| Fans catch up with their reading as rain delays the start of the women’s semi-finals at Wimbledon on Thursday. (AFP)
London: Rain or no rain, Wimbledon fans are used to buying wet-weather gear. Just ask Charlotte Pavry, a vendor who was selling plastic rain caps alongside court No. 1 Wednesday.
“We sell many of them even when it’s dry,” she said. “Because people think it’s going to rain. And that’s the British sense of humour.”
It did pour Wednesday, and Pavry said she sold about 150 caps at $ 5.60 each — in the space of a few hours.
The rain may be bad for players and fans, but it’s good for business. Waterlogged fans jammed the Wimbledon shop tucked under court No. 1 to stock up on a few souvenirs — all carrying the Wimbledon logo.
So soaked fans could only read the prices and weep: Men’s neckties $ 40-62; hooded sweatshirt $ 72; basic T-shirt $ 37; cricket-style sweater $ 78; wine decanter and two glasses $ 148.
l Shamil Tarpishchev is predicting great things from his young Russian women. Five Russians made the final 16 this year: 21-year-old Elena Dementieva, 21-year-old Anastasia Myskina, 16-year-old Maria Sharapova, 18-year-old Svetlana Kuznetsova, 18-year-old Vera Zvonareva.
“I think it marked a great success for our tennis,” said Tarpishchev, who heads the Russian tennis federation. “Just wait until next year. They will have matured by then and that is why I believe they will win Wimbledon. We’re going to dominate women’s tennis in the future.”
From Henman Hill
l Two of Wimbledon’s most dominant themes over the last few years came together Wednesday on Henman Hill.
First, sporadic rain stopped play three times. Second, Tim Henman was playing for the seventh time in the quarter finals at Wimbledon as he tries to become the first Englishman to win the men’s title in 67 years.
“We had thunder and lightening at one point and the British don’t move, we just sat there and suffered,” said Englishman Bill Henry, who was sitting among several thousand fans on the hillside named in Henman’s honour behind court No. 1.
“Watching Henman we’re suffering anyway. We didn’t go anywhere. We just got the brollies up.”