The All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC) on Wednesday said it is evaluating all scenarios, including a postponement or cancellation of Wimbledon 2020 in the wake of novel coronavirus outbreak.
Wimbledon 2020 is scheduled to be played between June 29 and July 12 but the AELTC said it is going to host an emergency meeting of its Main Board next week. The AELTC said it would consult the ATP, WTA, the ITF and other Grand Slam during the meeting.
The AETC has also ruled out hosting Wimbledon 2020 behind closed doors and said a postponement seems difficult, given the nature of the grass surface used at the prestigious Grand Slam tournament.
‘Playing behind closed doors formally ruled out’
“The AELTC can confirm that it is continuing a detailed evaluation of all scenarios for The Championships 2020, including postponement and cancellation, as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak,” a statement said.
The AELTC is continuing a detailed evaluation of all scenarios for The Championships 2020, including postponement and cancellation, as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.https://t.co/BjlPiyuTtf
Wimbledon (@Wimbledon) March 25, 2020
“The AELTC has been contingency planning since January, working closely with the UK government and public health authorities to follow their advice and understand the likely impact of COVID-19 and the government’s emergency measures on The Championships, and our thoughts are with all those affected by this crisis at this time.
“An emergency meeting of the AELTC Main Board is scheduled for next week, and in preparation we are communicating closely with the LTA, and with the ATP, WTA, ITF and the other Grand Slams. The build for The Championships is due to begin at the end of April.
“At this time, based on the advice we have received from the public health authorities, the very short window available to us to stage The Championships due to the nature of our surface suggests that postponement is not without significant risk and difficulty. Playing behind closed doors has been formally ruled out.”
The ATP and the WTA have suspended the tour until June 7. It remains to be seen if the tour resumes soon, given the severity of the Covid-19 crisis.
Notably, the entire clay-court season has been wiped out but the French Open organisers said the Grand Slam will be postponed to September in a unilateral decision that irked many, including the US Open organisers.
The Covid-19 pandemic that has resulted in more than 451,000 infections and more than 20,000 deaths as of March 25 has led to a global health crisis.
Among other things, the sporting calendar has been worst-hit with some of the major tournaments, including the Tokyo Olympics, either postponed or cancelled.