WE’RE nearing the end of day eight at Wimbledon and hopes are high of finishing the tournament by September.
The players long ago lost track of which round they are in, who they are playing next and, in some cases, their own names.
In the absence of prolonged spells of tennis between the scheduled rain, thoughts turned to the state of play in Andy Roddick’s marathon locker room card game with his coach Jimmy Connors.
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Every umbrella in the south east of England has been sold, and most of them are here inside the grounds.
Even the newspaper vendors outside are offering a free rain mac with every edition.
Sometimes you have to look fairly hard to find it, but every cloud does indeed promise a silver lining.
Especially if you were a ground pass holder today and happened to take a seat on Court 3.
With Wimbledon facing its worse scheduling headache in 25 years, that’s where the hotly anticipated Centre Court match between Venus Williams and Maria Sharapova was moved in mid-afternoon.
Court 3, you may recall, is the spot with park benches on one side and a small stand on the other.
As word of the transfer spread, fans scrambled into every space available and waited in rare sunshine for the unexpected bonus.
And then they waited some more.
By the time the stern-faced players arrived on court 45 minutes later, they had missed the slow handclaps – and the sun.
The swan dress versus the shorts knocked up, almost within touching distance of the closest spectators.
But as Venus’s mum Oracene squeezed in next to the international press, the first spots of rain fell.
It was somehow inevitable that the umpire’s announcement: “First set, Miss Williams to serve,” co-incided exactly with the intial rumble of thunder.
His next words, just three points into the first game, were all too familiar: “Ladies and gentlemen, play is suspended.”
The subsequent thunder, lightning and torrential downpour was, by far, the most dramatic yet seen at Swimbledon 2007.
All play on the outside courts, including Court 3, was cancelled at 7pm.
So much for silver linings.
The shock news is that dry weather is forecast for later in the week.
BBC Wimbledon Weather