Wimbledon facing cancellation or postponement due to the outbreak of coronavirus pandemic, AELTC confirm

Matt Davies
Evening Standard
Wimbledon the latest sporting event to come under threat: Getty Images
Wimbledon the latest sporting event to come under threat: Getty Images

This summer's Wimbledon Championships face a potential postponement or cancellation due to the coronavirus pandemic, the All England Lawn Tennis Club have confirmed.

The AELTC is to hold an emergency meeting next week to discuss the Championship's fate, although they have already formally ruled out playing behind closed doors.

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They are communicating with the LTA, ATP, WTA, ITF and the other Grand Slams in preparation of the meeting.

They state the nature of the surface makes a postponement more of a challenging prospect.

A statement read: "The AELTC can confirm that it is continuing a detailed evaluation of all scenarios for The Championships 2020, including postponement and cancellation, as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.

(Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

"The AELTC has been contingency planning since January, working closely with the UK government and public health authorities to follow their advice and understand the likely impact of COVID-19 and the government’s emergency measures on The Championships, and our thoughts are with all those affected by this crisis at this time.

"An emergency meeting of the AELTC Main Board is scheduled for next week, and in preparation we are communicating closely with the LTA, and with the ATP, WTA, ITF and the other Grand Slams. The build for The Championships is due to begin at the end of April.

"At this time, based on the advice we have received from the public health authorities, the very short window available to us to stage The Championships due to the nature of our surface suggests that postponement is not without significant risk and difficulty. Playing behind closed doors has been formally ruled out.

"Following the government’s advice, the AELTC’s sites at the All England Club, Wimbledon Park Golf Club and Raynes Park are currently closed with physical operations reduced to the practical minimum to maintain the grass courts and the security of the sites."

Novak Djokovic and Simona Halep emerged as last year's champions, while Brit Andy Murray was set to be fit for the event after recovering from injury.

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