‘Painful, Devastating’: Tennis world reacts to Wimbledon cancellation

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Wimbledon Roundtable

Players across the tennis fraternity have been reacted with shock and sadness at the cancellation of Wimbledon.

The grass event was called off for the first time since World War Two because of the global Coronavirus pandemic.

That means the entire tennis calendar for the year has been turned on its head.

Roger Federer, whose record haul of 20 Grand Slam titles includes eight Wimbledon trophies, said he was “devastated”.

There is no gif for these things that I am feeling,” he added.

In a statement from the organisers of the Halle Open, which was also cancelled, Federer said: “We are going through difficult times but we will emerge stronger.

“I already look forward to returning to Halle next year. Stay healthy.

Former Wimbledon champion Amelie Mauresmo did not think either the U.S. Open or the French Open would go ahead this year.

I think we’re going to have to draw a line under the 2020 tennis season,” Mauresmo said on Twitter this week.

International circuit = players of all nationalities plus management, spectators and people from the 4 corners of the world who bring these events to life. No vaccine = no tennis.”

Scope

Unlike the French Open which is played on clay, Wimbledon’s scope for re-arranging the start date was extremely limited.

While Centre Court and Court One boast a roof, playing elite level tennis outside on grass would have been extremely challenging in late summer or autumn.

There is a lack of light and there are problems caused by dew forming on the surface late in the day.

Shortening the format of the tournament, or playing behind closed doors, would also have proved extremely unpopular with the players.

While in some ways this has been a challenging decision, we strongly believe it is not only in the best interests of society at this time, but also provides certainty to our colleagues in international tennis.

“This is in the face of the impact on the grass court events in the UK and in Europe and the broader tennis calendar,” AELTC Chief Executive Richard Lewis said.

Tickets-holders will be offered the chance to purchase tickets for the same day and court for 2021 championships.

They will also be issued with a refund for this year’s event, organisers added.

Wimbledon had been held every year since 1946 after a six-year hiatus because the country was at war