For the first time since World War II, Wimbledon – the oldest Grand Slam tennis tournament — will not be held this year, the organisers confirmed on Wednesday, as coronavirus continued to massively disrupt the sporting calendar.
The tournament was scheduled to be take place from June 29 to July 12 but the All England Tennis Club chiefs took the decision after an emergency meeting on Wednesday as tennis’ grass-court slam in London became the the latest major sporting event disrupted by the coronavirus outbreak.
As Wimbledon is played on grass, the tournament organizers had very little option to postpone their event as rescheduling would mean the affect the playing condition.
The cancellation of the only grasscourt major at the All England Club leaves the season in disarray, with no tennis due to be played until mid-July.
“Devastated,” tweeted eight-time champion Roger Federer.
Wimbledon was due to run for two weeks from June 29, with Novak Djokovic and Simona Halep set to defend their singles titles.
But tournament chiefs bowed to the inevitable on Wednesday, saying in a statement that they had made the decision with “great regret”.
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