WIMBLEDON, England (AP) — The Latest on Wimbledon (all times local):
There are queues again at Wimbledon as fans are allowed on the grounds at the All England Club for the first time in nearly two years.
The dreary weather does not appear to be dampening anyone’s enthusiasm as the grass-court Grand Slam tournament returns — even if rain is delaying the start of play until at least 12:30 p.m.
Stands selling food, drinks and souvenirs are staffed and doing business right from the start. Fans wearing the required masks are waiting in line.
Graduate student Hannah Scott calls the rainy, gray day “perfect spectator weather.”
Says Scott: “You’re not going to burn in the sun.”
Wimbledon was canceled last year for the first time since World War II because of the coronavirus pandemic.
It’s going ahead this year but with a reduced capacity at the start.
Organizers are planning to have full crowds of 15,000 at Centre Court for the women’s and men’s singles finals on July 10 and 11.
Wimbledon already has its first rain delay of 2021.
Play on the first morning of the grass-court tournament has been delayed at least until noon because of rain.
Wimbledon is back and ready to start after being canceled in 2020 because of the pandemic.
Novak Djokovic and Venus Williams are among those scheduled to play Monday.
The sky is gray and rain is in the forecast.
Spectators are allowed at 50% capacity around the All England Club. That will go up to 100% for the singles finals on July 10 and 11.
While those are signs of a return to normalcy, a reminder that the coronavirus is still an issue came on the eve of the grass-court Grand Slam tournament. The only seeded woman from Britain, 2017 Wimbledon semifinalist Johanna Konta, had to pull out of the draw Sunday night because a member of her team tested positive for COVID-19.
Konta was in close contact with the person and must self-isolate for 10 days.
All players and their team members are staying at a designated hotel in London in what the All England Club is calling a “minimized risk environment.”
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