German official: Wimbledon will be canceled this week — the first time since World War II

Wimbledon has not been canceled since World War II. According to one tennis official, it is likely the prestigious Grand Slam tournament will not take place this year as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. 

"The necessary decisions have already been made," German Tennis Federation vice president Dirk Hordorff told Sky Sports Germany on Sunday. "Wimbledon will decide to cancel (this) Wednesday. There is no doubt about it. This is necessary in the current situation.

"It is completely unrealistic to imagine that with the travel restrictions that we currently have an international tennis tournament where hundreds of thousands of people from all over the world would travel. That is unthinkable."

Ball boys take off the rain covers on No.1 Court, at the All England Lawn Tennis Championships in Wimbledon, London, Tuesday July 7, 2015. (Photo: Kirsty Wigglesworth, AP)

Hordorff told Sky Sports Germany he is "involved in the bodies of the ATP (Association of Tennis Professionals) and WTA (Women's Tennis Association). The necessary arrangements have already been made"

The All England Club, which organizes Wimbledon each year, is holding an emergency meeting on Wednesday and is expected to make a final decision at that point. 

Wimbledon is still slated for a June 29 start date. Postponement is also an option, although maintaining the lawn in a different timeframe could be a significant challenge. 

The All England Club released the following public statement last week on the matter: “Based on the advice we have received from the public health authorities, the very short window available to us to stage The Championships due to the nature of our surface suggests that postponement is not without significant risk and difficulty.”

Tennis greats Serena Williams and Roger Federer could be most affected by a cancellation given their aging careers. Williams is chasing an elusive 24th Grand Slam and Federer's best chance of upsetting rivals Novak Djokovic or Rafael Nadal comes on his best playing surface — grass. 

The French Open, which annually is held in May, was postponed to September. The sport has been suspended entirely along with professional sports leagues. Last week, the Tokyo Olympics were postponed to next year and organizers on Monday announced a new start date of July 23, 2021.

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