In men's semifinals, rain is still the only winner One match is tied, the other hasn't started

July 06, 1996|By Sandra McKee | Sandra McKee,SUN STAFF

WIMBLEDON, England -- After 4 hours, 31 minutes of afternoon rain delay, Wimbledon officials ended all hope for finishing even one men's semifinal match yesterday.

With No. 13 seed Todd Martin and MaliVai Washington facing a fifth and deciding set, play was suspended until today at 11 a.m. Martin won the first and third sets, 7-5 and 7-6 (8-6), and Washington took the second and fourth, 6-4 and 6-3.

Semifinalists Richard Krajicek and Jason Stoltenberg sat around most of the day. Their match is scheduled to be played on Court 1, beginning at 11 a.m.

Wimbledon officials estimated they are approximately 50 matches behind schedule.

More doubles pleasure

Pam Shriver and her mixed doubles partner, Pat Galbraith, beat Brian MacPhie and Tami Whitlinger-Jones, 6-4, 6-4, to advance to the third round.

The No. 8 seeds will play the Australian team of Joshua Eagle and Annabel Ellwood.

Earlier in the tournament, Shriver sat around for four days waiting for a women's doubles match. And this match had been postponed from Thursday to yesterday.

"Rain is tough on everyone," Shriver said. "And for me, it's a rhythm thing."

Today, there are the third round, the quarterfinals, semifinals and final to be played in the mixed doubles. Said referee Alan Mills: "Barring a miracle, I think we'll be back here Monday."

Rainy day blues

The All England Club is spending 100 million pounds on improvements, including the building of a new No. 1 court. But nowhere in the plans is a design for a retractable roof.

Rain has delayed play off and on for five days. Neither the delay of play nor the lack of a roof design has been missed by local papers.

"The most pressing concern is the lack of a retractable roof on the Centre Court and the new No. 1 Court, which is supposed to be state of the art rather than state of the Ark," wrote James Lawton in the Daily Express. "It's no way to run a world-class sporting event."

Graf wants out

As Kimiko Date took the upper hand against Steffi Graf in the second set of their semifinal match on Centre Court on Thursday night, a male fan tried to cheer Graf:

"Will you marry me, Steffi?"

Graf shot back: "How much money do you have?"

Yesterday, after moving into the final, she was asked what she thought of the proposal.

"That was great timing," she said. But when reminded she lost the next two points, she reconsidered.

"Actually, I lost the game," she said. "So I ask for a divorce right now."

Pub Date: 7/06/96

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