Rain marred the second day of play at the US Open Tuesday, forcing the tournament to suspend play on outside courts at 12:45 and to postpone all but two outside-court matches three hours later, The New York Times reports.

With Arthur Ashe Stadium the only operational tennis venue, spectators crowded in under the closed roof to watch a number of notable players begin their campaigns. Rafael Nadal, who ousted Susan Lajovic in straight sets by a score of 7-6 (6), 6-2, 6-2, said the crowd noise made it difficult to hear the ball coming off of Lajovic’s racket, and therefore compromised the Spaniard’s ability to anticipate the velocity and spin of Lajovic’s shots.

“So, you can imagine how much noise you feel out there,” said Nadal, per the Times. “So difficult to analyze how the ball is coming when you are not hearing very well the sound of the opponent’s ball.”

“I understand it’s a show at the end of the day, and I enjoy that,” he added. “I feel part of this, of course. But under the roof we need to be a little bit more strict about the noise, in my opinion.”

Fifteen-seed American Madison Keys, who beat Elise Mertens of Belgium 6-3, 7-6 (6) in an evening match at Ashe, called the court, per the Times, “the loudest…I’ve ever played on in my life.”

Though the noise may have disrupted the stride of some veterans, it seemed to refresh 19-year-old Naomi Osaka of Japan, who upset the defending US Open champion, six-seed Angelique Kerber of Germany in straight sets (6-3, 6-1) at Ashe.

In the third round of last year’s US Open, at Ashe, Osaka relinquished a 5-1 third-set lead over Keys (then ranked 17th in the world), the Times points out and lost in a tie-break.

“It means a lot, especially because of the last time I was here,” Osaka said, per the Times, in her on-court interview following her win over Kerber. “This court hasn’t been a fond memory.”

Osaka, ranked 45th in the world, has been on the fringe of the elite tier of the women’s game for a while, the Times notes. After pushing top-seed Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic to a third set at the Rogers Cup in Toronto a few weeks ago, Osaka took the first game of the final set. Then, she retired with what the Times calls “an abnormal injury.”

Her victory over Kerber was her first against a Top-10 opponent.

Kerber reclaimed her number-one ranking last year after winning the US Open. In 2017 however, she’s been struggling. She has yet to win a title and has gone 0-9 against Top-20 opponents, the Times reports.

Roger Federer survived five sets with 19-year-old American Frances Tiafoe.

Back problems plagued Federer in the final in Montreal early this month and compelled him to withdraw from a tournament in Cincinnati a couple weeks ago.

After Tuesday’s match, though, Federer said his back was fine. He did not mention the noise either. The implication was that his opponent played a high-caliber tennis match.

Tiafoe took the opening set 6-4. Federer won the subsequent two 6-2, 6-1, respectively. Tiafoe prevailed 6-1 in the fourth.

Then, with Federer serving for the match at 5-3 in the fifth, Tiafoe broke to put the set back on serve.

Federer broke back a game later to secure the victory, 4-6, 6-2, 6-1, 1-6, 6-4.

With a number of the world’s top players—Novak Djokovic, Stan Wawrinka, and Andy Murray—out due to injury, many fans anticipate what would be the first ever US Open match between Nadal and Federer, the Times notes. That match would occur in the semifinals.

The two men have met 12 times on the Grand Slam stage, and have played one another for the title at every Slam outside of New York.

US Open play continued Wednesday.

Featured image via Wikimedia Commons