- Associated Press - Wednesday, September 7, 2011

NEW YORK (AP) - All matches at the U.S. Open on Wednesday have been called off because of rain.

After postponing all the men’s matches earlier in the day, tournament officials had been hoping to squeeze in four women’s quarterfinals. But at 8:15 p.m., with rain in the forecast for the rest of the night, those matches were scrapped too.

Only 15 minutes of tennis was played Wednesday, the second straight day that rain washed out play.

Matches will resume at 11 a.m. Thursday _ weather permitting.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP’s earlier story is below.

NEW YORK (AP) _ Rafael Nadal, Andy Roddick and Andy Murray got in about 15 minutes of tennis Wednesday _ barely enough to work up a sweat, but more than enough to get into a snit.

Rain washed out some matches for the second straight day at the U.S. Open, creating a logjam in the schedule and a bigger mess in the locker room, where the big-name players questioned the wisdom of putting them out on courts that were still damp thanks to a fine mist that was falling in the morning.

Shortly after they started, play was called, then late in the afternoon, the players were sent home _ their fourth-round matches now scheduled to be completed Thursday.

U.S. Tennis Association officials didn’t immediately cancel women’s play, knowing if they could squeeze any of those quarterfinal matches in, they could stay on some semblance of a schedule _ and make the TV broadcasters a bit happier.

The forecast in New York for Wednesday night called for a 100 percent chance of rain.

“Grand Slams is about a lot of money,” Nadal said in an interview on ESPN after falling behind 3-0 to unseeded Gilles Muller. “We’re part of the show. They’re just working for that, not for us. They know it’s still raining and call us onto the court. That’s not possible. … I understand the fans are there. But the players are important in this part of the show, too, and we didn’t feel protected.”

After being called off the court when the mist turned into rain, Nadal, Roddick and Murray all went to the tournament director’s office to discuss the situation.

Aware of the criticism, the USTA released a statement, saying there appeared to be a two-hour window without rain in the morning and because of that, officials decided to start play.

“Unfortunately, not all light rain and mist shows up on radar,” the USTA said. “We have experienced referees, and they decide if courts are fit for play. Conditions may be not ideal, but still can be safe. However, if a player or players feel that conditions are unsafe, we listen to them, as we have always done, and the referee uses that information as part of his/her assessment on whether to continue or halt play.”

Two men’s quarterfinal matches _ Roger Federer against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Novak Djokovic against Janko Tipsarevic _ were postponed earlier in the day.

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