Tennis NRS: Wimbledon announces… nothing

Tennis NRS is short for Tennis News, Rumors, and Speculation. This series is your place for tennis updates during the 2019–2020 coronavirus pandemic. Stay tuned for frequent briefs here and on social media: follow us on Facebook to hear when new posts are published.

In breaking tennis news today, Wimbledon and the AELTC announced that they are “continuing a detailed evaluation of all scenarios for The Championships 2020, including postponement and cancellation, as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.” Which is to say: they’re aware of the pandemic and, like the rest of us, are trying to figure out what to do.

They mentioned:

  • That grass is an issue, and due to their natural surface there are additional complications from postponements.
  • They’re not a fan of playing “behind closed doors.” They didn’t say if this was because it’s one of the most expensive ticketed events in the world, or if they would miss the well-dressed and well-behaved crowd.
  • They also said that they’ve convened an emergency meeting of the AELTC Main Board for next week (it’s Wednesday the 25th, for reference or for those of you who have lost track of the days) at which point a decision will be made.
  • Click here for their official communication.

From here, we depart from the News part of this post and move into the Rumors and Speculation area. We can imagine that they’re going to take a good, long look at the rest of the tennis calendar. Perhaps that will be in the same way we here at GSTT might look at the buffet table set up by Milli Taylor at the Grand Slam Tennis Tours Wimbledon Hospitality House: so much to choose from… but we want to save some for others… and I don’t want to indulge… but it’s all here for the taking… until 1pm, at least, when it’s a bit late for lunch.

Or something like that. Most appealing might be the newly-vacated Olympics slot, with the tennis scheduled to run from July 25 until August 2. This doesn’t offer much of a cushion, though, from the original dates of June 29th to July 12th.

Another option is, considering the natural surface and the typical London weather later into the year, to put it on the calendar deeper into the summer, but prior to the start of the US Open in August. This would involve a French Tennis Federation-style slap to the face of some ATP/WTA events. Do they put it across other US Open Series events, like the Citi Open or the Rogers Cup? Or maybe directly on top of the USTA-owned Western and Southern Open, leaving a one-week window for players to get back to the US and hit the hard courts?

What if they scheduled it directly on top of the already rescheduled Roland Garros event and Laver Cup? Ha. Or potentially they could explore something deeper into the fall, but strawberries and cream are obviously out of season by then.

So, this leaves us largely where we were earlier today prior to the announcement from the AELTC, which is to say, trying to throw darts (huge in the UK) on a target floating by on the Thames, from the safety of our homes on a breezy day.