The Wimbledon championships were cancelled for the first time since World War Two as the coronavirus pandemic struck another blue-riband sports event off the calendar.
The development meant a wipe-out of the entire tennis grasscourt season.
The decision had looked inevitable for some time, since the virtual shutdown of world sports and the postponement of the Tokyo Olympics.
But Wimbledon had been one of the few events not to have been officially cancelled or postponed.
However, after emergency talks between the various stakeholders over the last few days, the All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC) made its announcement.
It said it was impossible for the grasscourt Grand Slam, scheduled for June 29 to July 12, to take place.
“It is with great regret that the main board … have decided that The Championships 2020 will be cancelled due to public health concerns linked to the coronavirus epidemic,” the AELTC said in a statement.
“The 134th Championships will instead be staged from June 28 to July 11, 2021.”
Britain’s death toll from the virus reached 2,352 on Wednesday, according to NHS figures.
The French Open, originally due to be held from May 24 to June 7 was postponed.
It was controversially rescheduled by the French tennis federation for Sept. 20 to Oct. 4, shortly after the end of the U.S. Open.
The U.S. Open organisers said they were continuing with their plans to host the hardcourt Grand Slam in New York as scheduled from Aug. 31 to Sept. 14.