Weather could become a major talking point as the ASB Classic reaches its climax.

Last night's rain threatened to wash out the entire day - but after monsoon-like morning conditions in Auckland the weather cleared, allowing the first semifinal to be completed, with Julia Goerges (Germany) beating Austrian Tamira Paszek 6-4, 6-2.

But play was cancelled for the night at 9.15pm, midway through the second semifinal, when Sloane Stephens was leading tournament favourite Caroline Wozniacki 5-2 in the first set.

If the rain intervenes again today the remaining match - or matches - will be played on Sunday. If the weather gods are unkind then, the final won't be staged.


That's because, unlike in previous years, there is no apparent possibility of matches being moved indoors.

"We only have a plan A," said ASB Classic tournament director Karl Budge. "We are an outdoor tournament and under no circumstances will we go indoors."

Playing a match indoors presents myriad problems. It limits the possibilities of television coverage and locks out all but a few hundred spectators.

The ASB Classic final was shifted indoors in 2012, which led to Peng Shuai and Flavia Pennetta playing the biggest game of the week in front of fewer than 400 people.

In tennis, rain delays are common - often leading to two matches in one day for some players. Two tournament finals have been washed out in recent years and the Nottingham WTA event last year was severely affected by the vagaries of the British summer.

On the last day of the tournament, there were still quarter-finals to be played and the eventual champion (Ana Konjuh) played three matches in a little over 36 hours.

If any ASB Classic ticket-holders are unable to attend rescheduled matches, they will be entitled to "some percentage" of refund, according to tournament officials.

Before play was cancelled for the night, Wozniacki was engaged in a tough battle with fifth seed Stephens. After steamrolling through her previous two matches, Wozniacki struggled early against the American.

The former World No 1 was constantly under pressure on her own serve and was broken in her second and third service games.

Meanwhile, Marina Erakovic and Silvia-Soler Espinosa were on the verge of defeat in the second doubles semifinal when play was abandoned on the Grandstand court.

Danka Kovinic and Barbora Strycova were leading 5-4, 30-15 in the second set after taking the first 6-4.


Centre Court start 10.30am[3] C. Wozniacki (DEN) vs [5] S. Stephens (USA) 2-5

Not Before 2.30pm
J. Goerges (GER) vs [3] C. Wozniacki (DEN) or [5] S. Stephens (USA)E. Mertens (BEL) & A. Mestach (BEL) vs D. Kovinic (MNE) & B. Strycova (CZE) or M. Erakovic (NZL) & S. Soler-Espinosa (ESP)

Grandstand, start not before midday
D. Kovinic (MNE) & B. Strycova (CZE) vs M. Erakovic (NZL) & S. Soler-Espinosa (ESP) 6-4 5-4