An emergency Board meeting has been called for next week by the AELTC on which the future of this year’s grass court season could well be decided in view of the current COVID-19 pandemic. Will it run or will it be cancelled.
The unprecedented challenge presented by the COVID-19 crisis continues to affect our way of life in ways that we could not have imagined Richard Lewis
The grass court swing of the 2020 swing hinges on whether Wimbledon itself is run or not. Should the Board decide, which is quite likely, that The Championships should be cancelled, then all the preceding events including Eastbourne, Birmingham and Queen’s will fall by the coronavirus wayside.
“The single most important consideration is one of public health, and we are determined to act responsibly through the decisions we make,” AELTC chief executive Richard Lewis said in a statement issued last night by the Club.
While the AELTC has been making contingency plans since January, working closely with the UK government and public health authorities which they have followed to the letter, they will be the LTA, ATP, WTA, ITF – the respective governing bodies of British, men’s, women’s and international tennis – as well as all three other grand slam organisers before making a final decision.
“The build for The Championships is due to begin at the end of April,” the statement revealed.
“Following the government’s advice, the AELTC’s sites at the All England Club, Wimbledon Park Golf Club and Raynes Park are currently closed with physical operations reduced to the practical minimum to maintain the grass courts and the security of the sites.
“The AELTC, through our charity the Wimbledon Foundation, is offering support within our local communities and more broadly for the London and UK population through our partnerships with the British Red Cross and City Harvest.
“The unprecedented challenge presented by the COVID-19 crisis continues to affect our way of life in ways that we could not have imagined,” Lewis, who will be retring this year after The Championships, added.
“And our thoughts are with all those affected in the UK and around the world.”