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Sport Time running out for Wimbledon

08:00  26 march  2020
08:00  26 march  2020 Source:   reuters.com

Coronavirus: Wimbledon cancellation is getting closer

 Coronavirus: Wimbledon cancellation is getting closer © PIXATHLONPIXATHLONSID There are currently no games until June 7th London - A cancellation of Wimbledon's legendary tennis tournament is getting closer this year. The organizers will make a decision at a crisis meeting next week, the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club (AELTC) said on Wednesday. "We are working hard to be certain of our plans for 2020," said AELTC CEO Richard Lewis. A possible shift is accompanied by difficulties and a risk that the time window is small due to the lawn.

This year's Wimbledon Championships have so far survived the cull of the world's most prestigious sporting events due to the coronavirus pandemic, but it seems only a matter of time before they are postponed or cancelled.

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a close up of some grass: Wimbledon © Reuters/ANDREW COULDRIDGE Wimbledon

LONDON (Reuters) - This year's Wimbledon Championships have so far survived the cull of the world's most prestigious sporting events due to the coronavirus pandemic, but it seems only a matter of time before they are postponed or cancelled.

With London in its first week of lockdown, All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC) officials are weighing up their limited options.

The 'build' for the June 29-July 12 championships is supposed to start in little over a month but it seems increasingly likely Wimbledon will be forced to miss a year for the first time since 1945.

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"The AELTC has been contingency planning since January, working closely with the UK government and public health authorities to follow their advice and understand the likely impact of COVID-19 and the government's emergency measures on The Championships, and our thoughts are with all those affected by this crisis at this time," the club said in a statement on Wednesday.

a woman standing in front of a crowd: FILE PHOTO: Time running out for Wimbledon © Reuters/Toby Melville FILE PHOTO: Time running out for Wimbledon

"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," it added.

The AELTC said playing behind closed doors was not an option.

Can we play Wimbledon in the autumn?

  Can we play Wimbledon in the autumn? Legendary tennis broadcaster Leif Shiras says Wimbledon could be played in the autumn, should it be called off due to the coronavirus pandemic. The coronavirus outbreak has decimated the sporting schedule and affected some of 2020's biggest events, including the French Open which was moved from its scheduled spring slot to September 20.The US Open has no plans to alter its schedule from an August 25 start date, while Wimbledon organisers said they were still proceeding on the basis that the grass-court Grand Slam would start on June 29.

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The Australian Open, the year's first Grand Slam, was completed before the coronavirus crisis exploded to virtually shut down world sport, including the men's ATP Tour and women's WTA Tour.

The French Open last week made the decision to move the claycourt tournament to Sept. 20-Oct. 4 from its May start because of the outbreak.

While the postponement of the Tokyo Olympics on Tuesday potentially opened a two-week slot in the calendar in July/August, it would appear unlikely Wimbledon would use it.

Gallery: Events that have been canceled or postponed due to COVID-19 pandemic (Photo Services)

Switching to a later time in the year is even less likely as Wimbledon has only two covered courts and elite outdoor grasscourt tennis is not feasible past late summer.

Wimbledon said it is communicating closely with the LTA, and with the ATP, WTA, ITF and the other Grand Slams.

But a cancellation looks increasingly likely.

"The unprecedented challenge presented by the COVID-19 crisis continues to affect our way of life in ways that we could not have imagined," AELTC chief executive Richard Lewis said.

"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."

Tokyo’s Olympic village could be used as coronavirus hospital .
The complex, which will eventually include 24 buildings, is expected to remain unoccupied with the Olympics delayed for 16 months. ____________________________________________________ More on coronavirus: Brescia president threatens to forfeit matches if Serie A resumes [Goal]Novak Djokovic 'the big loser' from Wimbledon 2020 coronavirus cancellation [Mirror]Premier League players may be willing to pay wages of club staff, says PFA [Guardian]____________________________________________________Mr Koike said the Athletes Village was “one of the options, but the village is not finished yet.

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