It's a new thunderclap in the world of sport. Wimbledon, the famous Grand Slam tournament on grass, will not be able to take place this year because of the Covid-19 pandemic, organizers said on Wednesday. A postponement, like that of Roland-Garros in September, was not considered possible. This is the first cancellation of the tournament since the Second World War. On the sidelines of this announcement, ATP and the WTA announced the suspension of competitions until July 13.
“It is with great regret that the Main Board of the All England Club (AELTC) and the Competition Management Committee have decided that Wimbledon 2020 will not take place, due to the health concern linked to the coronavirus epidemic“announced the Wimbledon organizers on Wednesday. The next edition will take place between July 28 and 11, 2021. At the same time, the ATP and the WTA have declared a complete halt to competitions until July 13.
“We believe, given the magnitude of this global crisis, that it is ultimately the right decision to cancel the 2020 tournament and instead focus on how we can use the breadth of our resources to help those of our local communities and beyond“, was justified Ian Hewitt, President of the AELTC. The decision is radical, but the organizers want to be reassuring with regard to those who had already paid their place. A reimbursement and proposals for postponement to the same days in 2021 will be proposed.
Ominous bird, Dirk Hordorff, the president of the German Tennis Federation already announced the news with certainty last weekend in the columns of the team. The organizers confirmed it during a meeting this Wednesday: the Wimbledon tournament will not take place this year. Initially scheduled from June 29 to July 12, 2020, the Grand Slam tournament will therefore wait until 2021. As a reminder, the steering committee of the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club had already excluded the possibility of playing behind closed doors in a communicated.
The Wimbledon organizers preferred to cancel the tournament instead of postponing it for several reasons. The first, the British Grand Slam, has had insurance for a few years against a global pandemic. “Wimbledon took out insurance a few years ago against a global pandemic. The financial losses from a cancellation would therefore be minimized. In addition, they have enough reserves to last several years “explained Hordorff.
Besides the financial aspect, the weather conditions in London at the end of the year represented an undeniable brake. “A postponement of the tournament at the end of the year would be unthinkable due to weather conditions and the state of the lawn. At the moment, nobody knows if the circuit will be able to resume, even in September ” continued the former coach of Vasek Pospisil.
A first cancellation since the Second World War
Before the cancellation of this edition, only the two world wars had prevented Wimbledon from taking place. When the tournament resumed in 1946, this allowed a Frenchman to stand out in the final by winning on the London turf: Yvon Petra. It is, moreover, the last Habs that won at Wimbledon in the men's table. Marion Bartoli being the last Frenchwoman to have lifted the trophy among the ladies (in 2013).