Winbledon Canceled Following Corona Virus Pandemic
In yet another devastating toll of the rapidly spreading coronavirus pandemic, officials have announced the cancellation of Wimbledon, the prestigious tennis tournament that is part of the sport’s annual Grand Slam events.
The announcement came as no surprise really with much of the sporting calendar wiped out following the pandemic.
After weeks of deliberations and apprehension, the All England Club announced Wednesday that the London-based tournament will now run the 134th Championships from 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 today decided that The Championships 2020 will be canceled due to public health concerns linked to the coronavirus epidemic,” officials said in a statement.
The club said cancelling the tournament, which dates back to 1877, was the “best decision” in terms of public health and providing certainty for those involved in The Championships.
“It is with great regret that the AELTC has today decided that The Championships 2020 will be cancelled due to public health concerns linked to the coronavirus epidemic.
“The 134th Championships will instead be staged from 28 June to 11 July 2021.
“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,” Richard Lewis, the chief executive of the All England Club, said in the statement.
Wimbledon said previous tournaments have been cancelled only by world wars. This will be the first time the tournament has been interrupted since World War II.
Seven-time singles Wimbledon champion Serena Williams tweeted, “I’m Shooked” after learning the tournament was cancelled this year.
Fast-rising American star Coco Gauff expressed a similar reaction tweeting: “i’m gonna miss playing in @Wimbledon this year. Stay safe everyone, love you guys.”
Retired tennis great Martina Navratilova, who won Wimbledon nine times between 1978 and 1990, tweeted, “This is gutting…. and no, this is not an April Fools joke… Hope we can all be there in 2021!!!!
Wimbledon also said those who purchased tickets for this year’s two-week tournament, which was scheduled to start June 29, will be refunded. They will be offered the opportunity to purchase tickets “for the same day and court” for The Championships in 2021.