Wimbledon organisers yesterday scrapped the oldest Grand Slam tennis tournament for the first time since World War II as the coronavirus wreaks further havoc on the global sporting calendar.
The cancellation of the only grasscourt major at the All England Club leaves the season in disarray, with no tennis due to be played until mid-July.
But tournament chiefs bowed to the inevitable yesterday, saying in a statement that they had made the decision with “great regret”.
The decision to cancel the tournament was widely expected, with the world struggling to contain the spread of COVID-19, which has infected more than 900,000 people worldwide and killed over 40,000.
It also prompted the ATP and WTA to cancel the grasscourt swing in the build-up to Wimbledon, meaning the tennis season will not now recommence until July 13 at the earliest.
Organisers had earlier ruled out playing Wimbledon behind closed doors and postponing the event would also have created its own problems, with shorter days later in the English summer.