Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Swimbledon! After the heatwave, it's normal service resumed as torrential rain hits SW19


Riding out the storm: Four diehard tennis fans sit on the steps at the bottom of Murray Mount as rain disrupts Wimbeldon

After the sweltering heat yesterday at Wimbledon, violent thunderstorms disrupted play at SW19 today as parts of Britain were battered by heavy rain.

Temperatures had soared to 33C yesterday, with trains cancelled and queueing chaos as massive crowds rushed to South London to see Andy Murray in action in the baking heat.

But as southern parts of the country braced themselves for flash flooding following the hot spell, the women's quarter finals were heavily disrupted as rain stopped play.

Taking cover: The normally packed Murray Mount had a lot more spare space today as rain kept many fans away

Queueing in the rain: Fans determined to visit SW19 braved the torrential downpours

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

Covers went on the courts and the Centre Court roof was moved into place so that play could continue.

But the rain was so relentless at Wimbledon that as it pounded down on the £80m Centre Court roof, the umpire had to shout to make himself heard during play.

Taking cover: Staff on Centre Court take no chances and cover the surface before the roof is moved into place

In Sabine Lisicki's quarter-final against Marion Bartoli, a sudden burst of thunder made Lisicki jump as she walked towards the baseline.

The match on Centre Court was the only one able to continue in the wet weather, but that did not stop hundreds of diehard fans watching the action from under umbrellas on Murray Mount.

Although there was guaranteed action on Centre Court, play on Court One was heavily delayed by the unrelenting rain.

'Shame about the weather': Colin Montgomerie gestures across Centre Court as rain briefly disrupted play while the roof was moved into position

Newly crowned U.S. Open winner Rory McIlroy enjoys a sport on a different kind of green as he takes in the action from the Royal Box on Centre

Royal approval: Princess Beatrice - minus any kind of headwear - watched the tennis with boyfriend Dave Clark

Brollies all round: The wet spell at SW19 has followed several days of uninterrupted play following glorious sunshine

Still smiling: The constant rain didn't stop this couple from enjoying themselves with a drink

It wasn't just the tennis: Fans take cover as rain stopped play at the Oval during England's One Day International against Sri Lanka

Running for cover: Groundstaff are expertly trained in getting the Wimbledon courts covered within seconds, while right, more rain-swept fans brave the wet weather

The Environment Agency has issued a flood alert for rivers in the London Boroughs of Lewisham, Bromley, Greenwich and Croydon, with up to 30mm of rain predicted.

Surface water flooding could also occur in other regions hit by heavy storms.

Wet outlook: Head groundsman Bill Gordon and reserve umpire Nigel Llong Wet outlook: Head groundsman Bill Gordon and reserve umpire Nigel Llong assess the conditions at the Oval

source: dailymail

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