NEW YORK—The partial roof on Arthur Ashe Stadium has changed playing conditions significantly, according to Roger Federer and Andy Murray.
The structure, which will eventually provide the court with a retractable roof, reduces the traditionally windy conditions and increases the sound from the stands, suggested Federer.
“I don't know if it’s a good thing or not,” said Federer, a five-time U.S. Open champion. “But of course I like the feeling of these big center courts with the roof on. We’re used to it Australian Open, Wimbledon, Shanghai, other places. So for that matter, I like it.”
The conditions are different but more predictable, added Federer, which could improve player performance.
“I think it’s going to increase the level of play from all players,” he said. “If you think about it, probably more so the top players, because you know what to expect and you're not going to have to fight the wind as much. If you don’t have to fight the wind you can play closer to the lines and make it better tennis. So probably it might be better for the top guys, my opinion.
“And also just I do feel like it’s quite loud, you know. Maybe in American sports it's quite common that the fans do talk during games or matches. I feel like the roof might bring that back down, so, you know, you hear the crowd speaking more, which before I don’t remember hearing ever.”
Murray said the stadium was “definitely different. Different sound, different atmosphere.”
“Normally that court is pretty windy. Now with the sort of roof, there’s barely any wind on the court at all. And, yeah, that’s a big change,” said the former U.S. Open champion.
Federer and Murray both won their first-round matches at the tournament.