Qualifying begins: 26 June
The Draw: 30 June
Pre-event Press Conferences: 1 & 2 July
Order of Play: 2 July
Championships begin: 3 July
COME BACK FOR LIVE SCORES & LIVE BLOG FROM 26 JUNE
But the dramatic brilliance of what had just occurred banished the gloom as an ecstatic Rafael Nadal celebrated his 6-4, 6-4, 6-7(5), 6-7(8), 9-7 championship triumph over five-time defending champion, Roger Federer.
Records and shattered milestones littered this rain-interrupted marathon, at 4 hours 48 minutes the longest Wimbledon final and also, at the time, the longest of any Grand Slam.
This was the third consecutive culmination of The Championships to feature the same pair, the top two seeds. Federer had won the previous two, indeed was seeking his sixth straight Wimbledon title and was again in ominous form.
He had not dropped a set on his way to the final and had only had his serve broken twice. He was on a 65-match winning streak on grass and the popular feeling was that he was on his way to a 66th.
But Nadal had won 23 matches in succession, including a 6-1, 6-3, 6-0 humiliation of Federer in the French Open final. That feat would ensure that the Spanish left-hander became the first since Bjorn Borg in 1980 to pull off the Roland Garros-Wimbledon double.
That these two were currently the mightiest men in tennis was beyond argument. Between them they had captured a staggering 14 of the previous 16 Grand Slam titles.
[Nadal is] like a god, but with his feet on earth
Rain delayed the scheduled start (the Centre Court roof would not be completed until the following year) but once the activity got under way it was Nadal who dominated, sealing a two-set lead by winning five games in a row.
It seemed Federer would soon be put out of his misery when he faced three break points at 3-3 in the third set but he had pulled back into a 5-4 lead when they were driven from the court by more bad weather.
On the resumption, after a break of 80 minutes, it was a rejuvenated Federer, on the back or irresistible serving, who enthralled the spectators by taking the third set, and then the fourth, on tie-breaks, fending off two championship points towards the close of the fourth.
More rain halted the rain for 30 minutes at 2-2 in the deciding set, which had to be played out rather than be settled by tie-break. At 7-7 it was Federer who finally cracked, and though he averted a third match point, a netted forehand by the Swiss saw Nadal finally triumph at the tournament he had always cherished above all others.
As ever, Federer was gracious about the result. "Rafa's a deserving champion," he said at the culmination of what was deemed the greatest-ever Wimbledon final, even more compelling than the Borg-John McEnroe clash of 1980.
A Spanish journalist, Neus Yerro, spoke for her nation when she described the new Wimbledon champion as "like a god, but with his feet on earth."