Finishing Unfinished Matches

With Doug Brunner after brutally hot 2016 match

If a tournament match is stopped for rain or darkness, what priority should that match completion be given the next day?  That question comes from Doug Brunner, who played in a rain-plagued Florida tournament.

Round Robin Play

“Hi George, I was curious if you or any of your followers have had experience with USTA round robin tournament formats.  I was entered in the designated tournament in Delray Beach in the 70 singles, where there were only three entrants so a round robin format was posted.  The tournament was scheduled for Saturday-Sunday-Monday.  My first match started 11AM Saturday and after two rain delays the match was halted at 6-4, 1-3 (15-30).

All matches were rescheduled and our match was set for 12PM Sunday.  The problem was that the tournament desk scheduled my opponent to play the third player in the round robin format at 9AM (these are best of three with 10 pt tie break in the third).  I questioned why we were not finishing our rain interrupted match first and I was told the schedule stands.

They played that match and just finished before more rain came and my opponent said if it had been stopped he would have been left with two unfinished matches.  As it turned out all matches for the rest of Sunday and Monday were rained out.  FLUSTA gave them an extension till Tuesday, which also was rained out.

The third player defaulted to me so the final standings was I finished second because I lost the first set of my unfinished match.  They listed our match as abandoned.  My opponent received the champion points and the winner’s prize money.  I called Andy McFarland, Executive Director of FL USTA, and he said this was highly unusual that they did not have us finish our match first.  An umpire at the tournament told me the same thing.  The tournament director said the schedule was redone to accommodate player three’s work schedule?? for a Sunday match??

Andy said he is not aware of there being a specific rule in USTA as to how this should have been handled and asked if I find out anything to please let him know for future tournaments. Regards, Doug Brunner”

Doug, seems to me that the unfinished match (in this or other tournaments) should have priority of scheduling in the case of rainouts.  Anybody know how this should have been handled?

Know someone who should read this?  Send them a link and if you are not on my “new posting alert email list” and want to be (I promise, no other uses of your email address!), just drop me a note at

My Book: if you’d like to get a copy of “Senior Tennis”, just click on the link on the upper right of this web page to go to, look at the list of places under “My Book” on the bar above, or ask me what clubs are carrying it!

2 thoughts on “Finishing Unfinished Matches

  1. George I have since read the USTA rules which state in the case of an abandoned match there is no winner or loser. Other players have said in similar situations with abandoned matches all points and prize money is split.

    Doug, that is half of the issue,… the other is the scheduling priorities. thanks. george

  2. Just crazy. Almost like playing consolation matches before first round matches.

    Howie, right! george

Comments are closed.