Rain at Wimbledon: It’s part of the experience, even for hopefuls

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Wimbledon is my favorite tennis major, and it is very close to being my favorite sporting event – period.
Qualifying is underway today for 224 white-clad hopefuls looking to make their play their way on to the main stage when the tournament begins in seven days.

And you know I wouldn’t be writing about Wimbledon qualifying unless… Yep, there’s rain. It seems only fitting that qualifiers should have to endure a rain delay. It’s part of the Wimbledon experience.
The day began with tarp – excuse me, “covers” – on the courts.

Rain halted the beginning of play…

And then pushed qualifying back a bit later, no doubt increasing the butterflies in the stomachs of the Wimbledon hopefuls.

Just to be honest, I really don’t know what’s happening here. Anyone care to give me a clue?

Finally, the rain stopped, and play began. Qualifying runs through Thursday at the Bank of England Ground in Roehampton. Players aiming for a spot in the singles tournament must win three rounds on the grass surface. There will be 16 men and 12 women to qualify for their respective singles tournaments at Wimbledon. Four pairs each will qualify for the men’s and lady’s doubles events. And speaking of ladies, we had a Maria Sharapova sighting today. It’s always a plus when she’s carrying an umbrella.

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