Britain Tennis - Wimbledon - All England Lawn Tennis & Croquet Club, Wimbledon, England - 1/7/16 The scoreboard on court 1 displays a message as spectators wait during a rain delay



Reuters/Andrew Couldridge



Play may take place at Wimbledon this Sunday, organizers said, after scheduling delays built up over the first five days of what has been a rain-ravaged tournament.

The middle Sunday is traditionally a rest day at the grand slam event, mainly to allow the grass courts to recover, and the last time matches were held on that day was in 2004.

"We are considering it. A decision will be taken on Saturday," the spokesman said.

With the weather having disrupted play on three days, the fixture backlog is such that 16 second-round singles matches had yet to be completed by Friday afternoon.

In rain-free years, Friday would mark the first day of third-round matches in both the men's and women's events.

This year is also the 25th anniversary of "People's Sunday", the first Middle Sunday program the tournament ever scheduled.

All England Club Chief Executive Richard Lewis said just 52 of 240 scheduled matches had been completed by Thursday evening that year.

Middle Sunday play is "not a scenario we are wishing to repeat in 2016", Lewis said in statement before the start of this year's championship.

"The courts benefit hugely from a rest day... It is the one opportunity we have to water the courts thoroughly, an important step in helping to ensure they start the second week in the best possible condition."

The last time the men's final was completed on the Monday after the tournament's scheduled close was in 2001, when Goran Ivanisevic became the first and only wildcard to win the event.

The retractable roof since fitted over Centre Court virtually rules out a similar rescheduling being necessary in the future.



(Reporting by John Stonestreet, editing by Ed Osmond)



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