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Coronavirus pandemic sees Wimbledon cancelled for first time since World War II


Updated

April 02, 2020 03:04:19

Wimbledon is cancelled as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, the first time since World War II that the oldest grand slam tennis tournament won’t be played.

Key points:

  • Wimbledon has been cancelled for the first time in 85 years, as a result of the coronavirus pandemic
  • The famous grasscourt grand slam has only ever been cancelled in the past due to the outbreak of World Wars I and II
  • It is the first tennis grand slam to be cancelled in 2020, the French Open is currently postponed until late in the year and the US Open is slated to go ahead at this stage

The All England Club announced after an emergency meeting that The Championships is being scrapped for 2020.

Wimbledon was scheduled to be played on the club’s grass courts on the outskirts of London from June 29 to July 12.

Instead, the next edition of the tournament will be June 28 to July 11, 2021.

The tournament was first held in 1877 and has been contested every year since, with the exception of two stretches: from 1915-18 because of World War I, and from 1940-45 because of World War II.

“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.”

The current singles champions are Serbia’s Novak Djokovic, who in the 2019 final defeated Roger Federer in a five-set classic 7-6 (7-5) 1-6 7-6 (7-4) 4-6 13-12 (7-3) while Romanian star Simona Halep won the women’s title by trouncing Serena Williams 6-2 6-2 in a one-sided final.

“We are going through something bigger than tennis and Wimbledon will be back!” Halep wrote on social media. “And it means I have even longer to look forward to defending my title.”

The move also takes away what might have been one of Federer’s best chances to try to add to his 20 Grand Slam titles, including a record eight at Wimbledon.

Federer, who turns 39 in August, is currently recovering from knee surgery and planned to return in time for the European grasscourt circuit that now has been erased from the calendar.

Wimbledon now joins the growing list of sports events scrapped completely in 2020 because of the COVID-19 outbreak.

That includes the Tokyo Olympics, which have been pushed back 12 months.

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 US Open is still scheduled to be played in New York from August 31 to September 13.

ABC/AP

Topics:

infectious-diseases-other,

tennis,

sport,

respiratory-diseases,

covid-19,

england

First posted

April 02, 2020 02:23:13



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