Organiser say they are currently 177 matches behind schedule [Reuters]

Wimbledon organisers are hoping the rain will hold of on Wednesday to allow the backlog of matches, that could already mean the tournament entering a third week, to clear.

Even by the tournaments's standards, there has been a lot of rain this year and officials estimate they are 177 matches behind schedule in total including eight mens singles matches and and five women's.

Indeed Wednesday will see play in three different rounds. On what is officially men's quarterfinal day Rafael Nadal will hope to conclude his third round match with Sweden's Robin Soderling that actually began on Wednesday.

Meanwhile Maria Sharapova and Venus Willimas will be hoping to finish their match and complete the line-up for the women’s quarterfinals.

That lineup will be missing the Amelie Mauresmo, last year's champion, who was one of the few people to complete her macth on Tuesday when she crashed to 18-year-old Nicole Vaidosova of the Czech Republic.

"She was in a much better rhythm throughout the whole match than I was," the two-time major champion said after her 7-6 (6), 4-6, 6-1 defeat.

"Definitely those interruptions don't help."

Jankovic out

The second seed Maria Sharapova and Venus Williams were to resume their fourth-round match after playing only three points Tuesday, and mens third seed Andy Roddick was to finish his fourth-round match against Paul-Henri Mathieu.

The fourth seed Novak Djokovic was also to finish his suspended third-round match against Nicolas Kiefer.

Serena Williams, who overcame a calf strain to reach the quarterfinals, was scheduled to play top-ranked Justine Henin.

Play on Centre Court and Court No. 1 started at 11 am on Tuesday - two hours earlier than usual - because of the backlog of matches. Only seven singles matches were completed in between six rain delays.

Mauresmo crashes out [Reuters]

One of those saw women’s third seed Jelena Jankovic join Mauresmo on her way out of the championships after she was upset, playing through four rain delays and losing to 18th seed Marion Bartoli of France 3-6, 7-5, 6-3.

"There is no reason for me to lose this match," the Serbian Jankovic said. "But in these circumstances anything can happen."

Bartoli will next face the 31st seed Michaella Krajicek of the Netherlands in the first Grand Slam quarterfinal for both players.

In the third round of the men's draw, 2002 Wimbledon champion Lleyton Hewitt beat Guillermo Canas 6-4, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4, and Nikolay Davydenko advanced by defeating Gael Monfils 6-3, 7-5, 6-3.

"That's the longest and toughest rain-delayed match I've ever had to put up with," said Hewitt, who was originally scheduled to play Canas on Saturday.

Juan Carlos Ferrero, the 2003 French Open champion, reached the Wimbledon quarterfinals for the first time by beating Janko Tipsarevic 7-5, 6-3, 7-6 (5) and will next face four-time defending champion Roger Federer, who has not played since Friday after his scheduled fourth round opponent, Tommy Haas, pulled out of their match with the German citing injury.

Source: Agencies