Long road awaits Murray after Flushing Meadows wash out

Andy Murray must return to Flushing Meadows today for his fourth-round US Open clash against Donald Young after poor weather forced yesterday’s play to be cancelled.

Murray and American hope Young were scheduled to be first up on Arthur Ashe Stadium at 11am (4pm BST) but heavy rain has continued to fall in New York and, at just after 1.30pm, tournaments organisers made the decision to call the day’s play off.

It had been hoped there would be a window of better weather early in the afternoon but that did not transpire.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

The worrying news for organisers and players is that the forecast for the rest of the week is poor, with rain expected to prove very disruptive.

The bottom half of the men’s draw, which includes Murray and defending champion Rafael Nadal, has been worst hit, with all the other sections having already completed the fourth round.

The news made Roger Federer’s speedy victory over Juan Monaco last night look even more important, with the third seed defying drizzle to win 6-1 6-2 6-0 at 1.13am, not long before the rain set in.

The US Open has been blighted by bad weather in recent years, with the men’s final taking place on the third Monday in 2008, 2009 and 2010.

The four remaining men’s fourth-round matches will be the priority today, with Murray, Nadal and Andy Roddick all expected to play first ahead of the women’s quarter-finals.

The finalist from the bottom half of the men’s singles draw is now almost certain to have to play four matches in five days, giving a major advantage to the likes of Federer and world No 1 Novak Djokovic.

Much of the talk at the tournament has been about the strains placed on players by the schedule of the season, with a record 14 retirements during matches and four other players failing to make it onto court at all.

Murray has no doubt the demands are too great, and he said: “It’s maybe not the length of the season, but there’s so many mandatory tournaments you have to play. You basically have 16 mandatory events now during the year. It’s just too long. “

Federer had a different take on the issue, describing the number of retirements as “shocking” and calling on players to think of their responsibility to the fans.