The third Grand Slam on the tennis calendar, Wimbledon looks likely to be cancelled this year as a result of the coronavirus pandemic

It has been announced that The All England Lawn Tennis & Croquet Club (AELTC) will hold an emergency board meeting on Wednesday, April 1, 2020 to make a decision on this year’s tournament widely regarded as the most prestigious in the world.

There was hope that the peak of the outbreak would have passed in the UK by the tournament’s June 29 start date, allowing one of the Championships to go ahead.

However, growing doubts over when the UK’s lockdown restrictions will ease, uncertainty over whether players will be able to travel from all over the world, and the limited time left to prepare the south-west London grounds have led to growing pessimism over whether the event can be held.

The AELTC said last week there was a “very short window” available to stage the Wimbledon Championships, as the nature of grass courts meant they could only be played on in the high summer.

Even a short postponement would leave Wimbledon colliding with other global tennis events.

Richard Lewis, chief executive of the AELTC, has ruled out holding the Championships without spectators, with thousands of staff and officials still required to be at its grounds to administer the event.

“The single most important consideration is one of public health, and we are determined to act responsibly through the decisions we make,” he said.