Wimbledon tennis tournament has been canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic – the first time this has happened since World War II.
The tournament was due to be played between June 29 and July 12. The 134th championships will instead be staged from June 28 to July 11, 2021. The decision follows the postponement of the French Open, which was set to take place in May but has been rescheduled to Sept. 20-Oct. 4.
“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,” said Ian Hewitt, chairman of All England Lawn Tennis Club, which organizes the tournament.
“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.”
Wimbledon is a major global TV broadcasting event with more than 80 broadcast organizations on site. Eighteen courts at Wimbledon have live television coverage, more than any other Grand Slam, and there are positions for 120 commentators on Center Court alone. Around 2,500 broadcast personnel attend the event, as well as 530 press journalists, and 200 photographers.