Let the Chaos Begin: The Rain Contingency Plan [UPDATE]

USTA spokesman Chris Widmaier just addressed the press, and revealed the contingency plans for the next three days:

Rafael Nadal and Fernando Gonzalez are scheduled to continue their match at noon tomorrow. It will be aired on CBS. Mr. Widmaier said that the forecast is looking hairy early in the day, and that the match may not begin until 2 p.m. (We took a look at the forecast and it looks like it could be bad all day, but maybe he knows something we don’t.) If they complete that match tomorrow, it’ll be followed by the men’s doubles final. That will be followed by the Wickmayer-Wozniacki semifinal on Ashe, and the Kim Clijsters and Serena Williams semifinal will be aired in primetime on CBS at 8 p.m., in the timeslot that once belonged to the women’s final. (This reflects the conventional wisdom that this match is in fact a de facto final, with the winner the overwhelming favorite to win the championship.)

If we get all those matches completed tomorrow, Sunday will work this way: The men’s semifinals will be played, with the first match beginning at noon on ESPN2. The second men’s semifinal will begin at 4:30 p.m. on CBS, after the network is finished with its football coverage. It is unclear which set of players will play in which slot. Like last year, the women’s final will begin at 9 p.m. , but it will be aired on ESPN2 instead of CBS.

Still with us?

If we make it through Saturday and Sunday unscathed then the men’s final will be on Monday. It willl be aired a bit earlier than last year, at 4 p.m. on CBS.

If you have tickets, “your ticket will follow content,” he said. That is, if you have tickets for the women’s semifinal matches then you’ll have rights to see the Wickmayer-Wozniacki match tomorrow afternoon, and the Serena-Clijsters match tomorrow night. If you have tickets for the women’s final, then you’ll have the right to be at the 9 p.m. match on Sunday. Ticketholders for last night’s beginning of the Nadal-Gonzalez match are not entitled to see its conclusion, as per USTA weather cancellation policy.

All of this is based, of course, on whether they can actually pull these matches off tomorrow. Even Mr. Widmaier conceded that the weather today was amazingly unpredictable. He said that at the moment they decided to cancel today’s matches their weather radar said that it was clear outside. Meanwhile, if you stuck your head out of the window you felt a light mist, which, as we’ve learned, is enough to cancel play. If we get that tomorrow, things will get really complicated.

We’ll be back tomorrow afternoon with all the coverage.

This post has been updated since the USTA provided additional information. Let the Chaos Begin: The Rain Contingency Plan [UPDATE]