Rain, set and match: Crowds head to second day of Wimbledon with MORE downpours predicted after washout Monday saw matches postponed
- Heavy rain forced several matches on day one of Wimbledon to be postponed by organisers until today
- Though today will have a brighter start, the downpours are expected to return later from around 2pm onwards
- Ground staff were seen using brooms to try and clear away water before today’s action got underway
More downpours are predicted on the second day of Wimbledon after several matches were postponed yesterday because of heavy rain.
Yesterday, play was due to start on the outside courts at 11am but downpours prompted organisers to delay proceedings, and several matches were ultimately moved to day two.
The second day of the Championships – being held for the first time in two years – is predicted to have a brighter start, with chances of cloud and highs of 18C for the morning.
However, the rain will soon fall with Met Office forecasters predicting its arrival from 2pm onwards – prompting fears of more delays and possible postponements.
Ground staff were seen using brooms to try and clear away water before today’s action got underway.
The first fans inside Wimbledon on Tuesday morning appeared well-prepared for the elements, with hats, scarves and thick jumpers on display.
Today will see Roger Federer playing on Centre Court from 2.45pm, with Brit Dan Evans among the first games to start at 11am.
Ground staff ahead of day two of Wimbledon clear away water following heavy downpours battering the Club yesterday
The second day of the Championships – being held for the first time in two years – is predicted to have a brighter start, with chances of cloud and highs of 18C for the morning. However, the rain will soon fall with Met Office forecasters predicting its arrival from 2pm onwards
Spectators take their seats ahead of day two of Wimbledon. Today will see Roger Federer playing on Centre Court from 2.45pm, with Brit Dan Evans among the first games to start at 11am
Wednesday looks more promising, with meteorologists predicting light rain in the morning followed by clouds and highs of 17C.
There should be further improvement later in the week, with clouds with sunny spells on Thursday and Friday amid temperatures tipped to reach 24C.
The weekend is predicted to become slightly cooler, with more light showers in the afternoon on Saturday and Sunday and highs of 22C.
Eager tennis fans queued early yesterday morning for the start of the first socially distanced and covid-controlled Wimbledon.
More than four hours before the opening match on Centre Court long lines snaked towards the gates of the All England Club. Even grey, leaden skies could not dampen the enthusiasm of those able to get one of the tickets. Queues started to form 90 minutes before the gates opened at 10am.
The All England Lawn Tennis & Croquet Club (AELTC) will allow fans to exit and re-enter the stadium ahead of the match at 5pm so they can watch the football in nearby pubs.
Ticket holders were also told they can watch today’s England vs Germany Euro 2020 match on their phones as long as cheering is kept to a minimum, amid concerns Wimbledon seats will be empty at kick-off.
Medical professionals who helped develop the coronavirus vaccine were given a standing ovation on Centre Court ahead of the first match there on Monday.
Eager supporters watch on as Alexander Zverev practices ahead of day two of Wimbledon – amid fears of more downpours
Organisers have issued hundreds of free tickets to key workers and other ‘inspirational individuals’ by way of saying thank you for their ‘important work’ during the coronavirus pandemic.
Guests of the Royal Box on Monday included Hannah Ingram Moore, daughter of veteran fundraiser Captain Sir Tom Moore and Dame Sarah Gilbert, who co-designed the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine.
Sir Tom’s name was greeted with cheers and a round of applause and Ms Ingram-Moore smiled and waved.
Historically, all Wimbledon matches have been postponed due to rain but the investment in roofs over Centre Court and Court 1 in recent years means the unpredictability of the British weather is less likely to affect the schedule – although the experience of sitting courtside with strawberries and cream in hand may not be quite the same.
Rain and drizzle: What can Wimbledon fans expect from the forecast this week?
Torrential downpours have been forecast for Wimbledon this week, as the tennis tournament gets underway.
But what can fans expect each day?
Overcast with drizzle at first. Becoming dry during the morning. Showers slow moving and turning heavy or thundery, however sunny spells developing away from this area. Maximum temperature 71F (22C).
