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Wimbledon: Djokovic wipes slippery centre court

July 03, 2023 23:53 IST

Novak Djokovic wipes centre court with a towel

IMAGE: Serbia’s Novak Djokovic wipes the court with a towel as his first round match against Argentina’s Pedro Cachin is suspended due to rain. Photograph: Andrew Couldridge/Reuters

Frustrated fans were left wondering quite what was the point of Wimbledon's 80 million-pound ($101 million) Centre Court roof on Monday when Novak Djokovic's match was delayed for over an hour as ball boys took to using leaf-blowers to dry the grass.


Defending champion Djokovic had just taken the first set 6-3 against Argentina's Pedro Cachin when light rain took the players off and led to the roof being slid into place -- a process that takes 10 minutes.

Fans and TV viewers expecting a quick resumption, however, were to be disappointed as, accompanied by tournament referee Gerry Armstrong, Djokovic patrolled the famous square of grass he has ruled for five years, dabbing a toe and a towel at areas he considered dangerously slippery.

While play resumed on Court One, it remained suspended on Centre, until, somewhat bizarrely, the roof, completed in a blaze of publicity in 2009, was re-opened and the match resumed after a 70-minute hiatus.

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