Arthur Ashe Stadium roof closes for first time

The newly unveiled roof over Arthur Ashe Stadium was closed for the first time Wednesday night, with light rains forcing it to shut during the evening match between Rafael Nadal and Andreas Seppi.

Rain started to fall with Nadal up, 6-0, 3-3, forcing a slight delay in play while the retractable roof, completed for 2016, was closed. It is the first time the roof has been utilized at the US Open – a welcome respite from lengthy rain delays for the fans in attendance.

Once closed, a series of shutters within Arthur Ashe Stadium are opened and the stadium is conditioned and the air management system is activated so the playing conditions remain consistent.

Play was suspended at 10:38 p.m. ET and resumed at 10:46 p.m. And officially, the roof closed in 5 minutes and 22 seconds, with Nadal holding the distincion of being the first player to hit a ball under its canopy. He was, coincidentally, the first player to practice under the closed roof as well.

"The USTA had a bold vision to transform the entire Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. The roof has been a huge part of that transformation, and it worked flawlessly tonight," said USTA Executive Director and COO Gordon Smith.

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