Photo: Eisele/Giubilo/ZimmerClosed Roof on Centre Court
LONDON, GREAT BRITAIN: The weather was a major factor on Day 2 of the Olympic Tennis Event as rain wreaked havoc with the order of play and caused two thirds of the scheduled matches to be postponed until Monday.
The day started off brightly and the dismal forecast looked like it may be wrong, but sure enough 15 minutes before play was due to get under way at 11:30am the heavens opened and, despite there being a few dry spells during the day, the rain was never far away.
When play finally got under way on the outside courts there was only enough time to play one set in most of the matches before the next cloud burst, although that wasn’t quite the case on No. 1 Court where Novak Djokovic was taking on Fabio Fognini.
Djokovic, who his bidding to improve on his singles bronze medal from Beijing, went an early break up, but Fognini broke back at 5-4 as the Serb attempted to serve it out. The first set headed for a tiebreak and when the players changed ends at 6-6, there were some spots of rain in the air.
They both valiantly tried to finish the set, but two points later, and with the score now tied at 7-7, the light drizzle became cats and dogs, leaving Djokovic and Fognini with no choice except to run for cover.
When the action resumed, it took Fognini precisely two points to wrap up the set, and an upset looked like it could be on the cards. However, it only seemed to spur Djokovic into life and he moved through the gears to take control of the match, eventually winning 67(7) 62 62.
It was a similar on-and-off story on the other outside courts with David Ferrer and Kei Nishikori braving the elements to count themselves among the men’s winners, and the former Youth Olympic Games doubles bronze medallist, Timea Babos, on target in the women’s singles.
While all this was going on, the matches were happily ticking along under the Centre Court roof. It was actually the first time since tennis was re-introduced as a medal sport at Seoul 1988 that Olympic matches had been played indoors.
That honour fell to Julia Goerges in the day’s opening clash, in which the German stunned world No. 2 Agnieszka Radwnska 75 67(5) 64. Andy Murray followed up with an impressive 63 63 victory over Stanislas Wawrinka, before Maria Sharapova hammered Shahar Peer 62 60 with a dominant display. The last match saw Jo-Wilfried Tsonga come from a set down to edge Thomaz Bellucci 67(5) 64 64.
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