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Wimbledon to go ahead in 2021

WIMBLEDON is set to go ahead next year even if the tournament has to be staged behind closed doors.

The Championships was cancelled this summer for the first time since World War II because of the coronavirus pandemic and the All England Club is planning for several scenarios for 2021.

Chief executive Sally Bolton said: ‘Staging the Championships in 2021 is our number one priority and we are actively engaged in scenario planning in order to deliver on that priority.’

The AELTC is developing plans for a full-capacity tournament — which appears highly unlikely — a reduced-capacity event as well as one held with no fans.

Wimbledon will have been closely watching the recent US Open, played behind closed doors, and the French Open, where 1,000 fans a day were eventually admitted, down from a hoped-for 11,500.

Both tournaments were deemed overall successes, with very few positive Covid-19 cases and broad player support.

Wimbledon’s statement read: ‘Our overriding priority will continue to be the health and safety of all of our stakeholders, in particular our guests, our staff, and our competitors.

‘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.’