Rain ruins Rogers Cup semifinals

Due to a rainout Saturday, the Rogers Cup singles semifinals will be held simultaneously at Uniprix...

Due to a rainout Saturday, the Rogers Cup singles semifinals will be held simultaneously at Uniprix Stadium Sunday morning at 11 a.m. (ERIC BOLTE/QMI Agency)

BRIAN DALY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:05 AM ET

MONTREAL — Steady rain derailed Saturday's action at the $2 million Rogers Cup despite organizers' best attempts to squeeze in both semi-finals.

The matches will now be held simultaneously at Uniprix Stadium on Sunday morning at 11 a.m.

No. 2 seed Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark was up 2-0 on Russian Svetlana Kuznetsova in the first set Saturday before the match was halted.

Victoria Azarenka of Belarus will take on Russia's Vera Zvonareva in the second semifinal.

The doubles semifinals were also rained out and were bumped to Sunday.

They could be held at a large indoor tennis complex next to the stadium if the weather doesn't co-operate.

The grandstands in 12,000-seat stadium sat empty during the rain delay on Saturday afternoon as the few thousand remaining fans huddled in corridors or inside tents, awaiting news.

The rain finally let up towards 6 p.m., the stadium refilled to about a quarter capacity and a cheer went up throughout the grounds as two sponge trucks began drying centre court. About a dozen young men with large wheeled fans joined in and Wozniacki and Kuznetsova took the court just before 7 p.m.

But they didn't stay there for long.

They got in 10 minutes and two games before the skies opened up again. Then it was another two hours before they were able to start again. Then the rain fell again before they were able to complete a single point.

Not to leave without a show for the remaining 3,000 fans, though, Wozniacki pulled a small soccer ball out of her bag. The women lined up on their respective sides of centre court and kicked the ball to each other for a few minutes before signing some autographs and leaving for the night.

More rain was in the forecast for Sunday afternoon and tournament officials were prepared to hold matches on Monday or even Tuesday if necessary.

Tournament director Eugene Lapierre says that even if it does rain, they should be able to stage at least some complete matches. He added that Saturday's near-complete rainout was a fluke.

"I've rarely seen days where we could play two only games in one full day. I would be very surprised if it happens tomorrow," said told a news conference.

Pushing matches back to Monday would present significant logistical problems.

Most of the 1,200 adult volunteers and some of the paid staff would likely not be available during the week because of their regular jobs.

Remaining staff and any available volunteers would pick up the slack, as happened during the last Rogers Cup rainout in 2008.


Photos