From AP REPORTS
WIMBLEDON, England (AP) - Claps of thunder and streaks of lightning accompanied Venus Williams and Maria Sharapova off tiny Court 3 after they managed to play all of three points at Wimbledon on Tuesday.
As they headed for the locker room, the drizzle became a downpour, sending everyone scurrying across the grounds in a mad dash for cover: players toting racket bags, officials wearing smart blue blazers, spectators cradling cups of strawberries.
At least Williams, Sharapova and others whose matches were suspended in progress — including 2006 runner-up Rafael Nadal, tied 4-4 in the fifth set of a match originally slated for Saturday — know they will play another day at the All England Club. Not Amelie Mauresmo. Outplayed and unnerved by someone a decade younger, Mauresmo walked off Centre Court with head bowed and nary a wave to the crowd, her title defense done in the fourth round.
Mauresmo's 14 double-faults and several shanked shots contributed to her departure, as did the big-hitting Czech teen Nicole Vaidisova, who reached her first Wimbledon quarterfinal with a 7-6 (6), 4-6, 6-1 victory interrupted three times by rain.
"Everything," Mauresmo said, "went wrong today."
That sentiment was shared by tournament organizers, confronted with a growing backlog of matches: 177 total, including 13 in singles.
"It's ghastly. It's a serious situation and one of great concern," tournament referee Andrew Jarrett said. "We will endeavor to complete the championships on time."