Wimbledon cancelled 'due to public health concerns' amid coronavirus pandemic

Wimbledon 2020 has been cancelled over the coronavirus pandemic, the All England Club has confirmed.

It is the first time since the Second World War that the oldest tennis competition in the world will not be held.

The tournament, originally founded in 1877, was due to be held for two weeks from June 29 to July 12.

The announcement comes as the number of patients to have died in the UK after testing positive for coronavirus has risen by 563 to 2,352, the Department of Health confirmed.

Novak Djokovic won his fifth Wimbledon title in 2019. Credit: PA

Eight-time Wimbledon champion Roger Federer reacted with a single word, tweeting: "devastated."

Coco Gauff, the teenager who stunned everyone by reaching the last 16 last year, tweeted: "I'm gonna miss playing in Wimbledon this year. Stay safe everyone, love you guys."

The All England Club said in a statement: "It is with great regret that the AELTC has today decided that The Championships 2020 will be cancelled due to public health concerns linked to the coronavirus epidemic.

"The 134th Championships will instead be staged from 28 June to 11 July 2021."

The statement continued: "Uppermost in our mind has been the health and safety of all of those who come together to make Wimbledon happen - the public in the UK and visitors from around the world, our players, guests, members, staff, volunteers, partners, contractors, and local residents - as well as our broader responsibility to society's efforts to tackle this global challenge to our way of life.

"Since the emergence of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak in January, we have followed guidance from the UK Government and public health authorities in relation to our year-round operations, alongside developing an understanding of the likely trajectory of the outbreak in the UK."

Two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova released a statement on Twitter, expressing how much she will miss competing at the tournament.

"Definitely a tough one to take, with the announcement of the cancellation of Wimbledon this year," she said.

"Not only is it a special tournament to me, but it's a tournament that has been part of history for so long that it will leave a big hole in the calendar."

The US Tennis Association reacted to news of the postponement by maintaining that the US Open is still due to take place as planned.

The tennis tournament has been cancelled for the first time since World War II. Credit: PA

A USTA statement read: "We understand the unique circumstances facing the All England Lawn and Tennis Club and the reasoning behind the decision to cancel the 2020 Wimbledon Championships.

"At this time the USTA still plans to host the US Open as scheduled, and we continue to hone plans to stage the tournament."

It's not the first huge sporting tournament to be cancelled this year over the virus outbreak as the concurrent football Euro 2020 tournament has already been pushed back a year and Tokyo Olympics has also been postponed.

Meanwhile another Great British summer sporting event also hangs by a thread, ITV News Sports Reporter Chris Skudder reports.

The Open golf championship, scheduled for a July 16 start at Royal St George’s in Kent is currently "proceeding as planned".