- 18 Oct 2020
The oldest and most prestigious tennis tournament in world the Championships, Wimbledon simply known as Wimbledon or the Championships is the latest entrant in list of major sports events being hit by COVID-19 pandemic. The tournament is being held at the All England Club in Wimbledon every year since 1877.
The Wimbledon is one of the four grand slam tournaments the other ones being the US open, the French open and the Australian open. The Wimbledon is the only grand slam played on Grass court, considered as classic tennis court. Wimbledon traditions include a strict all-white dress code for competitors and royal patronage.
The Wimbledon is traditionally played over two weeks in late June (staring on last Monday) and ending early July. The Wimbledon 2020 was scheduled to be played from 29 June 2020, but has been cancelled now for this year. Now the Championships, Wimbledon (134th) will be held from 28 June 2021 to 11 July 2021.
The official website of the Wimbledon has quoted that
“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 cancelled due to public health concerns linked to the corona virus epidemic. The 134th Championships will instead be staged from 28 June to 11 July 2021.
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”.
It is first time since World War 2 (WWII) that the Wimbledon has been cancelled or not staged. Prior to this the Wimbledon was not held during years 1915-1918 and 1940-1945 due to World War I and World War II.
The USTA has said they will be staging the US open as scheduled in late August, 2020, but there are clouds of uncertainty over that event also.
Player’s reactions on cancellation of the Wimbledon due to COVID-19 pandemic:
The Open era legend Roger Federer has tweeted “Devastated”.
Serena Williams tweets that “I’m shooked”.
Defending champion Simona Halep wrote that "So sad to hear Wimbledon won’t take place this year. Last year’s final will forever be one of the happiest days of my life! But we are going through something bigger than tennis and Wimbledon will be back! And it means I have even longer to look forward to defending my title."
Defending doubles champion Barbora Strycova said “I am so sad to get the news today. It is and it will always be the tournament of my life,”