Monday, August 13, 2001

Storm makes trouble for tennis

By Michael Perry
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        MASON — Heavy rain and lightning that wreaked havoc on the ATP Tennis Center late Saturday forced cleaning crews to work overnight, and left flooded parking lots and some equipment unusable Sunday at the Tennis Masters Series.

        The two storms that delayed the series' semifinals until Sunday morning knocked down sponsor tents and signage, and nearly swept one volunteer through a culvert at the Warren County facility.

        The volunteer parking attendant, who was not identified, was treated at Bethesda North Hospital and released, a tournament official said.

        Gustavo Kuerten eventually beat Patrick Rafter in the final Sunday.

        Local tournament officials were huddled in their on-site office for nearly six hours Saturday night, talking about safety issues for fans, volunteers, parking-lot concerns, and how to handle the ticket scenario for Sunday.

        Cars were nearly under water in parts of the grass parking lots. The A lot closest to the Stadium Court was hardest hit.

        The main scoreboard went out during the storm and did not function properly again for the rest of the tourna ment. A bank of lights at the northwest corner of the Stadium Court was out temporarily.


        Cintas permitted the tournament use of its parking lot, and 15-passenger tournament vans went back and forth with fans Sunday.

        The Kings Island Inn and Resort gave up 400 spots in its lot and provided a bus to shuttle fans to the tennis center.


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