Tennis: Rain delays play as Wimbledon cools off

Tennis: Rain delays play as Wimbledon cools off
PHOTO: AFP

LONDON - Rain delayed the start of play at Wimbledon on Thursday just 24 hours after the All England Club sizzled in record temperatures.

The mercury had climbed to a blistering 35.7C at the grass-court Grand Slam on Wednesday, leading one ball boy to be taken ill on court, while Australian star Bernard Tomic complained of heat-induced dizziness.

But the weather had turned significantly cooler by Thursday morning and showers in south west London meant play on the outside courts couldn't begin as scheduled at 1030GMT.

All England Club officials closed the Centre Court roof to ensure play would be able to start as planned at 1200GMT on the main show-court.

But the rain quickly relented and the court covers were removed, with play due to start by 1130GMT.

Germany's Sabine Lisicki, a former Wimbledon runner-up, was due to face Christina McHale of the United States in the first Centre Court match of the day.

With occasional drizzle predicted for later in the day, seven-time champion Roger Federer, taking on Sam Querrey, and two-time winner Rafael Nadal, facing dread-locked German Dustin Brown, were the others to benefit from being scheduled under the roof.

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