Amid the rising coronavirus cases in different parts of the world, the All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC) on Wednesday (March 25) said it is evaluating all scenarios, including a postponement or cancellation of Wimbledon 2020 due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
Notably, Wimbledon 2020 is scheduled to be played between June 29 and July 12 but it seems highly unlikely that the prestigious tournament would be held as per schedule.
The AELTC is going to host an emergency meeting of its Main Board next week and would consult the ATP, WTA, the ITF and other Grand Slam during the meeting to take a final call over the hosting of event.
The AETC, however, confirmed that it will not host Wimbledon 2020 behind closed doors. "The AELTC can confirm that it is continuing a detailed evaluation of all scenarios for The Championships 2020, including postponement and cancellation, as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak," the AELTC said in a statement.
The AELTC is continuing a detailed evaluation of all scenarios for The Championships 2020, including postponement and cancellation, as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.https://t.co/BjlPiyuTtf
— Wimbledon (@Wimbledon) March 25, 2020
"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," added the statement.
"An emergency meeting of the AELTC Main Board is scheduled for next week, and in preparation we are communicating closely with the LTA, and with the ATP, WTA, ITF and the other Grand Slams. The build for The Championships is due to begin at the end of April. 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. Playing behind closed doors has been formally ruled out," noted the statement.
It is to be noted that the ATP and the WTA have suspended the tour until June 7 due to coronavirus and the entire clay-court season except French Open has been wiped out.
The global toll due to coronavirus on Wednesday night (11:30 pm IST, March 25) reached 20,499 with total confirmed cases of 4,51,355, according to the Johns Hopkins University's latest graph.