Wimbledon 2012

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  • Court One, as of yet without a roof. Photo: Anthony Devlin/PA Archive/Press Association Images.

    Last year's Champion Novak Djokovic and runner up Rafael Nadal. Photo: Adam Davy/EMPICS Sport.

    Tennis fans shelter from the rain on Murray Mount. Photo: Anthony Devlin/PA Archive/Press Association Images.

    Britain's Andy Murray plays under the Centre Court roof. Photo: Stephen Pond/EMPICS Sport.

  • Wimbledon 2012
    23.06.2012 13:27

     

    “God wanted me to win this game – he sent the rains”

    A divine intervention was the supposed factor for Goran Ivanisevic denying Tim Henman his only Wimbledon final in 2001. At two sets to one down and seemingly on his way out of the semi-final, the Croat was relieved by a break in play due to rain. With Henman’s rhythm lost, Ivanisevic took the next three sets before going on to eventually take the crown as the Men’s Champion.


    Yes, The Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club in Wimbledon are upon us, the third of the four major tennis grand slams in the calendar year. Proceedings start this Monday, 25th June, with Andy Murray hoping to win his first ever grand slam on home soil after reaching the semi-final stage for the past three years. However, competition will be tough for the Brit with Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal, having taken the Australian and French Opens already this year respectively, being the strong favourites.


    Whatever the outcome, the weather will be a constant talking point due to rain having an impact on the largely outdoor tournament. Although ryegrass has been used since 2001 to increase the durability of the surface, the grass court is very susceptible to degradation and can be further compounded by rainfall. As soon as rain drops are felt, a quick dash can be seen by the ball boys and girls to erect the covers and to signal a break in play.


    Centre Court saw a major development prior to the 2009 Championships, where a retractable roof was installed to allow play to continue even in the heaviest of downpours. The lack of this privilege has caused a few notable disruptions in the past, namely 1982 where ten out of the thirteen days were rain-interrupted. In 2007, the third-round match between Rafael Nadal and Robin Soderling took a staggering five days to complete after eight rain delays.


    The forecast for the opening couple of days is one of optimism, with sunny intervals and just the outside chance of a shower breaking out. The shower risk looks like it will increase towards the latter part of the week, but persistent rain looks to be keeping away for the time being at least.


    If the rain does indeed fall, spare a thought for those spectators on the Aorangi Terrace (aka Henman Hill, Rusedski Ridge, or more recently Murray Mount) where a sea of umbrellas will be surely be sighted.


    As always, keep abreast of the development of any showers via www.raintoday.co.uk

    By: Nick Prebble