On Wednesday, The All England Lawn Tennis Club made official what the tennis community had already resigned themselves to hearing: the cancellation of the 2020 Championships at Wimbledon.
After the AELTC announced last week that an emergency meeting had been scheduled with The Main Board, rumors circulated over the weekend that the decision had already been made behind closed doors. It marks the first time the grass-court major will not be held since 1945, when the tournament was abandoned for the sixth straight year due to World War II.
It is with great regret that the Main Board of the All England Club (AELTC) and the Committee of Management of The Championships have today decided that The Championships 2020 will be cancelled due to public health concerns linked to the coronavirus epidemic. The 134th Championships will instead be staged from 28 June to 11 July 2021.
The full statement can be read here.
Martina Navratilova on Wimbledon's cancellation:
Shortly after, the ATP and WTA announced a further suspension of the tours, through the grass-court season, as part of a combined statement:
In addition to Wimbledon, the suspension covers the entirety of the ATP/WTA European grass court swing, including ATP events in ‘s-Hertogenbosch, Stuttgart, London-Queen’s, Halle, Mallorca, Eastbourne, as well as WTA events in ‘s-Hertogenbosch, Nottingham, Birmingham, Berlin, Eastbourne and Bad Homburg. The suspension comes into effect at all levels of the professional game, including the ATP Challenger Tour, as well as the ITF World Tennis Tour. At this time, tournaments taking place from July 13, 2020 onwards are still planning to proceed as per the published schedule.
With Wimbledon now off the international sports calendar, adding to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and UEFA Euro 2020 being pushed back to next summer as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the likelihood of tennis returning this year decreases by the day. The ATP and WTA jointly decided two weeks ago not to hold the entire European clay-court season as planned; in a unilateral decision, Roland Garros has moved its start date to September 20.
As for the US Open, the next Grand Slam tournament currently on the calendar, the USTA says that at this time, the event is still being held. As part of a statement:
We understand the unique circumstances facing the All England Lawn and Tennis Club and the reasoning behind the decision to cancel the 2020 Wimbledon Championships. At this time the USTA still plans to host the US Open as scheduled, and we continue to hone plans to stage the tournament. The USTA is carefully monitoring the rapidly-changing environment surrounding the Covid-19 pandemic, and is preparing for all contingencies.