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Wimbledon canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic

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Wimbledon was set to take place June 29.

2020 Australian Open - Day 9 Photo by TPN/Getty Images

Wimbledon will not take place in 2020, the All England Athletic Club announced Wednesday. Wimbledon had been scheduled to start June 29.

In a statement, the All England Club cited “public health concerns linked to the coronavirus epidemic.”

Uppermost in our mind has been the health and safety of all of those who come together to make Wimbledon happen – the public in the UK and visitors from around the world, our players, guests, members, staff, volunteers, partners, contractors, and local residents – as well as our broader responsibility to society’s efforts to tackle this global challenge to our way of life.

Ticket holders will be refunded and given an option to buy tickets to the tournament in 2021. The All England Club also said that it is developing plans to help support staff, and will also focus on helping the Covid-19 emergency response.

On Monday, German Tennis Federation vice president Dirk Hordorff told Sky Sports Germany that Wimbledon would be canceled, saying that it “is necessary in the current situation.”

Via The Guardian:

“It is completely unrealistic to imagine that with the travel restrictions that we currently have an international tennis tournament where hundreds of thousands of people from all over the world would travel. That is unthinkable.”

The decision comes in the wake of backlash against the French Open, which pushed the start of its tournament back from May 18 to Sept. 20 to the chagrin of tennis officials and players. The French Tennis Association was criticized for making a decision without consulting with players, nor with the ATP and WTA. Defending French Open champion Rafael Nadal has threatened to boycott the event.

Canadian tennis player Vasek Popisil, who also sits on the WTA council, told the New York Times that the postponement was “insane.”

“These are really rough times, unprecedented times, and this just goes against the whole idea of the tour working together. We have a calendar. We have discussions and negotiations between the Grand Slams and the ATP. ... It’s just a very selfish move. They are basically doing a power play right now, and it’s quite arrogant.”

Wimbledon will avoid similar ire, though at the loss of the world’s most prestigious tennis event. News of its cancelation came shortly after the Olympics officially postponed until 2021. Novak Djokovic and Simona Halep are the defending Wimbledon men’s and women’s singles champions, respectively.