It was, of course, too good to be true. Quarter-final morning saw beautiful blue skies, not one cloud in the sky, and the best of an English summer beckoned.
With last year’s semi-finalist Caroline Wozniacki in good form on and off the court, there was plenty of drama with an edgy first set which saw her opponent Camila Giorgi warned for ball abuse (not to mention the slight less exuberant applause from the people she almost hit) to Wozniacki placing a ball at the point where she felt that line call had been… creative.
There was drama of a more sobering thought as a spectator was taken ill in the middle of the stands (quite literally) and as he was being treated after collapsing, the players were taken off for a spell until he could be removed.
There was more drama off the court as home crowd favorite Heather Watson advanced when Petra Kvitova had to withdraw with a right hamstring injury. She becomes the first Briton to make the semi-final since national commentating treasure Jo Durie in 1982.
She faces Madison Keys who just beat the weather, which took a nasty turn before hammering down, casting aside all memories of the lovely weather. The downside was that when they finally brought on the second men’s semi-final of the day, the Centre Court was deemed unplayable and so defending champion Feliciano Lopez will have to play twice.
While people joke constantly about “well if it’s Wimbledon, it will be raining” there are a few things to note. There is rain at the other Slams – how many times to people wail about the need for a roof at Roland Garros and the US Open? And there is a peculiar psychology around the grass court season. It is as much if people can get their heads around how to approach a restart. Will they be confident in their footing on the slicker surface until it starts to dry out? How do you deal with the mud bath at one end (as Nicolas Mahut refused to do so over in continental Europe at the Topshelf Open in Den Bosch)?
Thankfully the sun rises on another glorious morning by the coast, so hopefully the gamble of playing the week before Wimbledon, and the day of the draw will not prove to be too problematic for those at the business end of the week in Eastbourne.