It all started on Monday night.
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France and Borna Coric of Croatia had just begun their first-round match at the Rogers Cup presented by National Bank when the rain came down on Centre Court at STADE IGA, promptly sending them back to the locker room.
The showers stopped and the maintenance crew and ball kids dried the courts. Tsonga and Coric were back on track. But Mother Nature wasn’t having any of it.
With the Frenchman up 2-1, the duel was postponed.
On Tuesday morning, the rain was falling with renewed intensity. And it poured until noon.
The rainfall finally stopped at around 12:30 p.m.—the time at which the afternoon matches are set to begin.
Around 1:30 p.m., once Centre Court was dry, ATP supervisor Tim Barnes and tournament referee William Coffey had a chat and checked the surface.
Things weren’t quite up to par: small areas of the court had absorbed too much water. The drying machines reappeared. At 2:30 p.m., the court was finally ready as Fernando Verdasco of Spain and Nick Kyrgios of Australia headed out to do battle.
Behind the scenes, tournament director Eugène Lapierre smiled with satisfaction.
“I thought we’d have to reschedule the afternoon session,” said Lapierre. “We were prepared for that and then, all of a sudden, the skies cleared and we could play. It’s just too bad for the spectators who didn’t think it would happen.”
Because a lot of things at the Rogers Cup depend on the weather, organizers have several contingency plans.
“We’re prepared for everything, including the players’ practice times this morning,” explained Lapierre. “They thought they’d get here today and have to wait around but we had courts ready. The staff in the ticket office was also prepared for the worst.”
But despite every precaution, the weather can sometimes force organizers to find original ways to keep the tournament rolling.
“There was a doubles final that was played indoors,” said Lapierre. “A long time ago, in the 1980s, there was even a doubles final that was played during the US Open!”
Rain or shine, one thing is certain: someone will win the Rogers Cup.