Mauresmo dances in the rain | sports | Hindustan Times
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Mauresmo dances in the rain

sports Updated: Jul 01, 2007 03:25 IST

Defending champion Amelie Mauresmo shrugged off a two-hour rain delay to storm into last 16 at Wimbledon on Saturday.

On a cold, damp day at the All England Club, the fourth seeded Frenchwoman made up for lost time by taking just 57 minutes to dismantle the feeble challenge of Italian 28th seed Mara Santangelo 6-1, 6-2. Watched from the Royal Box by former West Indian cricket skippers Clive Lloyd and Brian Lara, who are more than familiar with wet English summers, Mauresmo was untroubled in her third round match that she wrapped up with an ace.

Worryingly for her rivals, the 26-year-old Frenchwoman has dropped just 10 games in three matches at the 2007 championships. Mauresmo, who goes on to face either Czech 14th seed Nicole Vaidisova or Victoria Azarenka of Belarus for a place in the quarterfinals, would have been delighted to have got on to Centre Court on Saturday.

The only other match to finish on a rain-drenched sixth day was between second-seed Russian Maria Sharapova and Ai Sugiyama of Japan. Sharapova won 6-3, 6-3 in 74 minutes.

Torrential rain had swamped the All England Club earlier in the day. As well as a late start to action on the two main arenas, play on the outside courts had been delayed by four hours. However, despite more rain predicted for later Saturday, Wimbledon organisers insisted there were no plans to play on the middle Sunday, a contingency plan which has only been put into use three times in the tournament's history.

"Irrespective of the amount of play today, the middle Saturday, I can confirm that we are sufficiently on schedule and that, therefore, there will be no play on, Sunday, July 1," said Ian Ritchie, the chief executive of the All England Club.