The natives were distressed, disappointed, but hardly restless. How could anyone who would wait patiently through nearly six hours of rain, hoping to see a couple of hours of tennis, as some 29,000 did at Wimbledon yesterday, be called "restless?"

Some of them had queued overnight for Center Court tickets. Others had lined up in the drizzle, waiting for the gates to open at noon, so that they could get inside and queue up again for standing-room space on the featured courts, or unreserved seats in the small grandstands around Nos. 2, 3, 6, and 14 courts.

They huddled under balconies and umbrellas all afternoon, as occasional public address announcements noted that the weather bureau predicted the rain would stop in time to permit play. It did not, and the would-be spectators were out some $180,000 since no rainchecks are given.

Everyone who came to the All England Club yesterday was disappointed, but no one more so than Richard Morley, who directs the feeding of Wimbledon for Town and County Catering Co. Ltd.

"This is a disaster for me. I have hired my tenting and ordered my stores (provisions), so my expenses exist even if I don't sell a thing, and my sales on a day like this are only about 15 percent of what they would be on a good day," he said.

"Peoples get hungry when it rains - thousands of them probably fancy a hot dog or a pork pie right now - but they can't get to the stalls," he said, looking out at the raindrops falling on thousands of heads.

"I've got two tons of beautiful strawberries, gorgeous Kentish strawberries, picked just this morning less than 35 miles from here. They won't keep overnight.

"I've got to throw them all in the bin. Because nobody sits out on the lawn and eats strawberries when it rains.

"The Bath buns are all freshly baked every morning. The eclairs won't keep - the chocolate runs and the pastry gets soggy on a day like this. People like to eat sticky sweet things with their tea and coffee on a day like this, but I'll have to chuck most of them away.

"When the sun shines, everybody thinks the caterer has a license to print money," Morley said. "When they complain about prices, they don't think about the days like this when I take a hammering.

"But," he said with a radiant smile, "the forecasters say more rain tomorrow. That means it will be sunny and I can make back some of my losses."