AGENCIES, London: The latest major sporting event disrupted by the coronavirus outbreak in United Kingdom is Wimbledon which has had an unbroken record of 75 years in peace time. The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on Wednesday announced that it had decided to cancel the Wimbledon Championships, in the wake of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
“It is with great regret that the AELTC has today decided that The Championships 2020 will be cancelled due to public health concerns linked to the coronavirus epidemic.The 134th Championships will instead be staged from 28 June to 11 July 2021,” it said in a post on Twitter.
The tournament wasn’t held from 1915 to 1918 due to the First World War and then again from 1940 to 1945 due to the Second World War.
Event organizers said that the restrictions on large gatherings, travel and the strain on medical services made it impossible to prepare for the tournament properly without putting people at a health risk.
The French Open has already decided to postpone this year’s competition from May to September in the wake of coronavirus which has claimed over 33,000 lives across the world so far.
Wimbledon has always been played on grass, which was once tennis’s most common playing surface but has long since been superseded by clay and synthetic hardcourts. The tournament has maintained its prestige and relevance, however, and its cancellation is a major blow to professional tennis, stripping the sport of one of its biggest showcases
Just like the Olympic Games, this will be the first time that the Championships, the third tennis grand slam of the year, will not be held during peace time.
Roger Federer holds the record for the most Men’s singles titles with 8 wins. He broke the record of Pete Sampras, who has seven wins to his name. Englishman William Renshaw too won the tournament seven times, but in the amateur era.
Among women, the legendary Martina Navratilova holds the record with 9 singles titles. Steffi Graff and Serena Williams have won the title 7 times.
The tournament was played for the first time in the year 1884.