Wimbledon, the oldest of professional tennis’ Grand Slam events, was canceled Wednesday because of the coronavirus pandemic.
It is the first time since World War II that the grass tournament on the outskirts of London will not be played. The event was originally scheduled to begin June 29 and end July 12.
In a statement on the Wimbledon website, The All England Lawn Tennis Club said the tournament would resume in June 2021.
“It is with great regret that the AELTC has today decided that The Championships 2020 will be canceled due to public health concerns linked to the coronavirus epidemic,” the organization said in a statement. “The 134th Championships will instead be staged from 28 June to 11 July 2021.”
The tournament made its debut in 1877. The only interruptions in play came from 1915 to 1918 because of World War I, and from 1940 to 1945 because of World War II, The Associated Press reported.
“Uppermost in our mind has been the health and safety of all of those who come together to make Wimbledon happen -- the public in the UK and visitors from around the world, our players, guests, members, staff, volunteers, partners, contractors, and local residents -- as well as our broader responsibility to society’s efforts to tackle this global challenge to our way of life,” the All England Club said.
Wimbledon’s cancellation follows the postponement of the French Open, which had been scheduled to begin in May. The clay-court tournament at Roland Garros in Paris was rescheduled to begin Sept. 20. The U.S. Open is scheduled for Aug. 24 to Sept. 13 in New York. The Australian Open. the tennis season’s first Grand Slam event, took place earlier this year.
Novak Djokovic of Serbia won the 2019 men’s singles title, while Simona Halepof Romania took the women’s crown.