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The Independent UK
The Independent UK
Ellie Ng

More than 10,000 fans in Wimbledon queue as new arrivals warned of long waits

PA Wire

More than 10,000 fans have joined the Wimbledon queue on the third day of the championships as organisers warned new arrivals of long waits.

The All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC) confirmed the number in the queue and said it was bigger on Wednesday in comparison with the previous day, echoing stewards in Wimbledon Park who suggested the longer lines were down to the improved weather forecast.

Organisers warned on Twitter that new joiners would probably have to wait “several hours” for entry and the grounds are set to be at capacity.

Forecasters predicted sunnier spells and scattered showers following Tuesday’s washout which saw play stopped on outside courts.

Spectator numbers dropped on the rainy second day of the tournament with 38,441 visiting on Tuesday, compared with 42,815 on day one.This is down 3% from 39,450 spectators on day two last year and is the lowest figure for the second day of Wimbledon since 2016.

The tournament will be playing catch-up after 69 matches were cancelled over the course of Tuesday afternoon.

Tennis fans Farah and Mohamed El Kazzaz, from Surrey, said on Wednesday morning that they have been “lucky” with the weather at Wimbledon.

Mr El Kazzaz, 52, told the PA news agency: “We were lucky today – we thought the weather would be good.

“We would have come anyway.”

The couple arrived at the All England Lawn Tennis Club in south-west London just before 5am and are around 1,400 in the queue, which they have been told should get them tickets for Court Two.

Mrs El Kazzaz, 49, said: “It’s been really nice. The weather helps, I think, that it’s not raining. The sun’s coming out.”

Heidi Watson, 52, from Surrey, told PA: “I think the camping (last night) was not as big because it was such a rainy night.

“But as we were coming out (this morning) the amount of people coming in, wow, it was filling the field.”

The Wimbledon veteran, who has queued most years for over 20 years, added: “A lot of people went home as well because it was raining… not us hardened ones.”

Ms Watson said she was originally going to queue for Tuesday but decided against it because of the weather.

Home fans will be cheering for Jodie Burrage as she faces Russian Daria Kasatkina on Centre Court on Wednesday.

British compatriots Katie Boulter, Arthur Fery, Heather Watson, George Loffhagen, Sonay Kartal and Jan Choinski are also due to play.

Home Secretary Suella Braverman will hold talks on Wednesday with senior sporting figures and police leaders on protecting Wimbledon and other events this summer from disruptive protests.

Event organisers and national sporting bodies will meet Ms Braverman and Sport Secretary Lucy Frazer to discuss the Just Stop Oil and Animal Rising groups.

It comes as Wimbledon organisers said they are “not complacent” about the “high” risk of protest at the tournament and explained they had boosted security measures over concerns about disruption.

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