This year’s Wimbledon Championships have been cancelled because of the coronabvirus pandemic.
The All England Club has confirmed the tournament, scheduled to start at the end of June will not take place because of public health concerns, and said that they had a duty to “act responsibly” as society works to slow the spread of the virus.
Postponement until later in the year was not a viable option.
Wimbledon becomes the latest major sporting event to be cancelled in response to the pandemic, following the Tokyo Olympics and Euro 2020.
Ian Hewitt, AELTC chairman, said: “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.
“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.”
Richard Lewis CBE, AELTC chief executive, added: “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.
“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.”