Court 17 at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center might need to be renamed Court 420.
For the second day running, a top player has complained that they caught the aroma of cannabis smoke while on Court 17.
Maria Sakkari complained to officials earlier in the week and now Alexander Zverev has also detected someone lighting up close to Court 17.
While Sakkari suffered defeat, Zverev easily ousted Aleksandar Vukic in straight sets but wasn’t happy with officials after being thrown off by a strong smell.
“Court 17 definitely smells like Snoop Dogg ’s living room,” he said afterwards. “Oh my God, it’s everywhere. The whole court smells like weed.”
Court 17 is close to a public park and organisers struggle to contain the noise and sometimes the smells that come from that space.
Sakkari admitted that there was little organisers could do to keep out smells from a park.
“Sometimes you smell food, sometimes you smell cigarettes, sometimes you smell weed,” Sakkari said.
“I mean, it’s something we cannot control, because we’re in an open space. There’s a park behind. People can do whatever they want.”
She said that the smell was a nuisance but something she had to put out of her mind.
“You don’t really think about it, because all you care is just to win the match,” Sakkari said.
“I smelled it, but that was it. Like, it wasn’t something that I paid attention to.” While it was enough for her to bring to the umpire’s attention, she is far from the first to do so.
There were no complaints from the Arthur Ashe stadium, where Daniil Medvedev advanced continuing a great relationship with the tournament.
“I won a lot of matches on Ashe. I don’t think I have lost actually a lot. A lot of great matches… I feel like honestly every time I go on Ashe right now, I feel like the crowd is there for me,” Medvedev said after dispatching Hungarian Attila Balazs 6-1, 6-1, 6-0.
“I honestly feel like New York loves me and that’s very rare that I say something like this about the city (smiling). It’s a great feeling, and I really always love coming back. Always excited to play there.
“It is always good to start well,” Medvedev said.
“I am happy with my performance. I am looking forward to the next matches and to play for as long as possible in New York. I hope I can play better and better each match as each one is going to be more difficult.”
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