2021 may see a Wimbledon without fans as the All England club (AELTC) have revealed that staging the Championships will be their No 1 priority.
The grass-court Grand Slam was cancelled this year due to the Coronavirus outbreak. It was also the only major insured against ‘pandemics’ and eventually was the only one that was scrapped this season.
While the US Open was played behind closed doors, the French Open allowed a maximum of 1000 spectators each day at the Court-Philippe Chatrier.
The Wimbledon organisers have outlined three possible scenarios for hosting next year’s Championships.
“These scenarios fall into three broad categories: a full capacity Championships, a reduced capacity Championships, and a ‘behind closed doors’ Championships, all of which are dependent on the status of government and public health guidelines,” the AELTC said in a statement.
“We are working closely with the relevant government and public health authorities, alongside the rest of the sports industry, to understand the varying challenges and opportunities presented by the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic.
“On the critical task of engaging with the player community and the ATP, WTA and ITF, Jamie Baker will support Chief Executive Sally Bolton by taking on the role of Head of Professional Tennis and Tournament Director.
“Baker, Head of Tennis Relations at the AELTC since 2018 and a former British No.2, will lead on all tennis matters relating to The Championships and Qualifying on behalf of the AELTC, working closely with the Chief Executive and the Professional Tennis Committee, chaired by Tim Henman.”
The Wimbledon championships will be held from June 28 to July 11 in 2021, maybe without fans.
The insurance cover they had for a pandemic this year, which saw them avoid losses up to quarter of a billion pounds, is not available next year.