This year’s Wimbledon championship has been cancelled, the All-England Lawn Tennis Club have announced.
It is the first the championship, one of the four grand slams of tennis, has been cancelled in 75 years.
The last time was during World War Two back in 1945.
While organisers of the French Open announced last month that they were moving the tournament to September, the AELTC have gone a step further and cancelled Wimbledon altogether.
The decision was taken after the option of playing in front of empty stands or taking advantage of the postponement of the Olympics by moving the tournament to late July.
“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,” a statement from the AELTC said.
“Uppermost in our mind has been the health and safety of all of those who come together to make Wimbledon happen – the public in the UK and visitors from around the world, our players, guests, members, staff, volunteers, partners, contractors, and local residents – as well as our broader responsibility to society’s efforts to tackle this global challenge to our way of life.
“It is the Committee of Management’s view that cancellation of The Championships is the best decision in the interests of public health, and that being able to provide certainty by taking this decision now, rather than in several weeks, is important for everyone involved in tennis and The Championships. Members of the public who paid for tickets in the Wimbledon Public Ballot for this year’s Championships will have their tickets refunded and will be offered the chance to purchase tickets for the same day and court for The Championships 2021. We will be communicating directly with all ticket-holders.”