Tim Henman on whether fans will be in attendance at Wimbledon 2021
Former British No.1 Tim Henman has confirmed he is hopeful that fans can be in attendance at Wimbledon this year, but he has conceded that decision is out of his hands.
Henman is part of the organising committee at the All England Club and was heavily involved in the decision to cancel Wimbledon for the first time since the Second World War amid the Covid-19 crisis last year.
Now discussions are underway to stage this year’s event, with three possible scenarios outlined by the tournament organisers.
An event with full capacity crowds, reduced capacity and behind closed doors have all been discussed, with Henman keen to avoid the last of those options if possible.
“It was fantastic to hear the roar of the crowd and the atmosphere that even a partially full stadiums made to the matches and it is something we are so keen to see at Wimbledon,” he confirmed, speaking at a Eurosport event.
“Now that the crowds have gone out of the stadium again, I feel great sympathy for everyone involved with the Australian Open.
“They have done an amazing job just to get this tournament to take place. They had so many hurdles and so many challenges to overcome and fingers crossed it can go as smoothly as possible in the final few days of the tournament.
When asked by Tennis365 when the decision needs to be made on whether fans will be allowed to attend Wimbledon in this English summer, Henman confirmed decisions may need to be made soon.
“Certain decisions can be delayed, but you need to have some lead time to get things in place and that means making calls as soon as possible on what we can realistically do,” he continued.
“We learned this last year, when we were discussing what we could do and we were looking at how many people we needed to have on-site.
“There needs to be about 4,500 on-site for The Championships and I was questioning that in my mind, but once you start thinking about players, coaches, trainers, ball kids, umpire, line calls, maintenance staff, court staff, broadcasting…. there are so many people involved.
“As we look forward to the 2021 Championships, a lot of it is still up in the air and we are waiting to see what happens with the pandemic, but there is a lot of planning taking place to deliver The Championships in the best possible way.”
Watch the Australian Open live on Eurosport and Eurosport app.
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