Wimbledon, tennis’ premier summer event, was canceled on Wednesday for the first time since World War II, because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Britain imposed a nationwide lockdown just over a week ago, and the All England Club announced after a two-day emergency meeting that the event it refers to simply as “The Championships” is being scrapped for 2020. That hadn’t happened since 1945.
Wimbledon was scheduled to be played on the club’s grass courts on the outskirts of London from June 29 to July 12. The next edition of the tournament will be June 28 to July 11, 2021.
Players past and present, including Roger Federer, Serena Williams and Billie Jean King, expressed their sadness on social media following the news.
Devastated https://t.co/Fg2c1EuTQY pic.twitter.com/cm1wE2VwIp
— Roger Federer (@rogerfederer) April 1, 2020
I’m Shooked https://t.co/dS0cNcCdm0
— Serena Williams (@serenawilliams) April 1, 2020
So sad to hear @Wimbledon won’t take place this year. Last year’s final will forever be one of the happiest days of my life! But we are going through something bigger than tennis and Wimbledon will be back! And it means I have even longer to look forward to defending my title 🤗 pic.twitter.com/PmppwUuKtD
— Simona Halep (@Simona_Halep) April 1, 2020
i’m gonna miss playing in @Wimbledon this year💔. Stay safe everyone, love you guys❤️🥺
— Coco Gauff (@CocoGauff) April 1, 2020
My thoughts on the cancellation of #Wimbledon. pic.twitter.com/gWPoOJLUXH
— Billie Jean King (@BillieJeanKing) April 1, 2020
#Wimbledon 😭 pic.twitter.com/ArJFzQHpP6
— Elina Svitolina (@ElinaSvitolina) April 1, 2020
See you in 2021, Wimbledon. 😢
Stay home, stay safe everyone. #weareallinthistogether pic.twitter.com/VfIQRl7RHG
— Félix AugerAliassime (@felixtennis) April 1, 2020
My thoughts on @Wimbledon 😘 pic.twitter.com/0K7NX0Z10h
— Petra Kvitova (@Petra_Kvitova) April 1, 2020
— Angelique Kerber (@AngeliqueKerber) April 1, 2020
Obviously heart broken losing the championships at Wimbledon this year. I’m saddened as the club supports hundreds of desperate local charities with the profits. Players are adaptable thats a strength as pros it’s the small people on the fringes who are really hurting now!
— Pat Cash (@TheRealPatCash) April 1, 2020
This is gutting…. and no, this is not an April Fools joke…
Hope we can all be there in 2021!!!!
— Martina Navratilova (@Martina) April 1, 2020
— Alize Cornet (@alizecornet) April 1, 2020
I’ve always had so many great memories at @Wimbledon. The grass season will definitely be missed but the most important thing right now for us to focus on is that we’re all staying healthy and safe at home. pic.twitter.com/Btlu9rMfDc
— Kevin Anderson (@KAndersonATP) April 1, 2020