When Wimbledon returned in 2021 following its cancellation because of the pandemic a year earlier, there was one sight that felt both unwelcome and reassuringly familiar.

The start of play on the opening day of the 134th tournament was delayed because of rain over south London, reminding fans and organisers of one of the perils of holding a tournament during an English summer.

That was nothing compared to the year most affected by weather, when the final had to be played three days later than scheduled in 1922. Sixty years on, Jimmy Connors won the final a day after its original scheduling to end a tournament beset by three times the average rainfall for the two-week period.

So, what happens if it rains at Wimbledon 2022?

Does Wimbledon have a roof on Centre Court?

A retractable roof was installed on Wimbledon’s iconic Centre Court in 2009 in an extremely complex work of architecture that involved 1,000 metric tons of steel.

There are 214 moving elements involved in the operation of the roof, which can also be adjusted to control the glare of the sun over fans and the Royal Box.

The roof, which is thought to have cost between £80 million and £100 million ($98m-$122m), started operating two years after an edition of Wimbledon ravaged by bad weather during the first week and three years before the Olympic Games visited London.

A £70m ($86m) roof was added to Court No1 in time for the 2019 tournament. Its value was in evidence immediately when rain swept over a star-studded opening ceremony featuring the likes of singer Paloma Faith and Wimbledon legend Martina Navratilova.

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What happens on smaller courts when it rains?

Communications between match umpires and tournament officials are an ominous sign for fans that a match is about to be suspended because of bad weather.

Ballboys and girls are joined by ground staff to rush the covers over courts in the hope of avoiding the grass deteriorating while the players make a hasty exit.

It then becomes a case of hoping the weather will ease in time to allow play to resume while it remains light enough to play. If not, matches are rescheduled for the following day.

Rain delays are notorious for changing the momentum of matches in a sport in which impetus can be key.

In 2001, perennial British contender Tim Henman was leading by two sets to one against the unseeded Goran Ivanisevic before rain forced the rivals off for the day in the first of two rain delays.

Ivanisevic returned to prevail, eventually winning the match on Sunday before triumphing in the final a day later than usual in one of the greatest fairy tales ever seen at Wimbledon.

Wimbledon weather forecast 2022

Weather experts at the UK Met Office do not expect the first day of Wimbledon to hit the temperature heights of the week before the tournament, when the area will enjoy a high of 26 degrees Celsius (79 degrees Fahrenheit).

There does, however, appear to be near-perfect weather in the forecast for the first day of action in 2022.

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The Met Office says there is a one in 10 chance of rain between 10 a.m. and 11 p.m. BST (5 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET) when the matches will take place.

Players might be pleased to see humidity down, accompanied by temperatures hitting a more moderate estimated high of around 18 degrees Celsius (64 degrees Fahrenheit).

The main concern for participants might be the winds, which bring the risk of light showers.

Visibility is expected to be very good and there is anticipated to be more cloud than sun as the afternoon develops.

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