Wimbledon Officially Canceled Due to Coronavirus

  • The annual tennis tournament was last canceled in 1945 during World War Two
  • No professional tennis events will take place before July 13
  • All England Lawn Tennis Club is insured to cover sponsor, ticket, and broadcaster refunds
  • Remainder of the 2020 professional tennis season is now in doubt
court number one at Wimbledon
Wimbledon has been canceled for the first time since World War Two because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

Another event canceled due to COVID-19

Wimbledon has been officially canceled due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. This is the first time since World War Two that the annual tennis tournament has been canceled. The event was set to begin on June 29 and continue until the men’s final on July 12, 2020. 

All other grass-based events on the tennis calendar have also been canceled. There are now no plans for any professional tennis events to be played anywhere in the world until July 13 at the earliest.

first time since World War Two that the annual tennis tournament has been canceled

The French Open was the first of tennis Grand Slam event to be affected by the deadly coronavirus outbreak. It was set to begin in May, but it has now been postponed until September. 

Reason for the cancellation

Speaking about the reasoning behind canceling Wimbledon was the chairman of the All England Lawn Tennis Club, Ian Hewitt. He said: “This is a decision that we have not taken lightly, and we have done so with the highest regard for public health and the wellbeing of all those who come together to make Wimbledon happen.”

Hewitt went on to say that the club considered all potential scenarios but cancelling was ultimately the best course of action. The club will now focus its efforts and resources on helping those affected in the local community. 

Making an early decision

There was no requirement for the All England Lawn Tennis Club to make a decision on the issue until the end of April. This is when the event’s on-site preparations begin. However, it has become clearer with each day that there was only a slim possibility of the event beginning as scheduled. 

With tens of thousands of people attending the tournament each year, it certainly would go against the current government advice of no large gatherings. Most forecasts anticipate that emergency services in the United Kingdom will still be under great strain by mid-summer. 

The early cancellation will also give people a chance to plan ahead. Ticket holders, broadcasters, and sponsors will receive refunds. The club has appropriate insurance policies to cover itself in the case of such events, which could cost upwards of £200m ($245m).

Uncertainty continues

Most major sporting events have been canceled across the world for the foreseeable future. Other major events to be hit by the coronavirus pandemic include the Tokyo Olympic and Euro 2020. This has wreaked havoc on sports betting operators’ businesses.

A lot of people in the professional tennis world believe that there will be no more competitions for the rest of the year. Former Wimbledon champion Amelie Mauresmo said: “I think we are going to have to draw a line under the 2020 tennis season.”