Wimbledon organisers announced on Wednesday that the Grand Slam event at the All England club for the this year has been cancelled due to the crisis around coronavirus pandemic. Standing as the oldest Major that kicked off in 1877, Wimbledon had not been held only ten times during the war years between 1914-18 and 1940-45, starting all over in 1946 and serving as the festival of tennis throughout the Open era.
Shortening the format of the tournament, or playing behind closed doors, would also have proved extremely unpopular with the players.
In addition to Wimbledon, the suspension covers the entirety of the ATP/WTA European grass court swing, including ATP events in 's-Hertogenbosch, Stuttgart, London-Queen's, Halle, Mallorca, Eastbourne, as well as WTA events in 's-Hertogenbosch, Nottingham, Birmingham, Berlin, Eastbourne and Bad Homburg.
With Wimbledon now off the global sports calendar, adding to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and UEFA Euro 2020 being pushed back to next summer as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the likelihood of tennis returning this year decreases by the day.
We understand the unique circumstances facing the All England Lawn and Tennis Club and the reasoning behind the decision to cancel the 2020 Wimbledon Championships.
"It is with great regret that the main board of the All England Club and the committee of management of the championships have today decided that The Championships 2020 will be cancelled due to public health concerns linked to the coronavirus epidemic", the AELTC said in a statement.
"The 134th Championships will instead be staged from 28 June to 11 July 2021", their statement read. Ian Hewitt, AELTC Chairman, commented: "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 has weighed heavily on our minds that the staging of The Championships has only been interrupted previously by world wars but, following thorough and extensive consideration of all scenarios, we believe that it is a measure of this global crisis that it is ultimately the right decision to cancel this year's Championships". "It is your passion for The Championships that has shaped our event over the years and will continue to do so, and we look forward to preparing a fantastic Championships for 2021".
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