The days are beginning to run together at Wimbledon. Each day it rains for a while and then they play tennis for a while. It rains some more. They play tennis some more.
Today, for the sixth straight day, rain interrupted play -- three times -- and as play advanced through the second round and into the third, seeded players began falling.
Seven seeded players lost today: sixth-seeded Pat Cash, ninth-seeded Johan Kriek and 15th-seeded Tomas Smid, among the men, and Claudia Kohde-Kilsch (No. 6), Bonnie Gadusek (No. 9), Kathy Jordan (No. 10) and Gabriela Sabatini (No. 15), among the women.
Other seeded players struggled. Second-seeded Ivan Lendl, after playing a horrendous fourth-set tie breaker, had to go five sets to beat Mike Leach, an American lefty, 6-3, 1-6, 6-2, 6-7 (4-7), 6-4. Jimmy Connors (No. 3) found himself trailing Ramesh Krishnan, 5-2, in the third set with the match tied one set all. But after changing to a tighter racket, he won nine straight games and blew Krishnan away, 7-5, 5-7, 7-5, 6-2. Anders Jarryd (No. 5) finished off a 5-7, 7-6 (8-6), 7-5, 6-4 victory over Scott Davis, getting even for Davis' upset in the first round here last year.
And Tim Mayotte (No. 16) came close to joining the losers. He dropped two sets to Paul McNamee and had to go into a third-set tie breaker. But he survived that and, after a rain delay, came back from trailing by 1-2 in the fourth to win the last 11 games for a 3-6, 4-6, 7-6 (7-2), 6-2, 6-0 victory.
"It was a different court when we came back," McNamee said. "It was slower and he started returning better. It was like two matches."
The biggest upset was one that had been virtually completed Friday. When rain came in the evening, Ricardo Acuna stood one game from beating Cash, leading, 7-6 (7-3), 6-3, 3-6, 6-7 (9-7), 5-3.
"I went home and dreamed about serving out the match about 10 times." Acuna said. "In my dream, I served four aces to win."
Not quite. But after Cash saved a match point to reach 5-4, Acuna did serve out the match, ending it with an ace. At 27, Acuna is No. 133 in the world. He had to win three qualifying matches to get into the draw, and this was his biggest victory.
"I like grass," said Acuna, who played on hard courts for years at Northwestern Louisiana University. "I just went out and thought I could beat him."
Cash, a semifinalist last year, said, "Last year Wimbledon saw me at my best, this year at my worst."
Perhaps the most surprising results of the day among the women were non-upsets. In a rare early round battle, Martina Navratilova needed the help of a ballboy to get by Bettina Bunge, 7-6 (7-3), 6-3.
Bunge, once No. 6 in the world, has been bothered by injuries for the last year and only recently broke back into the top 20. But she has a strong serve-and-volley game and Navratilova never came close to breaking her in the first set.
On the first point of the tie breaker, Bunge played a brilliant point, running down a lob, and appeared to have the point when she snapped a lunging backhand volley crosscourt. Navratilova managed a weak return. Bunge, at the net, had an open court for an easy winner.
But just as the ball crossed the net, one of the ballboys, thinking the point over, started to cross the court. He jumped back, but too late. Bunge put the ball away but umpire Jeremy Shales ordered the point played over.
"I thought about giving her the point but it wasn't a judgment, like a bad call, it was a rule," Navratilova said. "The rule is, we have to play two. If she misses the ball we play two. It was a bad break for her, tough luck really, but there was nothing I could do."
Bunge agreed. "I didn't expect Martina to give me the point. I wouldn't have given it to her."
Bunge mis-hit a service return, botched an overhead and netted a backhand. Navratilova went on to win the tie breaker and Bunge had little left.
Fifty yards away on Court 1, third-seeded Hana Mandlikova was having an even tougher time with Dianne Fromholtz Balestrat. Fromholtz was a top 10 player in the late 1970s, ranking as high as No. 4. But she quit the tour for more than a year and now, at 29, has returned.
Today, whistling her returns, she had Mandlikova in deep trouble. "I really let her get away," she said.
Fromholtz led, 30-0, at 4-2 in the third set. But Mandlikova, who often hits a winner on one point and whiffs on the next, smacked four straight winners and went on to a 4-6, 6-2, 7-5 victory.
The most popular victory of the day was Englishwoman Jo Durie's 5-7, 6-2, 6-1 win over Kohde-Kilsch. Durie, 24, has been a quarterfinalist here and as high as No. 5 in the rankings. But after a terrible 12 months, she has dropped to No. 56. Today, she played two superb sets to upset Kohde-Kilsch, who was a French Open semifinalist.
The least popular victory was Catherine Tanvier's over Sabatini. Already dubbed "Gorgeous Gabby" by the British press, the 15-year-old Sabatini was ousted, 6-7 (7-4), 6-4, 6-1.
Earlier, on Court 1, Connors had looked capable of making a quick exit. Krishnan, a chunky Indian, plays with grace that belies his build. He has no serve, but runs down every ball and has solid ground strokes.
"It was one of those things where I felt like I should be breaking him every game, but I wasn't," Connors said. "When I was down, 2-5, I changed to a tighter racket and I won nine games in a row. I think it made a difference. Shots I was just missing, I started making."
Lendl never really started making shots; Leach just missed more of them. It was a strange match, played over two days, interrupted three times by rain. Lendl served 26 aces -- and 22 double faults.
The weather has thrown the tournament into chaos. Because Wimbledon officials will not play on the middle Sunday, the schedule is almost two days behind. Barring more rain, John McEnroe would have to play five matches in seven days to win the singles title and Chris Evert Lloyd would have to play five in six days to win.
The person who has had the best week might be Connors. Because of rain and upsets, he now gets two days off, then plays the winner of Ben Testerman-Sammy Giammalva.
When someone asked Connors about a semifinal matchup with McEnroe, he laughed. "I still have to play two matches before that," he said. "It's nice of you to have confidence in me to get that far, but I've still got to do the playing."
One week into Wimbledon, everyone left still has a lot of playing to do.