Wimbledon cancelled as UEFA suspends national ties
Roger Federer is “devastated” (pic: SNS Group)
There will be no Wimbledon this year after organisers cancelled the championships for the first time since World War Two.
The decision to scrap the event came after an emergency meeting in London convened by the All-England Club.
The world’s oldest Grand Slam had been scheduled to be staged from 29 June to 12 July, when Novak Djokovic was hoping to defend the title he won with victory over Roger Federer last summer.
The 38-year-old Swiss star, who has been crowned Wimbledon champion eight times, took to social media to say he was “devasted” by the news.
Next year’s grass court showpiece will go on from 28 June to 11 July.
While widely anticipated, it is nonetheless a crushing blow for the sport but the All-England Club was left with little option due to the coronavirus pandemic.
It becomes the first major tennis championship to be totally scrapped this year due to the fall out from COVID-19. The French Open has been put back four months to September, while the US Open in New York is still planned for 31 August – 13 September.
In a statement, the All-England Club said: “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.
“It is the Committee of Management’s view that cancellation of The Championships is the best decision in the interests of public health, and that being able to provide certainty by taking this decision now, rather than in several weeks, is important for everyone involved in tennis and The Championships.
“Members of the public who paid for tickets in the Wimbledon Public Ballot for this year’s Championships will have their tickets refunded and will be offered the chance to purchase tickets for the same day and court for The Championships 2021.”
Due to the ongoing pandemic, the WTA and ATP also announced the suspension of all tournaments up to 13 July this year, ruling out the entire grass court calendar.
UEFA suspends top matches
Scotland boss Steve Clarke will have to wait for a date for the Euro 2021 play-off with Israel after UEFA postponed internationals indefinitely.
Hampden Park was scheduled to host the semi-final tie in June after a previous postponement from March but it remains to be seen when that will now take place.
With the European Championships already put back a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it will be well into next season before the Tartan Army see further action.
UEFA held a video conference meeting with all 55 member associations to discuss the coronavirus crisis and it was also decided to suspend the remaining Champions League and Europa League fixtures until further notice.
There remains little clarity on what will happen with the domestic leagues, with no decisions made on when or how they should finish.