Tennis fans know that the 2023 Italian Open has been riddled with rain.
And on the next to last day of the tournament with big matches on the docket, the rain wreaked havoc again.
The only ones to escape the day’s delays were Holger Rune and Casper Ruud.
Daniil Medvedev and Stefanos Tsitsipas were tied at 4-4 in the first set when rain came.
Nearly three hours later, they resumed play for one game before another rain delay ensued.
Medvedev ousted Tsitsipas in straight sets, and maybe the rain explains his on-court celebration dance.
Add this to the list of iconic Daniil Medvedev celebrations 🤣pic.twitter.com/ji9KhHyvpF
— kr9pton (@kr9ptonlul) May 20, 2023
Things went from bad to worse for the women’s final which for some reason tournament officials insisted upon starting at 11:00 PM Rome time in an empty stadium.
Maybe the final of a tournament as prestigious as the Italian Open should finish at 11 pm but it should never START at 11 pm
Tennis needs a schedule cleanse#RybakinaKalinina
— Christopher Clarey 🇺🇸 🇫🇷 🇪🇸 (@christophclarey) May 20, 2023
At press time, it is even in the first set between No. 7 Elena Rybakina and Anhelina Kalinina.
Back on the road! 🛣️
Rybakina breaks back to level things up! 3-3 in the first set.#IBI23 | @WTA pic.twitter.com/L8KHEUDGvB
— Internazionali BNL d'Italia (@InteBNLdItalia) May 20, 2023
What Are The Alternatives When It Rains In Rome?
One option would be to plan to play both the women’s and men’s singles finals on Sunday.
That way if weather is a problem (as it usually is), there is one extra day to work with.
The Italian Open organizers chose not to go that route this year with Rybakina and Kalinina is still shocking.
Of course, there are logistical issues with spectators, tickets, and scheduling, but these two players have been warming up for the better part of the day to finally take the court at 11 PM.
Kalininia is vying for her first WTA tour victory (she won one WTA Challenger event); this is a big deal.
It is also a big deal for Rybakina who is trying to climb into the Top 5 rankings.
The women’s doubles final was another scheduling mess with Jessica Pegula and Coco Gauff losing in straight sets to Storm Hunter and Elise Mertens after a prolonged delay and a decision to play on the smaller Pietrangeli court.
WTA 1000 Title No 2️⃣ for ☔️ 👏👏
🇦🇺 Storm Hunter / 🇧🇪 Elise Mertens (4) def top seeds 🇺🇸 Coco Gauff / 🇺🇸 Jessica Pegula (1) 6-4, 6-4 to win the WTA 1000 @InteBNLdItalia in Rome.
– 6th overall WTA doubles 🏆
– Jumps to a doubles career high 5️⃣ in the world. #TheFirstServe pic.twitter.com/UA4V0A4YjX
— The First Serve (@TheFirstServeAU) May 20, 2023
That match could potentially have been moved to Sunday also.
Obviously, no one can control the weather, but smart scheduling around it and potentially building a roof are viable options.
Both should be considered for future Italian Opens.