Wimbledon organisers consider cancellation with decision to be made next week

The All England Lawn Tennis Club will decide whether to stage this summer’s Wimbledon championships at an emergency board meeting next week.

Pressure has been growing on organisers to make a decision, with Wimbledon one of the biggest events still remaining on the calendar for June and July.

A statement from the club read: “The AELTC can confirm that it is continuing a detailed evaluation of all scenarios for the championships 2020, including postponement and cancellation, as a result of the Covid-19 outbreak.”

Organisers have ruled out playing the tournament, which is due to start on June 29, behind closed doors and admitted postponing would be difficult.

The PA news agency understands the option of moving back to occupy the slot now vacated by the postponed Olympics is not being pursued because the dates are too close to the current schedule.

All professional tennis is currently suspended until the start of the grass-court season on June 7.

Wimbledon chief executive Richard Lewis said: “The unprecedented challenge presented by the Covid-19 crisis continues to affect our way of life in ways that we could not have imagined, and our thoughts are with all those affected in the UK and around the world.

“The single most important consideration is one of public health, and we are determined to act responsibly through the decisions we make.

“We are working hard to bring certainty to our plans for 2020 and have convened an emergency meeting of the AELTC main board for next week, at which a decision will be made.”