Raindrops were falling, her opponent was complaining, and
Showers wiped out most action at the All England Club on Saturday, and it was drizzling when 2004 champion
"I was starting to get agitated. I saw the rain in the middle of the second set, and I knew, if it keeps going, obviously the grass is going to get wet,"
Well, for her, anyway.
There was, not surprisingly, a different take on things from
"It was very wet at the end,"
In the only other singles match completed, defending champion Amelie Mauresmo beat No. 28 Mara Santangelo of Italy 6-1, 6-2 in 57 minutes to reach the fourth round.
Toronto's Daniel Nestor had his second-round doubles match with partner Mark Knowles suspended. They were leading 7-6 (2), 2-2 when play was called.
Seven men's and women's singles matches were suspended in progress, and seven men's matches were postponed entirely until Monday - when the forecast calls for more precipitation. The two-week tournament traditionally takes the middle Sunday off, and while rain-created backlogs in the past forced organizers to schedule matches on that day - most recently in 2004 - the referee's office announced Saturday that wouldn't be necessary this year, even though five of six days so far have been interrupted.
So three-time champion Venus Williams could have not one but two sleepless nights pondering her second-set struggles against 71st-ranked Akiko Morigami of Japan. Williams won the first set 6-2 but was trailing 1-4 in the next when play was halted. The winner meets
In other matches carried over to Monday, French Open runner-up Ana Ivanovic, No. 5 Svetlana Kuznetsova, No. 11 Nadia Petrova, No. 12 Elena Dementieva and No. 14 Nicole Vaidisova each was up a set.
No. 7 Tomas Berdych took the first set of the only men's match that got under way. Among those who didn't play a point in their third-round matches Saturday: three-time French Open champion Rafael Nadal and 2002
"These kind of days, you don't (want) to burn too much energy, because you could (be) ready to play at 1 (p.m.), but go on the court at 7 at night," Mauresmo said. "If you spend the whole day stressed out, thinking, 'I'm going to go in five minutes,' this could be a very long day and you could be exhausted in the end."
While the starts of her match and
Fans were kept abreast of the meteorological outlook by announcements over loudspeakers around the grounds. After one update, the disembodied voice intoned: "We appreciate your patience on this frustrating day." When play was called off for the day at 6:55 p.m., the voice closed by noting: "Once again, we share your frustration with the British weather."
"It's the third call that the guy, you know, got wrong,"
Before they replayed the point,
Eager to finish,
"It's her decision,"
Asked to consider what it might have been like to be in
The six-foot-two Russian served as well as she has all tournament, reaching 114 miles per hour and winning 34 of 47 points on her serve. It was a strong sign of improvement in her troublesome right shoulder, which needs about 2½ hours of treatment each day, including acupuncture, massage and ice.
"You name it, I do it,"
Mauresmo's serve was right on target, too: She hit 11 aces. Playing serve-and-volley tennis more than half the time, she won the point on 10 of 11 trips to the net in the first set.
"For me," Mauresmo's opponent Santangelo said, "she and (No. 1 Justine) Henin are the ones who can aim for the title."
Photo: Toby Melville / Reuters