A cloudy day with showers, merging into longer spells of rain during the morning. Some sunshine possible later. Maximum temperature 68F (20C).
Wednesday to Friday
Generally cloudy during the mornings, improving by midday with sunnier spells in the afternoons. Dull with outbreaks of rain and drizzle early Wednesday. Occasional showers on Thursday and Friday afternoons.
Source: Met Office
The resale of tickets inside the Wimbledon grounds is banned this year amid coronavirus, meaning anyone sneaking out to watch the game will not be able to return their tickets.
Meanwhile, as doors to the tournament ground opened at 10am each fan has to prove they have been vaccinated or have a negative PCR test as a condition of entry.
Elsewhere in Britain, northern parts of England are predicted to have clouds with sunny spells throughout the week, with a possibility of showers in the north-west on Saturday and Sunday. Highs of 22C are predicted for most days.
The north-east should be fine throughout the week, with intermittent cloudy and sunny days predicted and highs of 18C.
Southern England has a more miserable prediction, with a yellow warning in place for a second day in parts of the south west due to heavy thunderstorms.
The warning states some flooding may occur, in places such as Brighton and Weymouth, until about 3am.
However the rest of the region, similar to the Midlands, will have better weather throughout the week – largely cloudy with the odd sunny day and temperatures reaching highs of 20C.
Scotland is largely dry with cloud and sunny spells through the week, with patches of rain predicted for the weekend. Temperatures should reach 22C throughout the week.
The Met Office said the nation had the highest and lowest recorded temperatures on Monday as well as the sunniest weather, while southern England recorded the highest rainfall.
Wales is also expected to have cloud with some sun throughout the week, while the weekend is also expected to be wet, with highs of 18C over the next six days.
No selfies and no tents: Covid dos and don’ts at Wimbledon are revealed
When they spot their idols at Wimbledon, tennis fans love to grab a selfie with Serena Williams or an autograph from Novak Djokovic.
But this year, in the age of Covid-19, that activity has been banned.
Rules of entry to the tournament state that ‘ticket holders shall not approach any competitor for any photographs or otherwise’.
Michelle Dite, SW19’s operations director, said: ‘It’s the right and proper thing to do in this environment. We’ve signed up to be quite an important part of the recovery from Covid. One of the responsibilities is to look after and protect those players and those that come into contact with them.’
The move is one of many strict measures introduced to create what is a called a ‘minimised risk environment’ for the players, officials and spectators.
What a contrast: Fans camped in Wimbledon Park two years ago in the traditional hunt for tickets – but now it’s deserted
The championships, which start tomorrow, have been given the go-ahead after being cancelled last year for the first time since the Second World War. The two-week tournament will be a pilot event in the third phase of the Government’s Events Research Programme.
Overall capacity at the All England Lawn Tennis Club has been cut by half to just 21,000 spectators a day, but Centre Court will still be able to seat full crowds of around 15,000 for the women’s and men’s finals.
The queue for tickets has been scrapped, with all tickets being sold online and fans being held in a virtual queue instead. That means camping at Wimbledon Park to be first in line has also been scrapped.
Hundreds normally stay overnight in the park – across the road from the site – and in 2019 it was packed with spectators and their tents and picnic chairs. Players will undergo ‘rigorous daily testing and monitoring’ – along with the ball boys and girls and umpires.
Housekeeping staff spray seats in Centre Court with a disinfectant. It’s part of the new regime to keep fans safe from Covid
Spectators are expected to show proof of a negative Covid test taken within 48 hours or full vaccination certification. Visitors aged 11 and older will need to wear masks when moving around. The onsite creche, which has proved popular with many players including mother-of-one Serena Williams, will not be open this year.
Players who would normally rent out luxury homes close to the site now have to stay in a hotel in central London and are banned from venturing out.
They will be in bubbles with their close contacts and will remain so at the hotel, at the club and when they are ferried to matches by the club’s official transport.
Anyone found breaching the strict measures, which prevent players from even popping out for a meal, could face disqualification.
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