The fate of this year’s Wimbledon Championships, like other major sporting events, hangs in the balance amid the coronavirus pandemic. The organisers are weighing their options and will meet next week to make their decisions on whether to wait and watch or cancel the event altogether. Also Read - Coronavirus: Delhi Registers 7,897 New Covid-19 Cases, Active Case Tally Touches 28,773 Mark
Unlike French Open, the organisers of which made a unilateral decision to shift it to September, Wimbledon doesn’t have the luxury. Roland Garros makes use of clay court whereas, Wimbledon is played on grass and a surface which needs plenty of sunshine – something which won’t be available in the latter half of the year. Also Read - MP Imposes Weekend Lockdowns, CM Chouhan Says Active Covid Cases May Rise To 1 Lakh By April End
Even as they go debate these challenges, the organisers know that health and safety of players and public should be paramount to any decision that they will make. Also Read - Jason Roy Unavailable For SRH’s Opening IPL 2021 Clash Against KKR, Will Remain in a 7-Day Quarantine
“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. The single most important consideration is one of public health, and we are determined to act responsibly through
the decisions we make,” All England Lawn Tennis Club chief executive Richard Lewis said in a statement.
He added, “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.”
Wimbledon this year is scheduled to get underway from June 29 and run till July 12. However, with England under lockdown as it fights coronavirus, should the situation not improve drastically come June, there’s an option to postpone the event by almost a month and utilise the window made free by the decision to defer Tokyo Olympics which were to start from July 25.
But as per The Guardian, the sources feel it’s “safer and more convenient to stick with the existing arrangements.”
The option to play behind closed doors has already been ruled out.
“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,” the statement read.