While Wimbledon as a live event in 2020 has been cancelled, IBM have been essential in helping deliver a first ever digital recreation of The Championships in just eight weeks of preparation, and The Club is inviting fans to make a wish.
Since the cancellation of The Championships, the support we have received from our fans across the UK and around the world has been overwhelming. A Wish from Wimbledon gives us an opportunity to say thank you to them. Alexandra Willis, AELTC Head of Communications, Content and Digital
In the latest video released on Thursday, IBM and Wimbledon have taken fans behind the scenes of the AELTC’s The Greatest Championships campaign in a new spot.
The new campaign looks to fill the gap left by the cancellation of The Championships for the first time since the Second World War due to the coronavirus pandemic, and will give fans the chance to relive iconic matches from the past over the fortnight that Wimbledon would have been held, starting on Monday.
Following The Championships round by round, the initiative will use IBM’s Watson technology to ensure fans not only get to see video footage of the historic matches, but will also get to see stats and highlights presented online in the fashion modern followers are more accustomed to seeing.
Meanwhile, The AELTC has asked the public to submit their ‘Wimbledon Wishes’ in a bid to make fans’ dreams come true over the course of the next year.
Entries submitted will be collated and considered by a three-person panel, who will pick the winners.
According to organisers, the winning wishes ‘won’t necessarily be the biggest and best,’ but will be those the panel think ‘will make the greatest difference in this time of crisis’.
The club says it will announce winners by 31st August, and over the course of the next year will attempt to make the winners’ wishes come true – either before, during or after the 2021 Championships.
So, if Wimbledon could grant you one wish, what would it be?
Whether it’s a day enjoying a luxury hospitality suite, a chance to play on one of the world’s most famous grass courts or even an exclusive tour of the Grounds and Museum after hours, the AELTC wants to know what Wimbledon can do for its fans around the world, and how to make their dreams become a reality.
A Wish from Wimbledon forms part of the Wimbledon Recreated campaign, which celebrates the spirit and tradition of The Championships in its absence this summer.
Alexandra Willis, Head of Communications, Content and Digital at the AELTC, said: “Since the cancellation of The Championships, the support we have received from our fans across the UK and around the world has been overwhelming.
“A Wish from Wimbledon gives us an opportunity to say thank you to them.
“We hope that this, along with other Wimbledon Recreated initiatives, will give everyone who is missing tennis this summer a chance to celebrate the Wimbledon Fortnight in whichever way is most special to them.”
Further details about the initiative are available at wimbledon.com/wish where fans can register and submit their wishes.
BBC Sport will have over 50 hours of programming for two weeks from Monday, 29 June, including weekday rewinds of memorable matches, an Andy Murray Greatest Hits weekend, and a countdown of best finals.
Grab yourself some strawberries and cream while you enjoy matches like the 1992 showpiece between Goran Ivanisevic and Andre Agassi, and the Ann Jones-Billie Jean King final from 1969.
Sue Barker will present a one-hour show, Wimbledon: The Best of the Championships, on BBC Two from 20:00 BST Monday to Friday, where she will be joined in the studio by Tim Henman and Boris Becker to look back on some of the highlights through the years.
Former champions John McEnroe and Martina Navratilova will be there too, via video link, while current players will reflect on life away from competition during the coronavirus pandemic.
Viewers can get involved with votes and quizzes on the BBC Sport website.
From 13:45 on weekdays, there will be a three-hour Wimbledon Rewind on BBC Two, with Clare Balding revisiting classic finals.
On the weekend of 4-5 July, the BBC will be looking at the career of Britain’s three-time Grand Slam singles champion Murray, and the following weekend features a countdown of the best women’s and men’s Wimbledon finals.
There is also a special documentary – One Day – which will look back on 14 July 2019, when the incredible final between Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer was being played out at the same time as England’s dramatic cricket World Cup triumph.
The various programmes will be available to watch across BBC One, BBC Two, BBC iPlayer, the BBC Sport website and mobile app.