GOOD TIMES: Hazelann Williams and Victoria Uwonkunda (l-r)
THE SECOND day of the Olympic tennis tournament got off to a very wet start on Sunday July 29th.
The travel to SW19 had been trouble and for the most part crowd free, with volunteers at every turn doing a spectacular job helping all spectators. But that is when the clouds moved in and the rain started.
Unlike the previous days of sunshine and blue skies, my visit to the home of Grand Slam tennis started with hailstones.
Luckily, for all those with tickets to Centre Court, (myself included) the roof was closed before the start of the first match. However, the fans outside on other courts were no so lucky, as their matches were postponed or cancelled.
I’m sad to say that the empty seat fiasco extended to Wimbledon, for most of the day; at least half of the stadium was barren. Seats did fill when British number one, Andy Murray played Swiss, Stanislaus Wawrinka, and to be expected 'Murray Mania' and Team GB were both in full force.
I watched four games on Centre Court and saw some of the best athletes play including Sharapova, Murray and Tsonga, which was brilliant considering my ticket only cost £30!
Despite the lack of attendance the crowd was in full spirits. A far cry from the very strict and stuffy restrictions that the audience usually adheres to at Wimbledon, the Olympic fans were roaring in support of their favoured stars.
There were children, babes in arms and couples competing to see who could shout the loudest. And noise was the ever-present factor of the day, especially when the rain really started pelting down, the hum on the roof drowned the umpire out and led to the crowd doing an impromptu Mexican wave to raise the spirits- which worked.
The best match of the day was the last, French ace Jo-Wilfried Tonga tussled with Brazilian Thomaz Bellucci. It was only the first round in the tournament and I expected Tsonga to win the game, but Bellucci clearly had other ideas. Taking the first set 6-7, Tsonga fought back to win the second and third sets 6-4, 6-4. It was a climatic finish to a game that had surprising twists and turns and a nice end to a good day out.