Swiss legend Roger Federer said he was “devastated” that Wimbledon has been cancelled for the first time since World War II because of the coronavirus.
According to a report by AFP, Wimbledon chiefs pulled the plug on the oldest Grand Slam tournament on Wednesday in response to the continued chaos caused by the pandemic.
Federer, who has won a record eight Wimbledon men’s singles titles, reacted with a single word, tweeting: “devastated.”
— Roger Federer (@rogerfederer) April 1, 2020
Serena Williams, a seven-time Wimbledon women’s singles champion, was also rocked by the news as the American tweeted: “I’m Shooked (sic)”.
I’m Shooked https://t.co/dS0cNcCdm0
— Serena Williams (@serenawilliams) April 1, 2020
Federer and Serena will be nearly 40 by the time of the 2021 championships.
Wimbledon was due to run for two weeks from June 29, with Novak Djokovic and Simona Halep set to defend their singles titles.
But All England Club chiefs were left with no choice but to cancel the grass-court event – which was first staged in 1877 – due to the continued health crisis across the world.
Halep, the Romanian who defeated Serena to win Wimbledon for the first time last year, tweeted: “So sad to hear Wimbledon won’t take place this year.
“Last year’s final will forever be one of the happiest days of my life! But we are going through something bigger than tennis and Wimbledon will be back! And it means I have even longer to look forward to defending my title.”
American legend Billie-Jean King, a six-time singles champion at Wimbledon, said the cancellation was the right decision.