Rain and environmental activists affect play on Day 3 at Wimbledon Loop Jamaica

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WIMBLEDON, England (AP) — Rain was again affecting play at Wimbledon on Day 3 of the grass-court tournament, and environmental activists halted two matches as well.

Intermittent showers Wednesday forced matches on the outside courts to be suspended twice, while play in the main stadiums was also stopped for a short time because of the weather.

Two Just Stop Oil protestors were arrested after disrupting one match by running onto Court 18 and throwing orange confetti onto the grass, before being led off by security. That stopped the first-round encounter between Grigor Dimitrov and Sho Shimabukuro early in the second set, and the rain then came before the confetti could be cleared.

The match resumed with the others after the rain delay. The two protestors were arrested “on suspicion of aggravated trespass and criminal damage,” the All England Club said in a statement.

A few hours later during the next match on the same court, another man representing the same organization also threw orange confetti on the grass before security guards corralled him and dragged him away.

“Obviously it’s not pleasant,” Dimitrov said about the disruption after winning his match in straight sets. “In the end of the day there is not much you can do. I think everyone in a way did their part as quick as possible. I mean, rain was coming so it was also a little bit fortunate to come off the court and have some time to kind of like regroup a little bit and shake it off.”

Wimbledon increased its security in coordination with London police and other agencies for this year’s tournament, in part as a result of protests at other major sports venues in Britain this year.

The rain had already created a major backlog of matches after the first two days, and only eight matches were completed on Tuesday. Several matches scheduled for the outside courts on Wednesday were pushed back to Thursday.

Only Centre Court and No. 1 Court at the All England Club have roofs.

On Centre Court on Wednesday, top-seeded woman Iga Swiatek eased into the third round with a 6-2, 6-0 win over Sara Sorribes Tormo, hitting 27 winners compared to just three for her opponent.

Defending men’s champion Novak Djokovic was up next, facing Jordan Thompson of Australia in the second round.

On No. 1 Court, third-seeded Daniil Medvedev beat British 20-year-old Arthur Fery 7-5, 6-4, 6-3.

American duo Taylor Fritz and Frances Tiafoe both reached the second round, but in contrasting fashion. The ninth-seeded Fritz came from a set down to beat Yannick Hanfmann of Germany 6-4, 2-6, 4-6, 7-5, 6-3 on No. 2 Court, while Tiafoe beat Yibing Wu in straight sets on No. 3 Court.