WASHINGTON, April 1, 2020 (by Michael Dickens)
The 2020 Wimbledon Championships have been cancelled due to public health concerns linked to the coronavirus pandemic. Official word came from the AELTC about 4 p.m. London time Wednesday. The 134th Championships, instead, will be held June 28 to July 11, 2021.
“It is with great regret that the Main Board of the All England Club (AELTC) and the Committee of Management of The Championships have decided that The Championships 2020 will be cancelled due to public health concerns linked to the coronavirus epidemic,” read a statement on the Wimbledon website.
”Uppermost in our mind has been the health and safety of all of those who come together to make Wimbledon happen – the public in the UK and visitors from around the world, our players, guests, members, staff, volunteers, partners, contractors, and local residents – as well as our broader responsibility to society’s efforts to tackle this global challenge to our way of life.”
Tournament officials at the All England Lawn Tennis Club have announced the cancellation of the 2020 tournament.
It’s the first time since 1945, due to World War II, that Wimbledon will not be played, and the first reason other than war, that the event will not be played. pic.twitter.com/X7i4Yj8AVe
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) April 1, 2020
The oldest of the four Grand Slam tournaments and an iconic British tradition since 1877, Wimbledon has previously been cancelled only during the First and Second World Wars. The last time it was not contested was 1945. Wimbledon becomes the latest in a growing list of worldwide sporting events to be cancelled or disrupted by the pandemic. The 2020 edition of The Championships was scheduled for June 29 to July 12.
Ian Hewitt, AELTC Chairman, 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 has weighed heavility 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, and instead concentrate on how we can use the breadth of Wimbledon’s resources to help those in our local communities and beyond. Our thoughts are with all those who have been and continue to be affected by these unprecedented times.”
Richard Lewis CBE, AELTC Chief Executive added: “While in some ways 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. We have appreciated the support of the LTA, and the ATP, WTA and ITF in coming to this decision, and our friends and partners who stage these grass court events that are so important in the build up to Wimbledon. I would like to thank the UK Government and public health authorities for their guidance and support, and we will do whatever we can to assist their efforts in tackling the crisis.”
Further read: ATP & WTA announce further suspension of tours