The coronavirus pandemic has created chaos in the 2020 tennis calendar. It has led to the cancelation of a string of tournaments, and the rescheduling of 2 Grand Slams. A few days ago, the All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC) announced an emergency meeting which would officially decide the fate of Wimbledon 2020.
According to Reuters, German Tennis Federation (DTB) vice-president Dirk Hordorff told Sky Sports Germany: “I am also involved in the bodies of the ATP and WTA. The grass tournaments [leading up to Wimbledon] have already decided not to play. They are awaiting the announcement of Wimbledon on Wednesday. There is no doubt about it. This is necessary in the current situation.”
He also commented about the current chaotic travel situation:
“It is completely unrealistic to imagine that with the travel restrictions, that we have an international tennis tournament where hundreds of thousands of people from all over the world would travel. That is unthinkable.”
Canceling Wimbledon rather than rescheduling it later in the year is a wise move. During those months, England is much cooler (highs in the low 50’s) and rainy, and Hordorff commented:
“It is probably the only possible decision. We can possibly play Roland-Garros in September or October, but not Wimbledon, because of the grass which would be too wet.”
Those conditions would no doubt be not only uncomfortable but dangerous for the players as they would risk injury from playing on the slippery courts.
This news is coming on the heels of an unprecedented months long suspension in professional tennis, and would mark the first time Wimbledon is canceled since World War II. Earlier, the French Open 2020 announced their new dates from September 20 to October 4, 2020, just seven days after the conclusion of US Open 2020. It will also overlap the Laver Cup which is still scheduled for September 25-27, 2020. And recently the 2020 Tokyo Olympics rescheduled to 2021.
As of Sunday, there are over 17,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the United Kingdom. The entire nation will remain in total lockdown until June 2020, with some reports stating that there could be an extension of the lockdown.