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Wimbledon Groundsman's Olympics diary - day three

Jo Wilfried Tsonga competes in the Olympic tennis at Wimbledon
by William Brierley
Monday 30 July 2012

The famous tweeter @WimboGroundsman will be writing a daily diary during the Olympic tennis, talking about courts, players and more...

Yesterday's rainy day ended up with us only getting one match completed on No.1 Court and most of the outside courts, but with Centre getting through their quota for the day. Unfortunately as the day wore on and what there was of the sun fell the shadows on the courts were not conducive to aid with them drying. So the decision was taken that with the moisture on court it would be too unsafe and the remaining matches were called off.

Walking into work this morning though there was a distinct difference in the weather and it was forecast to be dry for the day. Getting through the gate at quarter to seven I walk straight into No.1 Court and start to untie the ropes used to keep the end flaps of the cover off the court. The cover is then lowered and left flat for the boys to uncover when they arrive. In our No.1 bivvy there is talk of all the other Olympic sports going on from the showing in Gymnastics to Rowing to Swimming but of course it featured, as it mostly does, on football and Rick’s constant bigging up of Chelsea new boy Oscar, which is more draining than a month of rain. Then it's off to our courts for the morning jobs.

After yesterday the courts don’t look much different and to look at them you’d hardly have thought they needed marking. The sun is out and helping dry off the morning dew but there is still a lot of mopping to do where the white lines have transfered from the mowers. Then the lines are re-marked and the court is back to best ready for the days play. After the work is done a few of us head to the hill to listen to the music, soak up some atmosphere and some rays before its time to get number one ready.

11:30 on the dot and as smartly as a military procession we go out and dress the court, same as we do during The Championships unless there is rain about of course. Within 10 minutes the court is ready, posts and net up, umpires' chair and players' chairs in position, net sensor checked and centre band centred to the court and checked for height.

We wait now on the ball kids and line judges to take their places before the players come out to play at midday. First on is David Goffin of Belgium versus Juan Monaco of Argentina which quickly goes in 1 hour 18 mins with Juan Monaco winning 6-4 6-1.

Later in the day I take a walk around the grounds to check on the progress of some of the British players and as I pass Court 17 Heather Watson has just won the first set 6-2 against Espinosa of Spain, a score she would soon win the second set to progress through to round two. The bigger crowd though is gathered around Court 18 where Laura Robson is taking on Lucie Safarova of the Czech Republic. Robson has just taken the first set 7-6 winning the tie-break 7-4 but the set should have been easier for her as she was leading 5-1 earlier on.

The crowd are in full voice though as they cheer her every point. The second set is over in 41 minutes as Robson takes it 6-4 to book her place in round two. Unfortunately news has just come through that Elena Baltacha has just lost her second round match to former world No.1 Ana Ivanovic 6-4 7-6, a battling performance but a sad loss as it could well be her last singles match here.

So the matches today look as though they’ll all be completed and it's been a relatively good day for Team GB. Tomorrow's forecast doesn’t look great but I’ll be sleeping with all fingers and toes crossed for another dry day. 

The London 2012 Olympic tennis is taking place at Wimbledon. Visit the ITF Olympics site for full scores, draws and the London 2012 site for video content, venue and schedule information.


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