Home Sports Soaked schedule bogs down Wimbledon as backlog grows

Soaked schedule bogs down Wimbledon as backlog grows


London : Six rain interruptions and an evening torrential downpour put an end to Wimbledon's attempt to catch up a badly delayed schedule.

For the seventh day Tuesday out of eight, rain fell at the All England club, leaving the possibility of play into a third week squarely on the scheduling table. The sun came out in the evening after frustrated officials had cancelled matches for the day.

Of a dozen third and fourth round contests scheduled, eight were completed. Doubles and juniors are woefully behind.

Lleyton Hewitt said it took all of his mental strength to stay focused after he registered a win over Argentine Guillermo Canas.

"I'm relieved to get through this one today," said Hewittw, a 2002 winner. "That's the longest and toughest rain-delayed match I've ever had to put up with.

"We had to go on and off so many times, it was a mental battle more than anything out there. I felt like I handled it exceptionally well."

On the women's side, Marion Bartoli saved face for France with her win over third seed Jelena Jankovic after defending champion Amelie Mauresmo was shown the door in the fourth round.

"I'm frustrated by the way I played and disappointed by the ending of the tournament for me," said fourth seed Mauresmo.

The Frenchwoman who underwent appendix surgery in February and missed two months of play, never got into gear against Vaidisova, a two-time Grand Slam semi-finalist now into her first Wimbledon quarter-final.

"Everything went wrong today," said Mauresmo. "I had some up and downs throughout the first week, and it showed a little bit more today. My game didn't work very well.

"I'm struggling to get the confidence back."

Ana Ivanovic had to keep her nerve when the match was interrupted by rain as she was serving for victory.

"The stop helped me a lot to calm down, come back on the court and try to fight through it. My shots and my serve were not working as well today, but sometimes you have to win when you don't play your best tennis."

Forecasts for the rest of the week are mixed, with some easing of conditions predicted before a weekend band of rain is set to arrive.