LONDON – The 2020 Wimbledon Championships have been canceled due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the All England Club announced. It marks the first time Wimbledon has been canceled since World War II in 1945. The Grand Slam grass-court tournament had been scheduled for June 29-July 12.
“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,” 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.”
Next year’s event will be held from June 28-July 11, 2021.
The French Open, which was slated to be played May 24-June 7, previously announced that it has been postponed to Sept. 20-Oct. 4 in Paris.
The U.S. Open is still in line to be played in New York from Aug. 31 to Sept. 13, the U.S. Tennis Association announced Wednesday.
“The USTA is carefully monitoring the rapidly-changing environment surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, and is preparing for all contingencies,” the USTA said in its statement. “We also rely on the USTA’s Medical Advisory Group as well as governmental and security officials to ensure that we have the broadest understanding of this fluid situation.”
Also on Wednesday, the ATP and WTA jointly announced the continued suspension of their respective tours until July 13.
“Regrettably, the ongoing COVID-19 global pandemic leaves us with no choice but to suspend the Tour further; a decision we’ve made in close cooperation with our members and the other governing bodies of tennis,” ATP chairman Andrea Gaudenzi said.
“Health and safety remains the top priority as we navigate the challenges ahead in these unprecedented times, and we will do everything we can for the Tour to resume at the earliest opportunity once it is safe to do so.”
WTA chairman and CEO Steve Simon released the following statement:
“This was a decision that the WTA and its members did not take lightly, however we remain vigilant in protecting the health and safety of our players, staff and fans. While we share in the disappointment of the season’s further postponement, our priority remains to support each other during this unprecedented time and work together as a sport in preparation of our return to play.”
The ATP and WTA tours were first affected by the coronavirus outbreak when the BNP Paribas Open, scheduled for March 11-22 in Indian Wells, Calif., was canceled on March 8.
–Field Level Media