For the first time in its nearly one and a half century history, Wimbledon was canceled for a reason other than the war and scrapped on Wednesday 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
After Britain was blocked nationwide, the All England Club announced its decision to cancel its two-week grass tennis tournament, which had not happened to the sport's oldest grand slam event in 75 years.
"We were very concerned that the organization of the championships had so far only been interrupted by the world wars," said club chairman Ian Hewitt. "However, after a thorough and comprehensive review of all scenarios, we believe that this is the case. One measure of this global crisis is that ultimately it is the right decision to cancel this year's championships and instead focus on how we use the breadth of resources from Wimbledon to help people in our local communities and beyond. "
Wimbledon was to be played on the outskirts of London from June 29 to July 12. Instead, the next edition of the tournament will take place from June 28th to July 11th, 2021.
The eight-time Wimbledon champion Roger Federer certainly spoke for many tennis players, officials and fans with a one-word message on Twitter: "Devastated".
Also on Wednesday, ATP and WTA announced that professional tours for men and women would be suspended until July 13th, bringing the number of elite tennis tournaments affected by the new coronavirus to over 30 since early March. The top tours were on hold until June 7th. Lower-level events on the Challenger Tour and ITF World Tennis Tour are now canceled for the first two weeks of July.
Wimbledon was first held in 1877 and has been contested every year since then, with the exception of two stretches: from 1915 to 18 due to the First World War and from 1940 to 1945 due to the Second World War.
Now the prestigious tournament – known for its carefully manicured grass, its royal box on center court, its rules for wearing white, its strawberries and cream and, unfortunately, its rain delays – has been added to the growing list of canceled major sporting events at 2020 because of the COVID 19 outbreak.
These include the Tokyo Olympic Games – which were pushed back 12 months – and the NCAA men's and women's college basketball tournaments.
Wimbledon is the first Grand Slam tournament to be wiped out due to the corona virus. The start of the French Open was postponed from late May to late September.
Shortly after the news came from Wimbledon, the US Tennis Association issued a statement in New York from August 31 to September 13, saying it was planning to continue hosting the US Open as planned.
Effective immediately, the French Open begins six days after the men's finals in Flushing Meadows, where an indoor exercise facility is a temporary 350 bed hospital and 25,000 meals are prepared at Louis Armstrong Stadium. Workers, volunteers and school children in the city.
Wednesday's All England Club decision means that Novak Djokovic and Simona Halep will no longer have a chance to defend their Wimbledon titles from 2019.
"We're going through something bigger than tennis and Wimbledon will be back!" Halep wrote on social media. "And it means that I have to look forward to defending my title even longer."
Serena Williams retweeted the club's cancellation message and wrote, "I'm shaken."
The move takes one of Federer's best chances of trying to include 20 Grand Slam titles in his men's record. Federer, who turns 39 in August, is recovering from knee surgery and plans to return in time for the European grass field, which has now been deleted from the calendar.
In a statement last week, the All England Club said that the postponement of the two-week event would not be "without significant risks and difficulties" due to the weather-related grass surface. At the time, the club also said that it had ruled out playing behind closed doors without spectators.
Hundreds of thousands of people have caught COVID-19 around the world and tens of thousands have died. For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, including fever and cough, but also mild cases of pneumonia, which sometimes require hospitalization.
The All England Club said it would help in the emergency response to the pandemic, including the distribution of medical equipment and food, and other means of using their facilities.
Regular life has come to a standstill in many respects in many parts of the world in recent weeks, and sport has reflected this.
The NBA, NHL and Major League Baseball are on hold indefinitely; The Kentucky Derby and Indianapolis 500 were pushed back several months until September. The English Premier League and other club football competitions are currently suspended. and the European Football Championship, scheduled to end on the same day as the Wimbledon men's final in London, was postponed from 2020 to 2021.
"I have been lucky enough to travel to Wimbledon every year since 1961 and I will certainly miss it this year," said Billie Jean King, who won a total of 20 trophies at the All England Club – six for singles, 10 for women -Doubles, four for mixed doubles.
“At the moment we have to make sure that we take good care of ourselves and our loved ones. These are challenging times for all of us and now is the time for us to do what is right for our world and what works for our sport. "
More news about the new corona virus can be found here.
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