The first day of play in Spain’s Davis Cup matchup against Serbia was suspended early Friday when strong winds compromised the stadium.
Gusts up to 60 mph have “blown off some of the rows of the stands and has played an effect on the whole stability” of the 16,000-seat temporary stadium, International Tennis Federation referee Soren Frienel said. “Matches have been canceled because of the security of the stands.”
Frienel will meet with the Spanish and Serbian federations at 11 a.m. to decide whether the World Group first-round tie can be pushed back one day, to be played from Saturday to Monday.
He was confident it can start on Saturday, pending an inspection and repairs of the damage to the specially constructed outdoor clay court at Terra Mitica amusement park.
“The structure will be inspected tomorrow and be repaired before anyone can be allowed into the stadium,” Frienel said.
The ITF inspected the stadium late Thursday after the gusts along the Mediterranean coast cast doubt on whether the scaffold-structure was safe enough to host the event. Winds were expected to drop to about 35 mph early Friday.
Although the teams were reluctant to push back Friday’s two opening singles matches, there was little choice.
“We’re talking about a security issue so there’s not much we can say about that, what the teams prefer,” Frienel said. “Both teams have to accept the decision and they have.”
Third-ranked Novak Djokovic was to open against Spain’s David Ferrer before Serbia’s Janko Tipsarevic faced top-ranked Rafael Nadal.
Spain beat Argentina in November for its third Davis Cup title since 2000, while Serbia was looking to avoid a second straight first-round exit.