Tennis chief admits Wimbledon will not be ‘normal’ until 2022

Wimbledon will not be able to return to ‘normal’ until 2022 at the earliest, according to Micky Lawler, President of the WTA Tour.

After Wimbledon’s committee member Tim Henman told Tennis365 in November that plans are underway to stage the 2021 edition of Wimbledon in some format after it was cancelled for the first time since the Second World Cup last summer, Lawler has warned it won’t be in full colour as the world continues to battle the Covid-19 pandemic.

“The safest assumption is that the tour will be back to normal in 2022, but the aim is to be flexible,” she told The Mail on Sunday. “Wimbledon is the Mecca, I found the hardest part of last year was missing that. I think it’s too soon for Wimbledon to be fully normal (this summer), but I am really hoping that it will be as normal as possible.”

Lawler also praised the WTA Tour for getting events on in 2020, despite the huge challenges presented by the global pandemic.

WTA chief Micky Lawler

“It is extraordinary,” Lawler told Forbes. “They (the players) travelled when other people didn’t, they took chances. And again, everybody banded together.

“The players have been phenomenal, patient with new technology requirements, patient with the testing. The testing is not easy and painless. It’s pretty intrusive and it’s aggressive. And they do not complain. They do what they have to do. And it’s every few days and sometimes every day. And there is no freedom.

“These are young women…and there is a reason why they’re among the top of the world at what they do. A star, a very talented musician, a very talented athlete.

“You can always see there’s something very special about these human hearts and souls who get to this level of competition.”

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