By Martyn Herman
LONDON (Reuters) – Swiss 11th seed Timea Bacsinszky joined a clutch of stragglers who belatedly reached the second round of the women’s singles at Wimbledon on Thursday as the organisers battled to get back on schedule after two days of rain delays.
Fourteen first-round matches across both singles draws were still to be completed at the start of day four as drier and brighter conditions arrived. Under normal circumstances, first- round matches should have been completed by Tuesday.
Bacsinszky, who reached the quarter-finals last year, had spent Tuesday and Wednesday twiddling her thumbs but finally took to Court Three to beat Thailand’s Luksika Kumkhum 6-4 6-2.
“I can get angry about it and lose energy by getting angry, or I can just accept that’s like that,” the 27-year-old said.
“The grand slam rhythm isn’t the same as other tournaments, but I think every player competing here is what I think professional enough to be able to deal with it.
“It wasn’t that easy, because I had the tension of the match on Tuesday, on Wednesday, and today.So it’s kind of weird.”
After the floods seen in Paris this month when a whole day was lost at the French Open, Bacsinszky said players were getting used to watching the rain fall.
“I think it has been happening all over Europe for the last — what’s happening?” she joked.
The fickle climate can throw the best-laid plans to the wind, although some players have had more luck.
American Madison Keys for one.
“It’s definitely a crazy first four days,” she said after beating Kirsten Flipkens to move into round three.
“The fact that there were first-round matches going on this morning seems insane. I’ve definitely really been lucky with the schedule, being able to get on without any rain delays.”
Several other seeds arrived late into the second round on Thursday. Czech Barbora Strycova, seeded 24th, beat Anett Kontaveit of Estonia 4-6 6-4 6-4 while American 18th seed Sloane Stephens also made it.
But there was disappointment for 31st seed Kristina Mladenovic of France who lost to Aliaksandra Sasnovich of Belarus 6-3 6-3. Home hope Heather Watson returned to court at one set apiece against Annika Beck but lost a decider 12-10.
According to the Met Office the weather should remain mostly dry, if not particularly warm, for the next two days.
(Editing by Pritha Sarkar and Ed Osmond)