Wimbledon returns after year absence but rain delays start for fans

Fans are back at the All England Club. Credit: PA

Fans have returned to Wimbledon but are having to wait to see their first bit of action owing to rain.

Tennis-lovers passed through the gates for the first time in two years, after the tournament was cancelled in 2020 because of the pandemic, in order to see the world’s best on court.

Life was brought back to the All England Club by thousands attending despite the weather, although their first course of action was to find shelter rather than a match to watch.

Although it will allow the first strawberries and Pimm's of the tournament to sipped without the need to rush to a court.

Novak Djokovic is set to play on Monday. Credit: PA

The roofs were put on Centre Court and Court No 1 but play did not start at 11am as planned, as the outer courts were left covered for their own protection.

The tennis club is being permitted to accommodate to 50% of capacity, with Centre Court allowed to host 7,500 in the opening days but it will be full for finals weekend on July 10 and 11.

Serena Williams is in London for the tournament. Credit: PA

Gates opened half an hour early at 10am to give extra time for the necessary checks of fans to take place, who are required to show they have had two vaccination doses, a negative test or proof of immunity due to a recent infection prior to entering.

Spectators will be desperate to see No 1 seed Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray and Sofia Kenin in their first round matches planned for Monday but patience is required.

Fans did get the chance to take their seats on the show courts. Credit: PA

A total of 10 British players are set to play on Monday, including Murray and Jack Draper, who plays Djokovic in the men's draw.

In the women's draw, the unseeded Heather Watson and Katie Swan are scheduled to kick off their competition.

Play belatedly started at 1pm.