Fans return as Wimbledon gets under way following delayed start

The two-year wait for tennis at Wimbledon ended on Monday as the action finally got under way following a delayed start due to bad weather.

Fans were back at the All England Club after last year’s tournament did not take place due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Play was due to start on the outside courts at 11am but more rain prompted organisers to push it back to not before 1.30pm.

The roofs were on Centre Court and Court One as poor weather marked the start of Wimbledon
The roofs were on Centre Court and Court One as poor weather marked the start of Wimbledon (AELTC Pool)

But action on Court One began under the roof at 1pm, 30 minutes before Centre Court, with Aryna Sabalenka taking on Monica Niculescu.

The gates had opened half an hour earlier than normal at 10am to allow extra time for spectators to complete the necessary checks.

With Wimbledon part of the Government’s Events Research Programme, fans are required to show proof of either full vaccination, a negative coronavirus test or immunity through a recent infection, while all tickets are electronic.

All tickets are electronic this year
All tickets are electronic this year (John Walton/PA)

Capacity for the first week of the tournament is 50 per cent, rising to 100 per cent for the finals weekend.

Spectators are required to wears masks while walking around the grounds but not while seated at the courts.

Monday’s schedule included 10 British players, with Andy Murray third on Centre Court against Nikoloz Basilashvili and 19-year-old Jack Draper taking on defending champion Novak Djokovic.