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"I love this somewhat dry grass, with a higher bounce than at Wimbledon. It makes my serve more effective, and leaves me a little more time to play my shots" - Stefan Edberg about the Kooyong grasscourt, just after his second title at the Australian Open in 1987. Read the article

Edberg Shakes Off Rain, Rust Postponements Pile Up

from Sun Sentinel.com
by Jim Sarni

WIMBLEDON, England -- Defending champion Stefan Edberg has reached the second round. It only took 73 hours. "I consider myself lucky," Edberg said after he completed his 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 victory over Marc Rosset Thursday at the soggy All-England Club. "Some guys have been here for a couple of days without hitting a ball on the grass."

Boris Becker, Ivan Lendl and Jimmy Connors, to name a few, have not stepped on the grass yet as rain continues to rule Wimbledon.

Only six matches were finished amid the raindrops Thursday. The four-day total is 52 matches. Wimbledon usually begins the third round Friday, but it is still 76 first-round and 64 second-round matches behind, and that doesn't count doubles.

[...]

"I would play on Sunday," Edberg said. "Under these circumstances it would be helpful. It is so important to get the first four days out of the way where there is not too much rain. Now, there are some problems here because we are very far behind."

[...]

Two days you can handle, but the third day it gets a bit irritating

Edberg, the reigning and raining champion, was due to play the first match of the tournament at 2 p.m. Monday. He never hit a ball. Edberg and Rosset returned Tuesday, with Edberg winning the first two sets and Rosset holding serve to start the third set. Then rain stopped the match. They did not get back on Centre Court Wednesday, as only Gabriela Sabatini finally played her match in the early evening.

Edberg and Rosset resumed Thursday. Edberg took a 5-4 lead in the third set and was ready to serve out the match when the clouds opened again. After a short delay, Edberg put the match away. And not a moment too soon. Another shower hit, just as Agassi was about to make his long-awaited appearance.

"There's not a whole lot you can do when it rains like this," Edberg said. "I've been coming out here at 10:30, 11 o'clock every day, because I need to hit a little. I hit indoors today, but then it was just a lot of waiting around. Then you have to eat something. But I haven't had a proper lunch for four days because you can't eat too much before you play. It means you have to take a sandwich or a banana or some fruit. Sometimes you try to lie down for a half-hour or 40 minutes, and then they come in and say it's 50 minutes before you play. But then it starts raining again, so you have to play some games or something."

Edberg is one of the calmest players in the game, but all this rain has driven him a little crazy.

"Two days you can handle, but the third day it gets a bit irritating," Edberg said. "After a couple of days, you just have to laugh about it. That's the only thing you can do."

Edberg Shakes Off Rain, Rust Postponements Pile Up

 

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