London, April 1: Wimbledon was canceled on Wednesday because of the coronavirus pandemic, the first time since World War II that the oldest Grand Slam tennis tournament won't be played.
The All England Club announced after an emergency meeting that the event it refers to simply as 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.
“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”— Wimbledon (@Wimbledon) April 1, 2020
- Ian Hewitt, AELTC Chairman
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 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 — and the NCAA men's and women's college basketball tournaments.
Uppermost in our mind has been the health & safety of all of those who make Wimbledon happen - the public, players, guests, members, staff, volunteers, partners, contractors, and local residents – as well as our responsibility to society’s efforts to tackle this global challenge.— Wimbledon (@Wimbledon) April 1, 2020
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 Aug. 31 to Sept. 13.
Those of you who paid for a ticket in the Wimbledon Public Ballot for this year’s Championships will receive a refund, and will have the choice to purchase a pair of tickets to The Championships 2021 for the same day and court.— Wimbledon (@Wimbledon) April 1, 2020
We will be in touch in due course.