Wimbledon Canceled for First Time Since World War II Due to Coronavirus Plague

FILE PHOTO: Tennis – Wimbledon – All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, London, Britain – July 2, 2019 General view of the Wimbledon logo on the base of the handle of a tennis racquet REUTERS/Andrew Couldridge

The Wimbledon Championships have been canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic, the All England Club announced Wednesday.

It is the first time Wimbledon has been canceled since World War II in 1945. It is also the first time since the tournament began in 1877 that the event will not be played during peacetime.

Wimbledon had been scheduled to run from June 29 to July 12.

“Devastated,” eight-time Wimbledon champion Roger Federer tweeted.

In addition, the ATP and WTA made a joint announcement that all events at all levels of both professional tours have been canceled through July 13, covering the entire grass-court season. The same decision was made by the International Tennis Federation.

Though the All England Club considered a number of alternatives, including postponement, it decided that cancellation was the best option.

“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,” Wimbledon said in a statement on its website. “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.”

Next year’s event will be held from June 28 to July 11.

“We are going through something bigger than tennis and Wimbledon will be back!” Simona Halep, last year’s women’s winner, said on social media. “And it means I have even longer to look forward to defending my title.”

Wimbledon was canceled from 1915 to 1918 because of World War I and from 1940 to 1945 due to World War II.

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SOURCE: ESPN, Simon Cambers