WIMBLEDON, England (AP) _ The Wimbledon tennis championships will begin at noon local time (7 a.m.EDT) for the next three days on all courts, officials announced Wednesday.

The decision was made because of a backlog of matches caused by the persistent rain through the first three days of this two-week tournament.

Normally, play on the outside courts are begun at 12:30 p.m. (7:30 a.m. EDT), while matches on the Centre and No. 1 courts are not begun until 2 p.m. (9 a.m. EDT).