Seven Britons stay in singles as Wimbledon struggles to attract crowd

Seven British singles players remain at Wimbledon after fan favorites Sir Andy Murray and Emma Raducanu suffered devastating defeats on Wednesday.

Entre Court supporters said they were saddened to see the Scottish and British number one leaving the league so early, and speculated the day of disappointment could lower attendance figures.

This year’s championships saw fewer people than expected, spectators say, in part because of fears of the coronavirus, rainy weather and the rising cost of living.

The Met Office has warned of more rainy weather en route, with “clouds bubbling up with isolated heavy showers developing” over the south-west London site on Thursday afternoon.

Richard Evans, 32, from Peckham, south-east London, told the PA news agency late on Wednesday that major British losses meant Wimbledon officials “will struggle to get people here” in the coming days.

Murray fan Lynne Lanyon, 71, a nurse from Plymouth, southwest England, said he was disappointed with his loss but “loved every minute” of the match.

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Emma Raducanu from Great Britain (Joe Toth/AELTC/PA)

Meanwhile, Olivia Marr, 23, who watched Raducanu’s match from Henman Hill, said she felt “so sad” but believes the teen will “come back stronger”.

Morgan Willmott and her boyfriend Dylan Shepherd, both 19, thought Raducanu was succumbing to unimaginable pressure from someone their own age.

The game was postponed several times due to downpours in the first three days, and Britain’s number one, Cameron Norrie, said the postponement “put him on edge”.

Norrie is the only one of the seven British singles players not to compete on Thursday, instead returning to the hallowed lawns on Friday.

Katie Boulter, Jack Draper, Harriet Dart, Liam Broady and Alastair Gray will compete in singles for Team GB.

According to the latest official figures, there were about 36,603 fans on the first day and 39,450 on the second.

Organizers of the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club (AELTC) had expected 42,000 tickets to be sold daily.

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