Wimbledon still ‘on at present’ despite coronavirus outbreak fears

Wimbledon general view

Wimbledon is still set to go ahead as planned despite the coronavirus outbreak after the UK government insisted that there is “no rationale” to postpone all sporting events.

The Indian Wells Masters became the first major tennis tournament to fell victim to COVID-19 as the event, which was due to start on March 11, was postponed on Sunday.

Officials, though, are still hopeful that the joint ATP Masters 1000 and WTA Premier Mandatory tournament could be rescheduled to later this year while the Miami Open is set to continue as schedule.

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The French Open is the next Grand Slam on the tennis calendar with the red-dirt tournament set to start May 24 and organisers insisted over the weekend that they have no “postponement or cancellation” plans at this stage.

Italy has already gone on full lockdown that has seen all sporting events and festivals cancelled until at least April 3, which puts a red mark over the Italian Open – due to start on May 11.

Wimbledon and all the other grass-court tournaments in the UK, including Fever-Tree Championships at Queen’s Club, are still on as things stand after Britain’s Department of Culture, Media and Sport met with sports governing bodies on Monday to discuss the issue.

“Based upon the current scientific advice from the Government’s medical experts there is no rationale to close or cancel sporting events as things stand,” the DCMS said.

“We will remain in regular dialogue with sports governing bodies and broadcasters, ensuring they are in receipt of the most up to date guidance from the health authorities.”

inews.co.uk reports that “Wimbledon remains ‘on’ at present but that the iconic tennis tournament could be cancelled by government decree. In that instance, it is understood that insurance policies already in place would allow the All-England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, who run the tournament, to refund the huge numbers of tickets that are sold in advance”.

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