Sportstennis

Wimbledon cancelled due to coronavirus

The entire grass-court season has been abandoned, and there will be no professional tennis anywhere in the world until at least 13 July.

Wimbledon is the latest major summer sporting event to be called off, with Euro 2020 and the Tokyo Olympics postponed for 12 months.

A statement from the main board at the All England Club, which runs the tournament, said the decision was made “due to public health concerns linked to the coronavirus epidemic”.

It said the health and safety of all those who make Wimbledon happen has been “uppermost in our mind” and its “broader responsibility to society’s efforts to tackle this global challenge to our way of life”.

While Centre Court and Court One boast a roof, playing elite level tennis outside on grass would have been extremely challenging in late summer or autumn with a lack of light and problems caused by dew forming on the surface late in the day.

Shortening the format of the tournament, or playing behind closed doors, would also have proved extremely unpopular with the players.

Wimbledon has been held every year since 1946 after a six-year hiatus because the country was at war.

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