rain in the New York City metropolitan area Thursday led tournament officials to scrap both women's semifinal matches -- and push them both to Friday.

Top-seed Serena Williams, fresh off defeating her sister Venus in the quarterfinal, will face Italian Roberta Vinci -- the only remaining unseeded women's player. On the other side, 2-seed Simona Halep (Romania) will play 26-seeded Flavia Pennetta (Italy).

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The winners advance to play each other in the women's final on Saturday. It is possible, albeit unlikely, that two Italians will be playing for the US Open title.

Serena needs two more victories to capture the coveted Grand Slam -- titles at all four major tennis tournaments in a single calendar year. The last time any player achieved the feat was Steffi Graf 27 years ago.

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The men's semifinal matches, which were moved from Saturday to Friday beginning this year, will begin after the women. The first men's semifinal was scheduled for 3 p.m. EDT, but has been rescheduled for 5 p.m. to accommodate the women's semis.

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Top seed Novak Djokovic (Serbia) will play defending champion and 9-seed Marin Cilic (Croatia). Second-seeded Roger Federer will square off against 5-seed and fellow countryman Stan Wawrinka (Switzerland).

Rain delays or postponements are far from uncommon at the US Open. In fact, weather is the very reason a new retractable roof is being built over Arthur Ashe Stadium. The framing is already in place, and officials say the project will be complete in time for next year's tournament.

The women's semifinals will begin Friday at 11 a.m. EDT, followed by the men's. The matches will be broadcast live by ESPN.

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