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Rain postpones Sharapova-Bartoli to Wednesday, delays Roddick-Del Potro

By Brian Stubits | CBSSports.com
Rain, rain, go away, there's some important tennis to play. (Getty Images)


The rain in New York continues to fall, wreaking havoc on the Tuesday schedule at the U.S. Open.

Thanks to the second rain delay of the day and the longest of the Open so far, the match between Maria Sharapova and Marion Bartoli was suspended and postponed until Wednesday. That's great news for Sharapova, who was being blitzed out of the open by Bartoli. The Frenchwoman, playing close to flawless tennis, led 4-0 when the rains came.

The rest of the singles matches were simply delayed and the hope is that they will be concluded on Tuesday night as the weather is expected to clear up for a few hours.That includes the big match of the night when Andy Roddick faces Juan Martin Del Potro. The weather has forced Open officials to scramble and shuffle Tuesday's remaining matches. Once play resumes, Roddick and Del Potro will be first up on the main court at Ashe.

Hopefully, the rain won't keep the crowd away as the atmosphere under the lights in what could realistically be Roddick's final match of his career would be awesome. Roddick figures to need all the help he can get from the crowd, too, if he's going to take down the 2009 Open champ Del Potro.

When the rain came, David Ferrer and Richard Gasquetwere playing for a spot in the quarterfinals on the court at Armstrong with Ferrer up two sets to none and the players on serve in the third set at 4-3. However Ferrer was up in Gasquet's service game, 30-15. With the match potentially close to the finish, it will resume Tuesday night.

The Novak Djovkovic-Stanislas Wawrinka match, which was scheduled for the morning session on Ashe, was bumped to Armstrong to follow the Ferrer-Gasquet match. Meanwhile, the second match scheduled for Armstrong between Janko Tipsarevic and Philipp Kohlschreiberwas moved to the Grandstand, where it will be the only match of the night on that court.

The only match of the day that was completed was the first of the day. That saw No. 1 Victoria Azarenka squeek by No. 7 and defending champion Samantha Stosur 6-1, 4-6, 7-6 (5) in the best women's match thus far. It was the first time in five years that a women's match in the quarterfinals or later at the U.S. Open required a third-set tie-breaker.

In the case of Sharapova, this has the potential to be the second time that the rain came to her rescue. In her fourth-round match, she was in a world of hurt, down a break in the third set to Nadia Petrova and seemingly out of sorts. A rain delay came and she was able to retreat to the dressing room where she chatted with her coach and her father via phone. That helped her gather herself and she came out and dominated after the delay, advacing to this point.

She might need a pep talk from Knute Rockne to get this match turned around. In the short amount of time they played, Sharapova had few answers for Bartoli, the firecracker who is playing some of her best tennis. When she is on, she can compete with anybody, as she proved Tuesday.

 
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