Heavy downpours hold up women's quarter-finals

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The Independent Online

Rain delayed the start of the women's quarter-finals at Wimbledon today.

Heavy downpours arrived shortly before the 1pm scheduled start of play, and tournament officials announced there would be a delay of at least one hour.

Covers went on the courts when the rain began, and the slow process of closing the Centre Court roof began.

Unseeded German Sabine Lisicki was due to play French ninth seed Marion Bartoli, Serena Williams' conqueror in the fourth round, in the first match on Centre.

That was scheduled to be followed by Russian fifth seed Maria Sharapova's clash with Slovakian Dominika Cibulkova, who knocked out top seed Caroline Wozniacki yesterday.

With the roof being closed, those matches were guaranteed to be played, but the Court One action was under threat due to the wet weather.

The Court One programme began with Czech eighth seed Petra Kvitova's match against 32nd-seeded Bulgarian Tsvetana Pironkova, with unseeded Austrian Tamira Paszek second on against Belarusian fourth seed Victoria Azarenka.