Britain’s Daily Mail is reporting that Wimbledon is set to be cancelled for 2020 on Wednesday by the AELTC due to the ongoing coronavirus COVID-19 global pandemic that is severely impacting Great Britain and the rest of the world.
The 2020 Wimbledon Championships were originally scheduled for June 29-July 12th, and at one point the tournament was considered to be a possible restart point for professional tennis after it was suspended from early March through at least June 7th by the sport’s governing bodies the ATP, the WTA, and the ITF.
Instead it appears the AELTC has reviewed options such as moving the date or playing without fans at the venue and decided outright cancellation is the best of bad choices. The Daily Mail report goes on to state that Wimbledon is covered by pandemic insurance which would cover the massive financial losses caused by cancellation, a rare set of insurance coverage that is uncommon even in the sports world. Wimbledon has been played consistently since World War 2, the last time Britain and Europe was in this level of crisis.
Presuming Wimbledon is cancelled, 2020 would feature just three Grand Slam tournaments and no Olympics, with the French Open moved to September and early October, putting it just after the US Open. The cancellation of Wimbledon also suggests that the grass court tennis season is entirely done for, meaning the professional tours would potentially restart on hard courts sometime in the summer. The Olympics were just moved to 2021 and are still taking place in Tokyo as of now.
Tennis has far more complications to work through in terms of surviving the coronavirus crisis and restarting compared to other sports, with travel restrictions impacting the sport in a big way, and a global field of players all experiencing local restrictions depending on where they reside, along with country to country policies impacting the tournament stops on the calendar. Organizing tournaments even under normal conditions is a difficult feat, with many temporary workers and support staff brought in for a period of weeks to make them a success, such organization is currently impossible due to coronavirus, and more cancellations and changes are likely imminent.