AFTER yesterday’s ducks, we had a swan on Court One this afternoon.
Or rather Maria Sharapova in her pleated white dress inspired by Swan Lake.
The 2004 Wimbledon champion beat both Japan’s Ai Sugiyama and the rain to glide into the second week.
But the 20-year-old Russian was almost culled by the court coverers at the end of a 6-3, 6-3 victory.
With rain falling and play suspended on all the other courts, Maria was forced to replay a winning point at match point after a bad line call.
“The guy called it out. The umpire overruled it. The match could have been over,” she said.
“It’s just a weird situation because you know the rain is coming.
“It’s the third call that the guy got wrong.
“You look at him and he’s wearing sunglasses.
“He loses all credibility at that point.”
Having gone on to secure victory with seconds to spare, she then had to cut short her celebrations.
Grabbing two bags and her towels, the swan took flight as the cover was pulled across the court.
Her match had already been delayed by almost two hours, and the rain eventually returned just after 4pm.
Yet to drop a set, Maria was all smiles at her press conference just a few minutes ago.
She’s one of the few players to finish their matches so far today.
Dressed in a green T-shirt, and with the rain still pouring down outside, the No 2 seed was startled to see a packed press interview room.
“You guys have nothing to do, huh?” she joked.
As is traditional on the middle Saturday, today’s royal box featured guests from the world of sport, showbiz and TV.
They included knights Sir Bobby Charlton, Bobby Robson, Clive Lloyd, Steve Redgrave and Matthew Pinsent.
Also watching the rain were Dawn French, Lenny Henry, Darcey Bussell, Jonathan Edwards, Bruce Forsyth, Dame Kelly Holmes, Des Lynam and Jennifer Saunders.
The prospect for further play today does not look good.
With a day off tomorrow, all matches – including Centre and No 1 Courts – will begin at 11am on Monday.
Update: Play was abandoned for the day just before 7pm.
Maria Sharapova Official Site