Play Begins Under Centre Court Roof as Rain Disrupts Wimbledon

Photographer: Adrian Dennis/AFP via Getty Images

Top seed Serena Williams serves against France's Caroline Garcia during their second round women's singles match of the Wimbledon tennis tournament on June 27, 2013. Williams won 6-3, 6-2. Close

Top seed Serena Williams serves against France's Caroline Garcia during their second... Read More

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Photographer: Adrian Dennis/AFP via Getty Images

Top seed Serena Williams serves against France's Caroline Garcia during their second round women's singles match of the Wimbledon tennis tournament on June 27, 2013. Williams won 6-3, 6-2.

Play is underway under the closed roof on Centre Court at the Wimbledon tennis championships, where rain has disrupted the schedule on day five.

Britain’s Laura Robson is taking on Colombia’s Mariana Duque-Marino on the main court at the All England Club in London in a second-round match postponed by rain last night. Men’s No. 2 seed Andy Murray of Britain faces Spain’s Tommy Robredo in third-round match on Centre Court later today.

A steady drizzle caused play on all the outside courts to be delayed, but Wimbledon officials said shortly after 1 p.m. local time that the covers would be removed and the courts inspected. Among those scheduled to play today are men’s No. 4 David Ferrer of Spain and 2011 women’s champion Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic.

Yesterday, top seed Novak Djokovic of Serbia beat Bobby Reynolds 7-6 (7-2), 6-3, 6-1 to leave the U.S. without a man in the third round of the grass-court Grand Slam for the first time since 1912.

Reynolds, 30, had to qualify for the tournament, and his opening-round defeat of a wild card was his first win at a major since the 2008 U.S. Open.

Djokovic, 26, is the last former Wimbledon men’s champion left in the singles draw after Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Lleyton Hewitt were upset this week. Djokovic is seeking his seventh Grand Slam title.

Strange

“It’s strange that so many top players lost in a couple days,” Djokovic told reporters. “The lower-ranked players have nothing to lose and come out and play as well as they can. I needed to be extra careful.”

Eleven American men started this year’s event. In the 1912 tournament, no men from the U.S. traveled to the All England Club. A year earlier, the sole American man in the field didn’t reach the third round of the event, which was first held in 1877.

“It’s a worldwide sport now,” said Reynolds, who wasn’t aware that he was the final American man. “Sports are becoming much more global. Every country has top guys playing tennis. That’s what it is, rather than the lack of talent coming out of the U.S.”

American Women

Things are better for the American women. Top seed Serena Williams defeated French qualifier Caroline Garcia yesterday, and 18-year-old Madison Keys advanced on a day when much of the afternoon’s play was rained out. Keys was a 6-4, 6-2 winner against Mona Barthel of Germany.

Williams, 31, the defending women’s champion, won 6-3, 6-2 over the 19-year-old Garcia, ranked 100th in the world. Williams is on a 33-match winning streak.

“I still feel like I’m trying to adjust a lot,” Williams said. “I played a little better than my first-round match. I definitely had to play better. But I’m still adjusting.”

Williams next plays 42-year-old Kimiko Date-Krumm of Japan, who became the oldest woman to reach Wimbledon’s third round since tennis’s professional era began in 1968.

After a record day of defeats and withdrawals two days ago, the retirements continued yesterday. Frenchmen Michael Llodra and Paul-Henri Mathieu quit while trailing in their matches against Italy’s Andreas Seppi and Feliciano Lopez of Spain, respectively.

Mathieu’s departure was the ninth retirement or withdrawal of the second round, equaling the record for most in a single round at a Grand Slam tournament in the professional era. There also were nine in the first round of the 2011 U.S. Open.

Altogether, 12 people have now quit Wimbledon this year. The most players to retire or withdraw in one tournament at the All England Club was 13, in 2008.

To contact the reporter on this story: Christopher Elser in London at celser@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Christopher Elser at celser@bloomberg.net

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