Weather forecast threatens Wimbledon chaos

  • @simonrice

The rainy weather currently engulfing England looks set to have a major impact on the Wimbledon tennis tournament.

Today's packed schedule promised a great day of action, with Britain's Andy Murray, the reigning champion Novak Djokovic and the six-time champion Roger Federer all in action. After a break yesterday, Monday is always busy when traditionally all fourth-round matches are played.

Yet it seems that many of the matches may prove unplayable due to the poor conditions, with only those protected by the roof on Centre Court certain to be played. The scheduled matches on Centre are Federer v Xavier Malisse, Ana Ivanovic v Victoria Azarenka and Djokovic v Victor Troicki. Murray is scheduled to play Marin Cilic second on the uncovered Court One.

As a provision, tournament officials have postponed all junior doubles matches in order to get as many games played as possible. Play has now started on some courts but the picture in SW19 looks bleak, where earlier all the courts were covered over and the grey skies continue to loom.

Even if matches are delayed until tomorrow, the problems look set to continue. Rain is forecast throughout Tuesday and will continue into Wednesday. Thursday may see some improvements but showers are still a possibility. As it heads into the weekend there are no certainties the weather will improve.

In past years tournament officials have cancelled the middle Sunday 'rest day' to ensure the tournament can be completed on time. They may be left ruing their decision to give the players a break.

Should it prove impossible to complete the tournament before Sunday, on which the men's final is due to be played, it will be forced into a third week. The last time this happened was in 2001, when Goran Ivanisevic, who had overcome Tim Henman in an epic semi-final, beat Pat Rafter for the title.