Wimbledon cancelled: Implications after coronavirus pandemic sees SW19 called off

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Wimbledon has been called off for the first time since the Second World War and there will now be no tennis until at least July 13.

The All England Club held an emergency board meeting on Wednesday to discuss the fate of the 2020 Championships.

They decided that they could not justify playing behind closed doors and a postponement was not “without significant risk and difficulty”.

But what are the other implications of the cancellation of the grass-court Grand Slam?

The last time the Scot was fully fit at Wimbledon was when he won his second singles title in 2016.

The following year he was suffering from the hip problem which ruled him out in 2018.

The double Olympic champion played doubles last year but he missed the Australian Open after complications in his latest comeback.

He will turn 33 next month.

Wimbledon gives 90 percent of profits each year to the Lawn Tennis Association to invest in grassroots tennis.

The sum was £40.8m in 2018 when accounts were last published.

Wimbledon has invested in “comprehensive” insurance to cover loss of income from tickets and broadcasting revenue because of the pandemic. But such is the complexity of any claim that it could take weeks to work out how much support All England Club will be able to give the sport over the next year although insiders insist they will continue to back British tennis.

Profits from Wimbledon help the LTA run other grasscourts events in the build-up to The Championships, increase participation and invest in a performance budget for top players.

But the LTA still managed to record a loss of £8.8m in 2018 and has lost more than more than £12m in the two years.

The two tennis legends have dominated the singles events over the past two decades – winning 15 titles between them – and Wimbledon is their best chance to win more Majors.

The Swiss superstar holds the record of 20 Grand Slam titles for a male but he is now just one ahead of Rafa Nadal and three ahead of Australian Open winner Novak Djokovic.

And American great Williams has been stuck one short of Margaret Court’s all-time record of 24 since January 2017.

The French Open has been moved to September while the US Open is also under threat because New York is the American epi-centre of the coronavirus pandemic.

Both tennis legends turn 40 next year.

Sports like tennis face an uncertain future because of its international nature with tournaments and players from all over the world.

Andy Murray’s former coach Amelie Mauresmo tweeted: “I think we’re going to have to draw a line under the 2020 tennis season. 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.”

The boss of Tennis Australia Craig Tiley, who ran January’s Australian Open despite the threat of bushfires, doubts if any more events will be played this year.

“My personal view is for tennis to come back this year is going to be tough,” he said.

“It relies on global travel, and I think that’s probably the last thing that’s going to come back. I think sports that have a domestic focus are in a strong position and sports that have a global focus are more challenged.”

The Championships follows Euro 2020, the Olympics and now Wimbledon have gone.

The British Grand Prix and the Open in July are the next major events under threat.

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