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Wimbledon plans return in 2021, with or without fans

  • Associated Press
WIMBLEDON, England -- The Wimbledon tennis tournament is planning its comeback in 2021.
Wimbledon was the only Grand Slam tournament canceled this year because of the coronavirus pandemic, but the All England Club announced plans Friday for its return next year.
"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,'' All England Club chief executive Sally Bolton said.
The tournament, canceled this year for the first time since 1945, is scheduled to run next year from June 28-July 11. It could be held at full capacity, reduced capacity or without fans, the club said.
All of the options are dependent on the status of government and public health guidelines, the club said.
The US Open and French Open were held this year but with strict protocols to reduce the possibility of spreading the coronavirus. No fans were allowed at Flushing Meadows, while Roland Garros was limited to 1,000 fans per day.
"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,'' the All England Club said. "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.''
The Australian Open was held this year before the coronavirus pandemic spread around the world, but the 2021 tournament could be affected. Next year's tournament at Melbourne Park is scheduled to run from Jan. 18-31.
Australian Open chief executive Craig Tiley has said he wants international tennis players arriving for the tournament to be exempt from the 14-day hotel quarantines that are mandatory for inbound travelers.

 

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Probably pandemic insurance covered only one year. So no brainer they want their money now when it expired.

I will always resent them cause they could have easily played it this year in July when the pandemic was dim especially that RG was run in a much more difficult health situation.
 

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Probably pandemic insurance covered only one year. So no brainer they want their money now when it expired.

I will always resent them cause they could have easily played it this year in July when the pandemic was dim especially that RG was run in a much more difficult health situation.
They had no choice, as per the UK government lockdown
 

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Probably pandemic insurance covered only one year. So no brainer they want their money now when it expired.

I will always resent them cause they could have easily played it this year in July when the pandemic was dim especially that RG was run in a much more difficult health situation.
Hindsight is always 20/20...
 

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Great news! If their insurance policy allowed them to forgo the event indefinitely, it would be hard to argue with that financial decision (a no brainer).

But not having Wimbledon and by proxy a grass season for several years would begin to feel really unfair to the players, particularly grass court players in the twilight of their career a la Kvitova, Federer, Murray, Serena, Venus, etc.
 

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Probably pandemic insurance covered only one year. So no brainer they want their money now when it expired.

I will always resent them cause they could have easily played it this year in July when the pandemic was dim especially that RG was run in a much more difficult health situation.
There was no chance of them holding the event this year as per the UK government restrictions. And the option to push it back ala Roland Garros was off the table too.
 

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Not a chance there won't be at the very least a significant chunk of fans on the grounds, whatever happens with the virus and/or a vaccine we're wiser to the fact that it is far less prevalent and virulent in the summer months.
 

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Unfortunately at this stage I think that is highly unlikely.
you’ll see wild variations from country to country. My sister in law is fairly high up in the medical world in the US and estimates a vaccine approval is 2/1/21-4/1/21 which she says is too late to save the spring and summer season as far as full capacity crowds for sporting and public events or should be. That doesn’t mean many countries won’t just say effective upon vaccine distribution do whatever the hell you want. My hunch is the UK will allow some fans but not many. The US Open will probably be the only grand slam in 2021 that is mostly normal
 

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Vaccine or not, I expect to see people wearing masks for atleast most of next year at this point. It is one of the cheapest and easiest preventive measures one can take.
 

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Not a chance there won't be at the very least a significant chunk of fans on the grounds, whatever happens with the virus and/or a vaccine we're wiser to the fact that it is far less prevalent and virulent in the summer months.
Why do you say that, when it's nonsense? The Southern Hemisphere's peak of infection was in March and April, the same as the rest of the world. The difference is that those months are part of our summer, and the beginning of autumn. The biggest reason for infection numbers decreasing in the Northern Hemisphere's summer is nothing to do with the temperature - it's because medical staff have got much better at treating the virus. Infections decreased at exactly the same time in the Southern Hemisphere - which is our winter.

Latin America has the worst death toll in the world per capita, yet it's always hot. Of the biggest countries by population, India has the highest rates of infection after the USA, but it's always hot there too.

Please can someone put this theory to bed!
 

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Its probably gonna be a farewell tournament for Sir Andy. Surely they will try to squeeze in as many fans as possible.
 

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No more crazy Federer fans? Hallelujah!
 

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Why do you say that, when it's nonsense? The Southern Hemisphere's peak of infection was in March and April, the same as the rest of the world. The difference is that those months are part of our summer, and the beginning of autumn. The biggest reason for infection numbers decreasing in the Northern Hemisphere's summer is nothing to do with the temperature - it's because medical staff have got much better at treating the virus. Infections decreased at exactly the same time in the Southern Hemisphere - which is our winter.

Latin America has the worst death toll in the world per capita, yet it's always hot. Of the biggest countries by population, India has the highest rates of infection after the USA, but it's always hot there too.

Please can someone put this theory to bed!
There’s something to be said about outdoor living though (especially in Europe). During the summer, it’s much easier for people to meet (at a distance) outdoors whether it be in parks, bars or our own gardens. When it’s colder and wetter, people are more likely to break those social distance rules and meet up indoors, where the virus can spread easier. I don’t think anyone is suggesting that the outdoor temperature itself affects the virus.
 

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This may (and should) be the end of "The Queue".
That would be something! I am absolutely sick of the Wimbledon queue. The last time I queued was 2016, I can't bear the thought of it. I prefer to travel all the way to Eastbourne (from London) and take in some tennis there every year. Plus its great to be by the coast.

When I first started going in the 1990s, the queues were long but bearable. However, especially in the 2010s, the queues got longer and longer to the point that you could be standing around for six to seven hours waiting to get in. Of course, back in the 1990s people would queue overnight but those were the ones who wanted centre court or court 1 tickets.

I haven't been to the French Open for many years but in the 2000s it was relatively easy to get in during the second week and still get tickets for Chatrier or Lenglen. One of the reasons for that as far as I can tell is due to matches being scheduled out. At Wimbledon, all round 16 matches men and women are played on the second Monday so that day is absolutely crazy. Maybe the Committee should finally bite the bullet and start playing matches on the middle Sunday, spread out the matches more and there might not be so much desperation for punters to go on the middle Saturday or middle Monday.
 
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