The All England Lawn Tennis & Croquet Club (AELTC) has informed that it has continued its evaluation of all the scenarios for the Wimbledon Open 2020, including postponement or cancellation, in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The AELTC has been contingency planning since January, working closely with the UK government and public health authorities to follow their advice and understand the likely impact of COVID-19 and the government’s emergency measures on The Championships, and our thoughts are with all those affected by this crisis at this time,” a statement on the official website of Wimbledon said.
The AELTC has further revealed that staging a closed-door Wimbledon is not in contention and that the governing body’s Main Board has scheduled an “emergency meeting”. The AELTC officials are closely working with the ATP, WTA, ITF and the authorities of the other Grand Slams.
“At this time, 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 statement said.
Richard Lewis CBE, AELTC Chief Executive, commented: “The unprecedented challenge presented by the COVID-19 crisis continues to affect our way of life in ways that we could not have imagined, and our thoughts are with all those affected in the UK and around the world.”
He added, “The single most important consideration is one of public health, and we are determined to act responsibly through the decisions we make. We are working hard to bring certainty to our plans for 2020 and have convened an emergency meeting of the AELTC Main Board for next week, at which a decision will be made.”
Earlier the organisers of the Wimbledon Open had expressed their reluctance to reschedule the tournament and said that they were planning to go ahead with the grass-court Major.
“At this time, we continue to plan for The Championships and the grass-court season, and we intend to maintain the Estate with a limited team onsite, with the rest of our business operations taking place through remote working,” an official statement had said last week.
In the wake of the global outbreak of COVID-19, which has already killed more than 21,100 people and affected over 4,68,600 people, the French Tennis Federation last week announced the postponement of French Open 2020 until September.