London, April 2:
Wimbledon organizers have 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 grass court major at the All England Club leaves the season in disarray, with no tennis due to be played until mid-July.
“Devastated,” tweeted eight-time champion Roger Federer, while Serena Williams, who has won the tournament seven times, said she was shocked by the momentous decision. It also prompted the ATP and WTA to cancel the grass court swing in the build-up to Wimbledon, meaning the tennis season will not now recommence until July 13 at the earliest.
The US Tennis Association responded by saying the US Open was still due to take place as planned, from August 31 to September 13.
“At this time the USTA still plans to host the US Open as scheduled, and we continue to hone plans to stage the tournament,” it said in a statement.
“The USTA is carefully monitoring the rapidly-changing environment surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, and is preparing for all contingencies.”