London – Wimbledon is no exception in these coronavirus times. For the first time since the Second World War, the most prestigious tennis tournament in the world is facing complete cancellation due to the pandemic.
Almost three months remain until the start of the classic lawn, but the historic end could already be official this Wednesday. Then, according to corresponding media reports, the decision on this year’s edition should be made at a crisis meeting of the tournament organizers.
“You don’t have to be a clairvoyant that there is no alternative,” said Vice President of the German Tennis Association Dirk Hordorff in an interview with the German Press Agency. “It is completely unthinkable. You don’t need inside information that in a world in which Olympia is canceled a month later, such a tournament cannot take place. ”
The fact that, like in all the other years, from June 29th to July 12th, there is a throng on the Wimbledon grandstands or on the paths between the squares, currently seems like an idea from another world. Hundreds of thousands of spectators usually flock to the time-honored facility in south-west London in the two weeks.
Players, coaches or referees travel from all over the world. Construction work should begin at the end of April. “The most important thing to consider is health,” said Richard Lewis, managing director of the All England Lawn Tennis Club, when he announced a decision this week: “We are determined to act responsibly.”
According to Hordorff, the organizers made financial provision. “Wimbledon was probably – as the only Grand Slam tournament – foreseeable enough many years ago to ensure itself against a global pandemic so that the financial damage there should be minimized,” said the official on Sky.
A shift like the French Open, which is now to be held from September 20 to October 4, is even more complicated in Wimbledon due to the surface. The lawn, for example, quickly becomes slippery in damp and at low temperatures. And no one knows at the moment when the global tennis tour, which was temporarily interrupted until June 7, can start again with the high volume of travel. Hausdorff would be happy if things continued in October.
The planned German tennis summer is also about to be canceled. The clay-court tournament in Hamburg (13th to 19th July) still pays off a “60 percent chance”, as organizer Peter-Michael Reichel told the “Hamburger Abendblatt”. If Wimbledon is actually canceled, it will probably also result in the four planned lawn tournaments in Germany. Stuttgart is supposed to make the start from June 8, the organizers of Berlin and Bad Homburg have been preparing for their lawn premieres on the WTA tour for months. Swiss Roger Federer is always the crowd favorite in the long-established tournament in Halle, Westphalia.
But even for the Swiss top star, a return to normality currently seems a long way off, even if he doesn’t want to put the tennis racket down completely. In the snow, the 38-year-old passed the time on a ball wall with a few blows through the legs or behind the back – optimal tennis preparation for his ninth Wimbledon triumph would look different.
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