In response to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the All England Lawn Tennis Club have been forced into making a decision: Wimbledon 2020 has been cancelled – this being the first time in tournament history since the second world war.
This summer’s Wimbledon has been cancelled, after a board meeting on Wednesday saw the All England Lawn Tennis Club announce their decision. In coordination with this announcement, the ATP, WTA and ITF tours announced that professional tennis will not return before July 13 after the cancellation of other summer grass-court events. The tour has been suspended since Indian Wells was cancelled on March 9.
It was a move that seemed increasingly inevitable considering the spread of coronavirus, especially as the vast majority of sporting events including Tokyo Olympics and Euro 2020 have either been postponed or called off for the remainder of the calendar year.
The AELTC has now cancelled the tournament outright, after previously ruling out playing in-front of empty stands or attempting to take advantage of the Olympics being postponed by shifting the Wimbledon dates – scheduled to start on June 29, to July 12.
The All England Club chairman Ian Hewitt said: “This is a decision that we have not taken lightly, and we have done so with the highest regard for public health and the wellbeing of all those who come together to make Wimbledon happen.”
It is the first time since the second world war that Wimbledon has been shut down and it is expected that the Davis Cup Finals, scheduled to take place in Madrid in November, will also be called off soon too.
Elsewhere, AEC chief executive Richard Lewis stated: “While this has been a challenging decision, we strongly believe it is not only in the best interests of society at this time, but also provides certainty to our colleagues in international tennis given the impact on the grass-court events in the UK and in Europe and the broader tennis calendar.”
Last month, the French Open was moved from May to September as their way of trying to cope with the pandemic. However, it’s a decision that has caused outrage in the tennis world given the lack of communication with players from the French Tennis Federation.
As things stand, the US Open remains set to start as planned on August 24. The US are suffering increasing numbers of coronavirus cases, so it remains to be seen whether they will also cancel their Grand Slam tournament in the weeks and months that follow.
Information source: The Guardian