Wimbledon set to return in 2021 even without fans

Paola Ditto
Ottobre 18, 2020

The grass-court championships were cancelled this year for the first time since World War II because of the coronavirus pandemic.

They say they're "considering multiple operational scenarios", with eight months to go until the start of Wimbledon 2021. However, the US Open went ahead behind closed doors and the French Open took place in front of only 1,000 fans a day after its starting date was moved from May to late September.

In a statement released on Friday, it was confirmed that "full capacity", "reduced capacity" and "behind closed doors" scenarios are under consideration for the tournament, which is scheduled to begin on June 28.

The three scenarios they're exploring are a full-capacity Championships, a reduced capacity Championships, and a "behind closed doors" Championships, all of which are dependent on the status of United Kingdom government and public health guidelines.

"Staging The Championships in 2021 is our number one priority and we are actively engaged in scenario planning in order to deliver on that priority", Sally Bolton, Chief Executive at Wimbledon was quoted by the statement as saying.

Former Great Britain Davis Cup player Jamie Baker, meanwhile, has been appointed head of professional tennis and tournament director and will take on the role of liaising with the player community, ATP, WTA and International Tennis Federation over Wimbledon's plans.

The U.S. Open and French Open were held this year but with strict protocols to reduce the possibility of spreading the virus.

The Australian Open was held this year before the coronavirus pandemic spread around the world, but the 2021 tournament could be affected.

Wimbledon has been working closely with local communities during the pandemic and will continue to provide 200 hot meals a day to people in need until Christmas.

Australian Open chief executive Craig Tiley has said he wants worldwide tennis players arriving for the tournament to be exempt from the 14-day hotel quarantines that are mandatory for inbound travelers.

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