Decision imminent

Wimbledon set to be called off amid pandemic fears

Roger Federer: chasing a 21st Grand Slam

Confirmation that this year’s Wimbledon Championships will be cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic is expected this week.

A leading German tennis official has claimed that the decision has already been made by the All-England Club.

Organisers are meeting in London tomorrow to discuss the issue but according to German Tennis Federation vice-president Dirk Hordorff, it has already been decided that the 2020 showpiece cannot go ahead.

“The necessary decisions have already been made,” he said. “Wimbledon will decide to cancel (this) Wednesday. There is no doubt about it. This is necessary in the current situation.

“It is completely unrealistic to imagine that with the travel restrictions that we currently have an international tennis tournament where hundreds of thousands of people from all over the world would travel. That is unthinkable.”

Cancellation rather than postponement seems the route the All-England Club has gone down, given the difficulties maintaining the grass courts later in the year.

The All-England Club released a statement last week, saying: “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.”

The championships are due to begin on June 29 with Roger Federer chasing a 21st Grand Slam title but are set to join the lengthy list of major sporting events affected by COVID-19.

Last week saw the Tokyo Olympics postponed until next year with the sporting extravaganza now being staged from 23 July-8 Aug 2021.

Euro 2020 has already been put back 12 months, while next month’s Grand National and The Masters at Augusta were also casualties.

The Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open is due to be played at The Renaissance Club near North Berwick from 9-12 July, with the Open Championship scheduled for Royal St George’s from July 16-19.

The R&A is continuing to monitor the situation but it is widely expected that these tournaments will not go ahead as planned.

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