Day 1: Rain 1, Tennis 0 Seles' fine highlights Wimbledon's opener

June 25, 1991|By Bill Glauber | Bill Glauber,Sun Staff Correspondent

WIMBLEDON, ENGLAND. — WIMBLEDON, England -- There was one bomb scare, no tennis and only a few cryptic answers to the continuing mystery surrounding the pullout of top women's seed Monica Seles.

Other than that, it was just your average opening-day rain out at Wimbledon yesterday.

Neither a serve nor a volley was seen at the All England Club as a steady drizzle prevented officials from even lifting the covers off the grass courts. Play was finally suspended at 6:50 p.m. local time, some 10 minutes after a bomb scare cleared the Centre Court stadium and adjoining press building.

It was the 26th rain out in Wimbledon history and the fifth time opening day was postponed. This is the wettest June in England since 1987, the year of the last opening-day rain out.

The schedule was altered. Today, which is traditionally Ladies' Day, will have a mixture of men's andwomen's matches. Defending champions Martina Navratilova and Stefan Edberg are scheduled to play, as are former champions John McEnroe, Jimmy Connors, Pat Cash and Steffi Graf. Pam Shriver is also scheduled to meet Andrea Leand, in an all-Baltimore first-round pairing.

The only news of the day was provided by Gerry Smith, executive director of the Women's Tennis Association. Smith announced a $6,000 fine against Seles, who had previously used her allotment of one medical emergency to pull out of a tournament in January in Sydney, Australia.

Smith had few answers, though, regarding the nature of Seles' injury.

"I've been informed her injury is not serious," Smith said. "I've not been advised as to the nature of her injury. It is not her arm. As has been rumored. It will not require surgery. As has been rumored."

Smith said he assumed Seles was suffering from shin splints, which flared up as she won the French Open. He called Seles' agent, Stephanie Tolleson, yesterday, but was unsuccessful in talking to Seles, who is believed to be in Vail, Colo. He added that Seles had not pulled out of either the Federation Cup or a tour event in San Diego next month.

Smith said he did not know why the Seles camp was being so secretive about the injury.

"I can only speculate that they're not fully aware of what the injury may be," he said.

"I'm concerned for Monica," he added. "We very much wante her to be here. We'd like to see her play and go for the Grand Slam. She is a great competitor. Not to have her participate in this tournament has to be of great concern."

Wimbledon washouts

Yesterday's rain washout at the Wimbledon tennis championship was the 26th time a complete day -- and the fifth opening day -- has been abandoned because of the weather:

Monday, July 16, 1877

Thursday, July 12, 1883

Thursday, July 10, 1884

Monday July 12, 1886

Saturday, July 7, 1888 (OD)

Monday, July 9, 1888

Wednesday, July 18, 1888

Tuesday, July 5, 1892

Wednesday, July 19, 1893

Monday, July 16, 1894

Monday, July 2, 1900

Monday, June 22, 1903 (OD)

Friday, June 30, 1905

Friday, June 29, 1906

Thursday, June 24, 1909

Friday, June 25, 1909

Friday, July 3, 1914

Thursday, July 3, 1952

Friday, June 25, 1954

Saturday, July 6, 1963

Monday, June 23, 1969 (OD)

Saturday, July 8, 1972

Friday, July 6, 1973

Thursday, June 29, 1978

Monday, June 22, 1987 (OD)

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