Wonderful weather at Wimbledon?

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  • The atmospheric Centre Court under its closed roof. Photo: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire.

    Groundstaff cover the court after rain halts play during the Murray-Federer final last summer. Photo: Stephen Pond/PA Wire.

    Sir Cliff Richard entertains the Centre Court crowd at Wimbledon after rain stopped play. Photo: Adam Butler/PA.

    The retracted roof of Centre Court, underlining the bright blue skies many hope to see over the All England Club this year. Photo: Rebecca Naden/PA.

  • Wonderful weather at Wimbledon?
    22.06.2013 11:45

     

    "I'm going to try this - it isn't going to be easy..."

    These were choked words from British Number 1 Andy Murray, as he conceded victory to the 7th time Wimbledon Champion Roger Federer at last year’s decider at the All England Club.

    These emotions are sure to be on many people’s minds as the tennis world lands in south-west London, with the 2013 Championship due to get underway this Monday, 24th June. Without doubt, umbrellas will be readied and eyes turned to the skies, warily waiting for those drops of rain that so frequently disrupt play during the historic two-week event. Indeed, the hard-fought Murray-Federer final of 2012 saw just such an interruption by the elements. Rain delayed play during the third set, prompting a closure of the retractable roof over Centre Court, leading, many would say, to a shift of power to Federer in the indoor-like conditions.

    With SW19 as prone to being a victim of the British summer as it is, the addition of the roof on the main show court was much-welcomed. In its augural year, the roof was closed during the entirety of the fourth round clash between Murray and Wawrinka, a match that would have been forcibly postponed otherwise. With a similar roof to be constructed over No. 1 Court in the coming years, the oldest tournament in the world may be able to exercise more control over its scheduling than in the past. Unlike three previous years, namely 1991, 1997 and 2004, organisers will hopefully be able to avoid rescheduling matches for ‘Middle Sunday’, a traditional day of rest during the two-week event.

    Rain at Wimbledon doesn’t just affect the scheduling: it has also helped create some interesting facts and figures over the years. One such statistic relates to the 2008 final between Federer and Nadal, widely touted as one of the finest matches in the history of the tournament. However, it was the record-breaking length of the clash that is noted here, with an exhausting 4 hours 48 minutes of play. The match was completed in near-darkness, under the threat of being toppled over into ‘People’s Monday’, with rain both delaying and interrupting play until its completion 7 hours and 15 minutes after its scheduled start.

    Rather more light-heartedly, the year of 1996 saw a rain-delay precipitate an impromptu concert by Sir Cliff Richard. The performer was in the audience at the time, and proceeded to entertain the crowd for 20 minutes, including an apt rendition of Singing in the Rain.

    So, with play due to get under way at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club this Monday, what does the weather have in store for the players and spectators? Well, after what is turning out to be an unsettled weekend, Monday should see a return to generally fine and dry conditions. Spells of sunshine are predicted, together with a light to moderate breeze and temperatures peaking in the high teens. However, there is the chance of an isolated shower developing, although with any luck the courts will escape dry. Similarly, play on Tuesday and Wednesday should go largely uninterrupted, with sunny spells, a gentle breeze and temperatures reaching into the low twenties. However, once again, the odd shower is possible. Unfortunately, it appears as though rain could disrupt proceedings through Thursday and Friday, but with the hope that drier and brighter conditions may return during the course of the weekend.

    All in all, it appears to be a rather characteristic week for the weather at the All England Club, so make sure to pack a Macintosh along with your strawberries and cream!

    By: Laura Caldwell