Wimbledon fans
Fan watch on from Henman Hill desperate to see live tennis on day three at Wimbledon. Getty Images


  • Play only possible under the centre court roof as delays threaten major backlog.
  • All first round men's doubles matches reduced to best-of-three sets.
  • Championships could be played in 'middle Sunday' for only third time in 139 years.

Tennis fans have been left frustrated by the rain after Wimbledon organisers were forced to cancel droves of matches on day three at the All England Club at SW19. At the time of writing, 28 matches have been written off, with play having only been possible under the Centre Court roof, threatening a huge backlog in the schedule.

Play was delayed by an hour due to early rain but did get underway just after 12:30pm BST, only for it to be curtailed after just 25 minutes. Those affected included British pair Heather Watson and Johanna Konta who were playing Annika Beck and Monica Puig respectively on the outdoor courts.

Several players are yet to complete their first round matches heading into the fourth day and with further rain forecast throughout the opening week the Championships could yet be played on 'middle Sunday', a day on which play is historically not scheduled. The weather has previously forced play on this day on three occasions during the tournament's 139-year history, most recently in 2004.

Such are organisers' fears over a potential pile up of unfinished ties they have ruled that first round matches in the men's doubles will be reduced from five sets to three to help ease the schedule. Agnieszka Radwanska's win over Kateryna Kozlova and Novak Djokovic's straight-sets win over Adrian Mannarino are so far the only fully completed matches of the day, both played under the centre court roof. Thousands of paying supporters were irritated by the lack of play. Tomas Berdych, Evgeniya Rodina and Andrea Petkovic were able to finish their matches which had carried over from the previous day.

Among the players whose matches have been postponed include French Open champion Garbine Muguruza's clash with Jana Cepelova, five-time winner Venus Williams' meeting with Maria Sakkari and Australian Open champion Angelique Kerber against Varvara Lepchenko. In all, 16 women's singles matches, nine ladies doubles encounters and three men's doubles clashes have all fallen to the inclement conditions,