Wimbledon 2020 “to be cancelled on Wednesday”

leyeaduloju in News 30 Mar 2020
Centre Court (PA Sport)

Wimbledon will announce on Wednesday that the 2020 tournament has been cancelled, according to a German tennis official.

Vice president of the German Tennis Federation, DTB, Dirk Hordoff, made this known in an interview with Sky Sports Germany, stating that there’s “no doubt” about the cancellation, and that the decision was necessary given the current coronavirus pandemic.

The All England Club had said in a statement last Wednesday that a definitive decision on the tournament, scheduled to run from 29 June to 12 July, would be made this week.

“We are working hard to bring certainty to our plans for 2020 and have convened an emergency meeting of the main board for next week, at which a decision will be made”, the statement read.

The All England Club ruled out staging the grass-court major behind closed doors, while stating that postponement and cancellation were options still being considered. The postponement of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games had opened up a extra two-week window between July and August, but it now appears the All England Club have settled on cancelling the tournament, with an official announcement expected later this week.

“Wimbledon has stated that they will have a board meeting next Wednesday and will make the final decision there,” Hordorff said. “I am also involved in the bodies of the ATP and WTA. The necessary decisions have already been made there and Wimbledon will decide to cancel next Wednesday. There is no doubt about it. This is necessary in the current situation”.

“It is completely unrealistic to imagine that with the travel restrictions that we currently have an international tennis tournament where hundreds of thousands of people from all over the world would travel. That is unthinkable.”

While Wimbledon is likely to be cancelled, organizers of the French Open, the second major of the year, remain intent on pressing ahead with clay-court Slam. Roland Garros organizers recently rescheduled the event from May to September due to the coronavirus pandemic, a seemingly unilateral decision that has drawn widespread criticisms from players, officials and fans.

Hordoff was unimpressed move by the French Open, and cast doubts over the possibility of the tournament going ahead as rescheduled. He had some very strong words for the French federation, opining that Roland Garros may degenerate into chaos if they persist with the September dates.

“The unilateral behaviour of the organisers has been criticised by everyone and I can simply predict that the French Open will not be relocated as it was intended,” Hordorff said.

“They will be deprived of the points and they will degenerate into a chaos event… Even those there have understood that and they are slowly crawling back. Solidarity is the order of the day, it is a matter of being together and not going it alone, as the president of the French tennis association did.”

The ATP and WTA tours are currently suspended due to the Covid-19 crisis, and will not resume until 7 June, at the earliest.