r1193528 608x342 16 9 - Replay Madness

Despite the best efforts of Novak Djokovic to dry the surface of Centre Court with a towel, there was a rain delay of 88 minutes in his first-round match at Wimbledon against Pedro Cachin on Monday.

A rain delay was called at the end of the first set just after 2 p.m. local time. The usual cheers went up greeting the ground staff as they hauled the plastic covering over the court. The roof shut, the players stayed in the tunnel expecting a short delay but what followed was a lengthy stoppage as ground staff scrambled to dry the surface.

Djokovic, Cachin and various authorities tested out the surface and it got to the point where the reigning champion took to the court with a towel to attempt to dry it.

After that failed, three staff members appeared with leaf blowers, but it proved to be a lot of hot air. All the while the crowd grew restless.

Eventually the court dried, but the delay to cover the court saw the stoppage last far longer than at other courts. During that same 88-minute spell on court No. 1, the court was covered, the roof closed, the court was then uncovered, Iga Swiatek finished her match and Casper Ruud was already a set up in his match — all by the time Djokovic and Cachin resumed play.

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Wimbledon 2023 – Novak Djokovic helps out during Centre Court rain delay