, Serena Williams, of the United States, serves to Karolina Pliskova, of the Czech Republic, during the quarterfinals of the U.S. Open tennis tournament, Tuesday, Sept. 4, 2018, in New York. (AP Photo/Jason DeCrow)
06 of September 2018 19:41:32
NEW YORK (AP) — Serena Williams and the other U.S. Open women's semifinalists will play their matches under a closed roof.
U.S. Tennis Association officials decided about five hours before 23-time major champion Williams was to face No. 19 seed Anastasija Sevastova of Latvia in the first semifinal Thursday night that they would shut the arena because of a forecast that called for a thunderstorm and strong wind.
The USTA said the roof would remain closed throughout the evening session, no matter what develops with the weather.
No. 14 Madison Keys, the 2017 runner-up, meets No. 20 Naomi Osaka of Japan in the second semifinal Thursday.
This is the third year that the U.S. Open is being contested with a roof available at Ashe. A second retractable roof was added to the facility this year at the new Louis Armstrong Stadium as part of a $600 million renovation project around the grounds.
Williams is looking to reach the final for the ninth time and she is bidding for a seventh title in New York. Sevastova is making her debut appearance in a Grand Slam semifinal after knocking off defending champion Sloane Stephens in the quarterfinals.
Williams and Sevastova have never played each other.
Keys has beaten Osaka all three times they have met, including this year at the French Open and two years ago at the U.S. Open, when she came back after trailing 5-1 in the third set.
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