Put the Champagne on ice and the Strawberries and Cream back in the fridge. The All-England Club has cancelled the Championships in Wimbledon due to the coronavirus pandemic.
It will be the first time the tournament has not be held since the second world war, and another centrepiece of the British summer sporting calendar affected after the six nations and the Football season was put on hold.
Wimbledon was scheduled to run over a two week period from 29 June until 12 July, but with months of preparation needed, the crowds would be impossible with lockdown and ensuring social distancing.
Even a tournament behind closed doors would required players and staff over 40 tournament and practice courts, which cannot be considered essential. It’s a huge shame for 2019 Finalists Roger Federer and Serena Williams, both 38 years old, and with one less chance to win another title. Tennis legend Federer is currently the oldest player to have won the Tournament at 35 in 2017.
The ATP, WTA and ITF tours also announced that professional tennis would not return before 13 July. All other summer grass-court events are cancelled. The tour has been suspended since Indian Wells was cancelled on 9 March.
Wimbledon is one of the four Grand Slam tennis tournaments and the only one played on grass. The others being the Australian Open, the US Open and the French Open. The Australian Open was won in early February by Novak Djokovic, and both the US and French open are scheduled for September.