Rain held up play at the start of day three at Wimbledon and was expected to affect matches for much of the afternoon.
Tournament chiefs chose to close the Centre Court roof, to at least guarantee uninterrupted play there.
Showers meant the covers were still on when play on the outside courts was scheduled to start at midday, meaning Britain's Heather Watson was made to wait for the start of her first-round match against France's Mathilde Johansson. They were due to be the first match on Court Three.
Watson had been due on court last night but there was insufficient time to get the match under way.
With the Duchess of Cornwall set to watch from the Royal Box, Centre Court action was due to start at 1pm, with the clash between Japan's Kimiko Date-Krumm and five-time former champion Venus Williams.
Andy Murray was scheduled to be second on Court One, for his second-round match against Germany's Tobias Kamke.
While play began on Centre Court, the rain continued to fall outside, heavily at times.
Tournament officials said there would be no play before 3pm on all courts bar Centre, with the forecast for the remainder of the day suggesting matches would be able to start, albeit with the likelihood of further rain interruptions to come.