Wimble-done: Tennis Reaction To Wimbledon Cancellation Ran The Gamut Of Emotions

WASHINGTON, April 2, 2020 (by Michael Dickens)

Reaction to Wednesday afternoon’s news that Wimbledon and the rest of the grass-court season have been cancelled due to the novel coronavirus pandemic came swiftly – much of it via social media platforms – from both players and tennis media. Here’s a sampling:

Roger Federer, the 20-time Grand Slam champion and a winner of eight Wimbledon singles titles, summed up his feelings in a single word: “Devastated.”

• Twenty-three-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams, like Federer, was terse in her thoughts. The seven-time Wimbledon singles titlist, tweeted: “I’m Shooked.”

• Teen sensation Coco Gauff, who a year ago made a big slash in her Wimbledon main draw debut by crushing five-time Wimbledon singles winner Venus Williams in the opening round, wrote on Twitter: “I’m gonna miss playing in Wimbledon this year. 💔 Stay safe everyone, love you guys. ❤️🥺

Pat Cash of Australia, who lifted the 1987 Wimbledon men’s singles trophy, noted via Twitter: “Obviously, heart broken losing the Championships at Wimbledon this year. I’m saddened as the club supports hundreds of desperate local charities with the profits. Players are adaptable that’s a strength as pros it’s the small people of the fringes who are really hurting now!”

Simona Halep, who won the Wimbledon women’s singles crown last year, wrote on Twitter: “So sad to hear @Wimbledon won’t take place this year. Last year’s final will forever be one of the happiest days of my life! But we are going through something bigger than tennis and Wimbledon will be back! And it means I have even longer to look forward to defending my title. 🤗

BBC5 Live’s David Law, who co-hosts The Tennis Podcast and is media liaison for the Fever-Tree Championships at Queen’s Club in London, tweeted: “Everyone has moments of wondering whether this is all really happening.

“Looking up on April 1st, without Queen’s and Wimbledon on the horizon, is one of mine.”

Stuart Fraser, tennis correspondent for The Times of London, wrote on Twitter: “It was expected of course but somehow the confirmation that Wimbledon is cancelled still came as something of a shock. The All England Club now rightly focusing on the wider fight against coronavirus, offering medical equipment and facilities to the NHS.”

Chris Oddo, who writes about tennis for @Tennis_Now and hosts the Lucky Letcord Podcast, said, “As a person who likes to sit alone in the No. 1 Court to find my inner tennis peace at least once a year, I can say today is not a day to be sad but a day to be hopeful, and also to reflect on the immense privileges we have had and will have again.”

Ben Rothenberg, a New York Times tennis correspondent and co-host of the NCR Tennis Podcast, tweeted: “The July-September North American hardcourt swing is now the next major stretch of the tennis calendar on the clock. Worth noting: a LOT of time left not he clock, relatively speaking, considering it was just weeks ago that Indian Wells canceled on less than 24 hours notice.”

• Meanwhile, when the AELTC tweeted “It is with great regret … The 134th Championships will instead be staged from 28 June to 11 July 2021,” Sports Illustrated tennis writer and Tennis Channel contributor Jon Wertheim noted: “It’s not insignificant that Wimbledon foreclosed the possibility of any rescheduling or crafty maneuvering.”

Finally, Elina Svitolina posted a TikTok video on her social media channels, miming her feelings of sorrow over the cancellation of Wimbledon …

What they are tweeting

Garbiñe Muguruza, Spain, ranked No. 16, from her home in Geneva

Johanna Konta, Great Britain, ranked No. 14, from her home in London

Hall of Fame great Billie Jean King, from her home in New York City

What they’re saying

Hall of Famer Tracy Austin, two-time US Open champion now a Tennis Channel analyst: “I’m absolutely heartbroken … but I’m not shocked.”

What they’re writing 

Danielle Rossingh, Forbes Magazine, on Wimbledon