Wimbledon to make tournament decision in emergency meeting next week

andrewhendrie in News 25 Mar 2020
Wimbledon Decision
Wimbledon officials will decide on the status of their tournament next week (PA Images)

The All England Club will make a decision next week in regards to whether Wimbledon will be held amidst the coronavirus crisis.

In a statement released on Wednesday night, tournament officials said postponement and cancellation of the iconic Grand Slam, currently scheduled between June 29 and July 12, was on the agenda.

Wimbledon have already confirmed they will not be staging the event behind closed doors.

“The unprecedented challenge presented by the Covid-19 crisis continues to affect our way of life in ways that we could not have imagined, and our thoughts are with all those affected in the UK and around the world,” said chief executive Richard Lewis.

“The single most important consideration is one of public health, and we are determined to act responsibly through the decisions we make.

“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.”

Despite the best efforts of everyone, it’s looking increasingly likely Wimbledon will be forced into cancellation.

Due to the nature of grass, it wouldn’t be practical to postpone the tournament until later in the year, with officials saying delay “is not without significant risk and difficulty”.

Roland Garros, which is played on clay, caused a stir earlier this month when they announced their major tournament would be changing dates to between September 20 and October 4.

On-site work at the All England Club is scheduled to begin at the end of next month, but with the current lockdown policies in place around the UK, it remains to be seen if considerable numbers of people at the venue would even be permitted.

ATP, WTA and ITF tennis has been suspended right through the clay season and up until June 7 at the earliest.

ATP President Andrea Gaudenzi said earlier this week that all grass-court tournaments remained on the current schedule, but due to the rapidly-changing nature of COVID-19, things could change at any time.