Retractable roofs are already a reality at Wimbledon, the Australian Open and the big tournament in Shanghai. And this year will be the last that the US Open in Flushing Meadows, New York, will be played without one. Yet even though construction isn’t complete on the roof over Arthur Ashe Stadium, the superstructure for the roof is in place — and it’s got the place abuzz (literally).
Tennis legend Roger Federer, who has seen a lot of changes during his preternaturally long stay near the top of the men’s world rankings, is in favor of the roof. Federer’s praise of the USTA’s roof-raising decision tells us two important things — he first about its impact on the game, the second about Federer himself. Federer says the roof means you “don’t have to fight the wind. [So] you can play closer to the lines and make it better tennis. So probably it might be better for the top guys.” That means the guys (and women) with pinpoint accuracy who play less conservatively, placing their shots closer to the edges, will benefit most. The second thing Federer’s eagerness for the roof says is this: he still plans on being one of those top guys for the foreseeable future, since the roof won’t be fully in place until next year.