Late afternoon and evening thunderstorms that have delayed play three straight days at the BB&T Atlanta Open are again in the forecast Thursday and onward through the weekend.
Despite the stoppages - 90 minutes Monday, three hours Tuesday, and a Wednesday halt of play for four-and-a-half hours – the tournament is progressing along with a full schedule of matches ready to be played Thursday.
On Wednesday, No. 4 seed Andy Roddick advanced into the quarterfinals with a 7-6(4), 6-3 win over Nicolas Mahut. Third-seeded Kei Nishikori needed three sets to advance past qualifier Ricardas Berankis, while No. 5 seed Kevin Anderson fell 6-7, 6-4, 6-4 to Michael Russell.
The top two seeds, No. 1 John Isner and two-time tournament champ and second-seeded Mardy Fish, are scheduled to hit the Stadium Court for the first time on Thursday. American James Blake was scheduled to take on Matthew Ebden at 1 p.m., which would be followed by Fish against Gilles Muller.
Then Americans Steve Johnson and Jack Sock would play before Isner faces Belgium’s Ruben Bemelmans in a match scheduled not to begin before 7 p.m. Of course, wet weather could send the schedule out of whack for a fourth straight day.
The rain has helped keep bigger crowds away. But for those fans attending, the temps have been cooler, while the on-court play hot and performed at a high level. In all, 10 matches are scheduled for Thursday. See the attached schedule of play.
SmashZone is open daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. until the tournament concludes. The 53-foot trailer, which anchors four kid-sized tennis courts for youth play, features games such as Rally Courts and Target Challenge and interactive activities like Wii Tennis, Tennis Magazine Green Screen Cover Shoot and touch-screen kiosks.
The Publix Family Zone is an exciting place in Atlantic Station’s Central Park where families can show off their tennis skills on four 36-foot courts staffed by local teaching pros. BB&T Atlanta Open players will make appearances at the Publix Family Zone on Thursday, July 19 at 3 p.m.