SPARE a thought for the court coverers at SW19.
After last year’s rain-soaked tournament, they’ve been all but unemployed at sun-lashed Wimbledon 2008.
Just after 12.30pm today they finally got their moment in the rain. Or at least a light drizzle.
On came the covers over Centre and Number One courts.
Play continued on the outside courts, which are obviously in a different climate zone.
But the ground staff weren’t to be denied.
A heavy shower soon had everyone back in the locker room.
It could not halt Roger Federer’s march towards a sixth successive Wimbledon title.
He has the luxury of the weekend off after easing into the second week with a 6-3 6-3 6-1 victory over France’s Marc Giequel.
The first wet weather of this year’s Championships delayed the start of the match by 90 minutes but it took Federer just 81 minutes more to secure the win.
Yet to drop a set, he can now put his feet up ahead of a fourth round match on Monday with 2002 title holder Lleyton Hewitt.
They are the only two Wimbledon champions in this year’s men’s singles draw and not many will be betting against the Swiss ace recording his 38th successive win at SW19.
“I’m happy with the way I’m playing – I think I played a good match today and I’m obviously very excited to play again on Monday,” Federer said in his press conference, still sporting the cardigan, with matching cap.
That’s not a message his opponents will want to hear, especially as the defending champion has two clear days to rest
Australian Hewitt defeated Simone Bolelli of Italy 6-1 6-3 7-6 (7/2) and is the last man to hold the trophy aloft before Federer claimed ownership.
“I’ve got my hands full with Lleyton in the next round, which I definitely won’t underestimate – I think it’s an intriguing match for both of us,” added the ever diplomatic top seed.
“It’s always nice getting through the first week. Playing at Wimbledon always creates extra pressure because it’s what’s closest to my heart.”
And what is our Roger planning, aside from knitting a week two supply of cardys at his rented Wimbledon house?
“I’ll probably enjoy the weekend, you know, with some city action.”
Don’t worry, I’ll try and ask him about that next week.