WIMBLEDON has been cancelled because of coronavirus-related public health concerns.

The tennis championships will not return until June 28 2021, almost exactly a year to the day that this year's were supposed to be held.

Mass gatherings have been banned by the government to protect people at risk of catching the virus and stop it from spreading further, and the sports event's organisers expected this to continue for many more months.

Members of the public who paid for tickets in the Wimbledon Public Ballot for this year’s championships will have their tickets refunded and will be offered the chance to purchase tickets for the same day and court for The Championships 2021. Organisers will be communicating directly with all ticket-holders.

To mitigate the impact that this decision will have on those who rely on The Championships, including the players and the tennis community in Britain and around the world,  the main board of the All England Club (AELTC) and the committee of management of The Championships are developing plans to support those groups, working in partnership with the LTA and the other leadership bodies in global tennis. 

AELTC chairman Ian Hewitt said: “This is a decision that we have not taken lightly, and we have done so with the highest regard for public health and the wellbeing of all those who come together to make Wimbledon happen.

"It has weighed heavily on our minds that the staging of The Championships has only been interrupted previously by World Wars but, following thorough and extensive consideration of all scenarios, we believe that it is a measure of this global crisis that it is ultimately the right decision to cancel this year’s Championships, and instead concentrate on how we can use the breadth of Wimbledon’s resources to help those in our local communities and beyond.

"Our thoughts are with all those who have been and continue to be affected by these unprecedented times.”

AELTC chief executive Richard Lewis CBE said: “While in some ways this has been a challenging decision, we strongly believe it is not only in the best interests of society at this time, but also provides certainty to our colleagues in international tennis given the impact on the grass court events in the UK and in Europe and the broader tennis calendar.

"We have appreciated the support of the LTA, and the ATP, WTA and ITF in coming to this decision, and our friends and partners who stage these grass court events that are so important in the build up to Wimbledon. I would like to thank the UK government and public health authorities for their guidance and support, and we will do whatever we can to assist their efforts in tackling the crisis.

“Finally, I would like to thank all those who love Wimbledon for their understanding of these unique and unquestionably challenging circumstances. It is your passion for The Championships that has shaped our event over the years, and will continue to do so, and we look forward to preparing a fantastic Championships for 2021.”