The Main Board of the All England Club (AELTC) and the Committee of Management of The Championship (Wimbledon) have confirmed the cancellation of Wimbledon 2020 due to public health concerns linked to the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic.
The tennis Grand Slam competition was set to take place from June 29 to July 11, 2020 but the 134th edition of the Championships will now take place from June 28 to July 11, 2021.
AELTC chairman, Ian Hewitt, said the decision to cancel Wimbledon 2020 is for the health and safety of all those who come together to make Wimbledon happen, the public in the UK and visitors from around the world, the players, guests, members, staff, volunteers, partners, contractors and local residents, as well as acknowledging their broader responsibility to society’s efforts in tackling the global challenge.
“This is a decision that we have not taken lightly, and we have done so with the highest regard for public health and the wellbeing of all those who come together to make Wimbledon happen,” Hewitt said.
“It has weighed heavily on our minds that the staging of The Championships has only been interrupted previously by World Wars but, following thorough and extensive consideration of all scenarios, we believe that it is a measure of this global crisis that it is ultimately the right decision to cancel this year’s Championships, and instead concentrate on how we can use the breadth of Wimbledon’s resources to help those in our local communities and beyond.
“Our thoughts are with all those who have been and continue to be affected by these unprecedented times,” he said.
AELTC chief executive, Richard Lewis CBE, added this decision has come with full support from international tennis’ governing bodies.
“While in some ways this has been a challenging decision, we strongly believe it is not only in the best interests of society at this time, but also provides certainty to our colleagues in international tennis given the impact on the grass court events in the UK and in Europe and the broader tennis calendar,” Lewis said.
“We have appreciated the support of the LTA, and the ATP, WTA and ITF in coming to this decision, and our friends and partners who stage these grass court events that are so important in the build up to Wimbledon.
“I would like to thank the UK government and public health authorities for their guidance and support, and we will do whatever we can to assist their efforts in tackling the crisis.
“Finally, I would like to thank all those who love Wimbledon for their understanding of these unique and unquestionably challenging circumstances.
“It is your passion for The Championships that has shaped our event over the years, and will continue to do so, and we look forward to preparing a fantastic Championships for 2021,” he said.
Along with this announcement, the AELTC has also announced they have begun distributing medical equipment and offered the use of their facilities to the NHS and to the London Resilience Partnership, the collection of agencies in London fighting the battle against COVID-19.
In addition, the Wimbledon Foundation is offering funding support to its local communities through partnership with the London Community Foundation, and more broadly for the London and UK population through partnerships with the British Red Cross.