2020 Wimbledon Championships Canceled
The coronavirus pandemic continues to force the postponement or cancellation of some major sporting events, and this time it is the sport of tennis that is affected.
The All England Club announced on Wednesday morning that they are canceling the 2020 Wimbledon Championships due to the coronavirus and its effects all over the globe.
Wimbledon was scheduled to take place from June 29 through July 12, but it will now be canceled, with play resuming in 2021.
The Wimbledon Championships date back to 1877, and they have been played every year since then during peacetime. World War II forced the cancellation of the event in 1945, and that was the last year in which there was no Wimbledon Tournament. Wimbledon is one of the four “Grand Slam” events in the sport of tennis and is considered the most prestigious. Both men and women compete at the event each year in front of record and sellout crowds.
Wimbledon was shut down from 1915-1918 because of the fighting taking place during World War I, and then was shut down from 1940-1945 because of World War II. Those are the only years in which the event has not taken place since its inception.
The All England Club has spent the past few weeks trying to come up with alternatives to cancellation, but they just couldn’t come up with a better option. Postponing the event would be too difficult based on the length of the tournament, and the number of players and workers that would be affected.
Another problem was moving the tournament to later in the year would prevent the courts from being in playable shape. Without much sunlight, the grass playing surface would not be suitable to host the tournament. The 2021 Wimbledon Championships are set to take place from June 28 through July 11.
Losing Wimbledon wasn’t the only major tennis announcement that came on Wednesday morning. The Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) and the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) announced that all tournaments will be canceled through July 13.
This includes all levels at both professional tours, and it will wipe out the entire grass-court season. Both organizations had hinted at this announcement earlier last week, but the final blow came as part of this announcement on Wednesday.
England has been hit extremely hard by the coronavirus pandemic, and severe restrictions have been made against its citizens. Citizens in Britain are only allowed to go outside once per day to exercise, and all work must be done from home. As of Wednesday morning, the country’s death toll is over 2,500 people.
The French Open is another of the grand slam events on the tennis calendar, and they have already had to make some adjustments. The 2020 French Open was scheduled to take place from May 24 to June 7, but that event has already been postponed. The tournament will now be played from Sept. 20 to Oct. 4.
The next major event scheduled to take place is now the United States Open. The United States Tennis Association announced on Wednesday that the event is still expected to proceed as scheduled, but that could always change.
The US Open is played at the Billie Jean King Memorial Tennis Center in Flushing, NY, is expected to begin on Aug. 24. The Billie Jean King Memorial Tennis Center has been converted into a temporary medical facility in an effort to stop the spread in New York. There are over 350 temporary hospital beds at the facility, and other parts of the facility will also be turned into a food distribution center.
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