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Murray and Raducanu exits could hit Wimbledon crowds

Wales Online logo Wales Online 30/06/2022 Dominic Picksley
Sir Andy Murray waves cheerio to the Wimbledon crowd after losing to American John Isner in the second round © Steven Paston/PA Sir Andy Murray waves cheerio to the Wimbledon crowd after losing to American John Isner in the second round

Seven British singles players remain at Wimbledon after Wednesday saw fan favourites Sir Andy Murray and Emma Raducanu endure devastating defeats.

Centre Court supporters said they were saddened to see the Scot and British women’s No.1 leave the competition so early, and speculated that the day of disappointment could drive attendance figures down. Crowds have been sparser than expected at this year’s Championships, spectators say partly due to coronavirus fears, rainy weather and the rising cost of living.

The Met Office has warned of more rainy weather on the way, with “cloud bubbling up with isolated heavy showers developing” over the south-west London venue on Thursday afternoon. And Richard Evans, 32, from Peckham, south-east London, said that major British losses meant Wimbledon officials are “going to struggle to get people here” in the coming days.

Murray fan Lynne Lanyon, 71, a nurse from Plymouth, south-west England, said she was disappointed by his loss to John Isner, but “enjoyed every minute” of the match. Meanwhile Olivia Marr, 23, who was watching Raducanu’s game from Henman Hill, said she felt “so sad”, but believes the teenager will “come back stronger”.

Since her shock US Open victory last September, Raducanu has only won 11 matches in 15 events. She bowed out tamely to France’s Caroline Garcia, ranked 55th in the world, in straight sets.

Play was delayed on several occasions due to downpours over the first three days, and Britain’s No.1 Cameron Norrie said the postponements put him “on edge”. He is the only one of the seven British singles players not competing on Thursday, instead scheduled to make his return to the hallowed grass courts on Friday.

Katie Boulter, Jack Draper, Harriet Dart, Liam Broady and Alastair Gray will be competing in the singles matches for team GB. Some 36,603 fans attended on the first day, while 39,450 came on the second, according to the latest official figures, with 42,000 tickets expected to be sold daily.

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