The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club (AELTC) has confirmed that this year’s Wimbledon has been cancelled as a result of the COVID-19 virus. To date, only the two World Wars have prevented the globe’s oldest tennis tournament from taking place.

The Wimbledon tournament was founded in 1877.

The Championships was due to be hosted from June 29, for a duration of two weeks. According to AELTC, the body charged with running the tournament, the decision was made “due to public health concerns linked to the coronavirus epidemic”.

“We believe, given the measure of this global crisis, that it is ultimately the right decision to cancel The Championships 2020 and instead concentrate on how we can use the breadth of our resources to help those in our local communities and beyond,” said Ian Hewitt, AELTC Chairman.

Postponing the Champions was ruled out, the board said, because preparations for Wimbledon start in April, with ball boys and girls beginning training and thousands of officials, line judges, stewards, players, suppliers, media and contractors coming to the grounds in southwest London.

“In the coming days, the LTA (Lawn Tennis Association) will be announcing a series of measures to support those involved in tennis in Britain during this unprecedented situation,” the LTA said in a statement. “This will include support for tennis venues, coaches, officials and players affected by the coronavirus pandemic, with the goal of ensuring that tennis in Britain emerges from this period in as strong and healthy position as possible, and the sport is able to resume its unique role in keeping the nation active.”

Questions over whether it was going to go ahead have been asked for weeks, with the French Open, due to start on 24 May, was postponed in mid-March for four months.

Picture: Twitter

Article written by

Lucinda Dordley

Lucinda is a hard news writer who occasionally dabbles in lifestyle writing, and recent journalism graduate. She is a proud intersectional feminist, and is passionate about actively creating a world which is free of discrimination and inequality.