Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 24 July 2014

Rain halts Robson's Wimbledon drive

Laura Robson had been due to face Colombia's Mariana Duque-Marino at Wimbledon
Rain stopped play at SW19 for the first time in this year's tournament

Laura Robson's campaign for Wimbledon glory suffered a setback after rain stopped play for the first time at this year's Championships.

The teenager's second-round clash was postponed following a bout of wet weather which disrupted action on the courts. Robson was to face Colombia's Mariana Duque-Marino, the world number 117, but showers set in shortly before the match was due to begin.

Tournament referee Andrew Jarrett closed the roof on Centre Court as umbrellas went up and covers were pulled across the All England Club lawns. The downpours began shortly after defending champion Serena Williams comfortably overcame France's Caroline Garcia on Court One.

All matches were abandoned except for Novak Djokovic's fight against Bobby Reynolds which continued on the club's top court, where the Duchess of Cornwall joined Labour deputy leader Harriet Harman to watch the action from the Royal Box.

Robson's match was one of 10 clashes cancelled. She will now play in the first match on Centre Court on Friday, before a doubles clash later in the afternoon.

The interruption came after a bright day in SW19 which saw hundreds of tennis fans gather on the grassy knoll in the grounds dubbed "Murray Mount" to watch the action on a big screen.

Away from the courts, the BBC raised eyebrows after a private conversation between the Duchess of Cornwall and sports pundits Tim Henman, John McEnroe and Virginia Wade was inadvertently broadcast live. Viewers heard Camilla admit she was possibly "too old" to play tennis as she met the trio on a balcony at the All England Club before taking her seat on Centre Court.

The former players had failed to switch off their microphones following a live discussion with presenter Sue Barker, meaning the exchange was aired to the world.

Henman later admitted that the group had "gatecrashed" Camilla's official engagement during which she was introduced to staff working at the Championships. But he said he was unaware that the conversation had been transmitted live.

Elsewhere, organisers said they were "looking into" reports that athlete Mo Farah may have broken Wimbledon rules by filming play on Centre Court. The Olympian posted a link to the footage on Twitter on Wednesday night following a visit to the tournament. The clips showed action on court as well as images of the athlete in the Royal Box. According to Wimbledon rules, phones must be switched off in and around the courts in play.