Wimbledon organisers announced on Wednesday that the Grand Slam event at the All England club for the this year has been cancelled due to the crisis around coronavirus pandemic.
“It is with great regret that the AELTC has today decided that The Championships 2020 will be cancelled due to public health concerns linked to the coronavirus epidemic.
“The 134th Championships will instead be staged from 28 June to 11 July 2021,” their statement read.
This is the first time since World War II that the Championships have been cancelled.
The organisers said they have been “developing an understanding of the likely trajectory of the outbreak in the UK.”
The statement further said that in all likelihood, the UK government’s coronavirus lockdown will continue for many months and that they cannot do the preparations required to stage the event on the original date of June 24 or later.
“Following a series of detailed deliberations on all of the above, it is the Committee of Management’s view that cancellation of The Championships is the best decision in the interests of public health, and that being able to provide certainty by taking this decision now, rather than in several weeks, is important for everyone involved in tennis and The Championships,” the statement further said.
The organisers said they will directly get in touch with those who paid for tickets in the Wimbledon Public Ballot and said they would offer the chance to “purchase tickets for the same day and court for The Championships 2021.”
They further said they will support those groups and their staff, who rely on The Championships.
“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.
“It has weighed heavily on our minds that the staging of The Championships has only been interrupted previously by World Wars but, following thorough and extensive consideration of all scenarios, we believe that it is a measure of this global crisis that it is ultimately the right decision to cancel this year’s Championships, and instead concentrate on how we can use the breadth of Wimbledon’s resources to help those in our local communities and beyond. Our thoughts are with all those who have been and continue to be affected by these unprecedented times,” Ian Hewitt, AELTC chairman said.