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Rain stops play - but not the fun

A chair umpire holds an umbrella during a rain delay on Day Three of The Championships 2012.
by Ian Baker
Wednesday 27 June 2012

It is the most frustrating sentence a tennis fan can hear: “Ladies and gentleman, play is suspended.” But no live action around the grounds does not mean the fun stops at Wimbledon. Wimbledon.com took our umbrella and found out what you could do during the rain break on Wednesday afternoon:

1. Watch tennis! The Centre Court roof, introduced in 2009, means that play can continue on one court at least, whatever the weather. It also means that fans on Henman Hill could still watch live tennis too. With rain only light, it was safe for the hill to remain open and about 500 hardy souls watched Tamira Paszek on the way to her upset of Caroline Wozniacki.

2. Shop till you drop. Fans flocked to the Wimbledon Shop to get their souvenir t-shirts, towels and key rings from this year’s Championships. Ideal for family, friends or just to say: ‘I was there!’

3. Strawberries and Pimm’s. Not together, obviously. A rain delay presented the ideal chance for fans to refresh themselves – and queues were long at all the kiosks, which is not surprising when 200,000 glasses of Pimm’s are served during the fortnight and 112,000 punnets of strawberries eaten. It was still humid so many opted to grab an ice cream as well. With plenty of seats and benches around you can give your legs a rest as well. Some decided to buy newspapers and magazines from the newspaper shop near Centre Court.

4. Fall asleep. Believe it or not there were plenty of sightings of people taking their blankets to Henman Hill and dozing off in the rain. Considering how tiring watching some of these thrilling matches can be, maybe it’s not too much of a surprise.

5. Keep your seat. Some people were so desperate not to lose their seats they stayed exactly where they were for the whole three-hour rain delay. That included one man who stayed in position, standing up, waiting for the resumption of Viktor Troicki and Martin Klizan on Court 19.

6. Wander around the grounds. The All England Club is a unique place so there are many things to see and hear, even during rain delays. Even if there’s no tennis, it is such a special place to have a gentle wander – and many spectators did just that.

7. Wimbledon museum. There was time for ticket holders to research the history and traditions of the Championships in the on-site museum, open every day of the Championships.

8. Venture further afield. You do not have to stay in the grounds during rain delays if you do not want to. Many opted to take a “pass out” to see the sights of Wimbledon village or take the tube into Central London. Just remember you need a wristband to get back in when the rain stops.

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