The Wimbledon Championships scheduled to take place from June 29-July 12 have been cancelled this year due to the coronavirus pandemic, the All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC) said on Wednesday.
This is the first time since World War II that the oldest Grand Slam tennis tournament won’t be played. Instead, the next edition of the tournament will be June 28 to July 11, 2021.
"It has weighed heavily on our minds that the staging of The Championships has only been interrupted previously by World Wars,” club chairman Ian Hewitt said in a press release, “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.”
Wimbledon joins the growing list of sports events called off completely in 2020 because of the COVID-19 outbreak, including the Tokyo Olympics.
Wimbledon is the first major tennis championship completely wiped out this year because of the coronavirus. The start of the French Open was postponed from late May to late September. As of now, the U.S. Open is still scheduled to be played in New York from August 31 to September 13.
Wednesday’s decision means Novak Djokovic and Simona Halep will not get a chance to defend their Wimbledon titles from 2019.
The cancellation also takes away what might have been one of Roger Federer’s best chances to try to add to his 20 Grand Slam titles, including a record eight at Wimbledon, where he lost a fifth-set tiebreaker to Djokovic in the last final after holding a pair of championship points. Federer, who turns 39 in August, is currently recovering from knee surgery and planned to return in time for the grass-court circuit.
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