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Wimbledon set to serve up a sizzler

Wimbledon is braced for what could be the hottest day in its history as this week's heatwave reaches its peak.

Weather forecasters have said that the mercury may rise to 35C (96F), beating the previous record of 34.6C (94.28) in the scorching summer of 1976.

All eyes will be on a rule - described by some as sexist - which allows women to take a 10-minute break during matches if the "heat stress index" reaches 30.1C (86.18F).

It was not applied yesterday after temperatures in SW19 reached 30C (86F) in south-west London and up to 41C (105.8F) courtside, forcing officials to limit the number of fans coming into the All England Club.

Paramedics will be on alert to keep fans safe from the worst effects of the hot weather.

St John Ambulance said yesterday it had treated 123 people at Wimbledon and taken two to hospital, with a majority suffering from heat-related conditions.

The odds of this year's tournament being the hottest ever - beating average temperatures of 25C (77F) in 1976 - were slashed to 2/1 last week.

Andy Murray yesterday cleared the first hurdle in his quest for a second Wimbledon final.

The world number three shrugged off the heat weather to beat Mikhail Kukushkin of Kazakhstan in straight sets in his opening game.

Great Britain now has four men made it into the second round at Wimbledon for the first time since 2006

Aljaz Bedene and James Ward yesterday joined Murray and Liam Broady, who faces a tough challenge today against world number 16 David Goffin.

Broady, 21, created waves following an electrifying comeback win on Monday but said it was unlikely to fix a rift with his father Simon.

British number one Heather Watson also made it into round two of the women's singles.

But the 23 year old was forced to apologise after she was docked a point for using foul language.

Canadian starlet Eugenie Bouchard avoided punishment after questions were raised over whether her black bra broke the tournament's strict dress code.

The matter was referred by the chair to the Referee's Office but it was decided that no action was required.

Wimbledon's regulations state that players must dress in "almost entirely white" during competitive matches at SW19.


From Belfast Telegraph