Wimbledon has been canceled by the All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC) amid the coronavirus pandemic.

“These considerations are particularly related to the concerns brought about by mass gatherings and the strain on the medical and emergency services, as well as movement and travel restrictions both within the UK and around the world,” Wimbledon’s statement reads. “With the likelihood that the Government’s measures will continue for many months, it is our view that we must act responsibly to protect the large numbers of people required to prepare The Championships from being at risk – from the training of ball boys and girls to thousands of officials, line judges, stewards, players, suppliers, media and contractors who convene on the AELTC Grounds – and equally to consider that the people, supplies and services legally required to stage The Championships would not be available at any point this summer, thus ruling out postponement.”

The decision was announced Wednesday, and it means the tournament will not go ahead for the first time since World War II. The grass-court grand slam had been due to begin in London on June 29.

With the spread of COVID-19 putting sports across the world on hold, the French Open — originally scheduled for May — has already been moved back to September. An AELTC statement said the 134th Championships will now take place from June 28 July 11, 2021 instead.

Novak Djokovic and Simona Halep, the respective men’s and women’s singles victors last year, will consequently be defending champions for another 12 months.

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.”



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